Sunilkunnoth loves spiritual sojourns and makes frequent travels to the pilgrimage centres across India.
Thrissur can easily be identified as the religious hub of Kerala in South India. Both Hindus and Christians have their prominent shrines here. You will find plenty of temples and churches lined together in Thrissur, a place known as 'the Cultural Capital of Kerala'.
Though a Hindu-dominated region, what makes Thrissur a different land is its rich presence of beautiful Churches and notable Christian establishments in and around the town. This also marks the religious tolerance and harmony of Kerala.
The Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours or locally known as “Puthen Pally” (in Malayalam Puthen Pally means the new church) is the most beautiful and archaeological wonder of the district. This is a minor Basilica of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church and is the third tallest Church in Asia. A visit to this holy site, I am sure, will calm your spirit and give you some spiritual solace. Let’s take a stroll through this engineering marvel of olden times.
Video on the Church
The foundation stone of the Church was laid on December 21, 1929. That time India was under the British raj. It took nearly 11 years to complete its first stage of construction. The Church is so blessed by the visit of the Pope, John Paul, II. His visit is described as a historic event. The Pope uplifted this shrine as a Basilica. The construction took nearly 77 years to complete. The newly built "Bible Tower" was opened on December 3, 2006.
The Basilica has some unique features, as listed below.
The Basilica is built in Gothic art. It has an area of 25,000 ft. The most attractive and visited establishment here is the newly constructed Bible Tower. The Basilica is spread over an area of 25,000 soft. The whole building structures painted in pure white is a treat to our eyes and a true symbol of serenity.
The tower is 260 ft tall and is built elegantly behind two towers of 140 ft height. This is the highest Church Tower in India. The tower offers a breath taking view of 15 km radius of Thrissur town. There is a cross on the top of the tower built in steel. It is of 15 feet height and is a delight to eyes in the night when the lights are on thanks to the thousands of LED bulbs planted on it. There a are a lot of paintings and carvings on the walls with features as noted below.
- Childhood of Jesus is carved in wood
- Healing of Jesus depicted in stained glass.
- Miracles of Jesus in brass.
- Suffering of Jesus Christ in oil paints.
- Beautiful paintings of Apostles in terra cotta.
- Mural prints of the life history of St. Thomas (who established Christianity in Kerala).
- The glorious resurrection of Jesus depicted in canvas.
There is lift facility to reach the top point. It is approximately at a height of a 20-floor building. When you press the lift switch for the 5th floor, you are actually taken to the 20th floor, an information the lift operator passed. After observing all the spectacular scenes around, please use the staircase to climb down for it will help you to inspect and study the paintings/carvings described above. Or else, you will miss it all.
When you reach the 260 ft top of the Bible Tower, take a look through the pigeon halls or windows. You will be excited on the enchanting surrounding panorama. What a fascinating scenery around! It is a breathtaking view of about 15 km radius of the Thrissur town. The typical greenery of Kerala, tall Church buildings, temples, ancient and modern building, moving vehicles and so on. The scenes are endless and sure to capture your heart instantly.
How to reach
The Church is in the heart centre of Thrissur town. There are plenty of buses and trains to Thrissur. Ample parking facilities available in front of the tower (Tower Square).
Bus Stop: Swapna/Hospital Junction/Municipal Bus Stand (depends on the direction you come from).
Tuesday to Friday: 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 6 pm (Lunch break 1 pm to 2 pm).
Saturday & Sunday: 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 7.30 pm)
Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours
Thrissur-680 001, Kerala
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2014 Sunil Kumar Kunnoth
Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on May 16, 2015:
Your visit and comments appreciated.
Akriti Mattu from Shimla, India on May 16, 2015:
I've been here. It's a nice church.
Nice post. Voted up :)
Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on May 18, 2014:
Thank you for stopping by and leaving some comments. Your comments appreciated. Hope you will find my other hubs on Kerala.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 15, 2014:
The church is very beautiful. Thank you for sharing the photos and the description. It's great to hear about the religious tolerance in Kerala!
Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on May 14, 2014:
As always you encourage me with your timely comments. I am glad to know that my hub is of interesting to you and you love the photos and a visit. Thank you for all.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 14, 2014:
Incredible photos and such an interesting hub. A beautiful place to visit.
Sunil Kumar Kunnoth (author) from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on May 13, 2014:
So happy to note your comments here. True, it was indeed a great pleasure to have experience this Basilica known as Puthen Pally. Benny Sebastian of Thrissur had recommended it after he read my article "Christianity in Kerala". He strongly urged me to visit this holy shrine. Due to my busy schedules, I couldn't visit it till the day we ventured. You have rightly said it that even people of Thrissur is not fully aware of this great church. And that's why I wrote an article and published here for maximum reach. This church requires more attention as it is historically an important one with great archaeological value as well. I hope my humble efforts will do some good for its promotional boost. Thank you for sharing your ideas here.
Nazeer RoseValley on May 13, 2014:
It was really a wonderful experience that we had in "Puthan pally". Actually I had no plan to visit the Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours this time. "Pooram"was the only target of the trip but your suggestion to visit the Church made the trip an unforgettable one. I think even the residents of Trissur are not much aware of the historical Importance of this " Puthanpally". I am sure this article will help the people who plan to visit Trissur to a great extent.