Monday, July 30, 2012

Saint Thomas Mount

I would have liked to meet Mr Habban as he could have updated me about Jesus Christ. But that was many years ago and I would have to be in a time machine.
After the death of Christ, Thomas got acquainted with Habban, a merchant of King Gondophare of India.
It was with Habban that he (St Thomas) travelled to India in 52 AD and landed at the south coast of Craganore (present day Kannur) in the State of Kerala.
After building seven churches along this coast, he travelled to the eastern  side and took shelter at Parangimalai which is now known as the St Thomas mount.
Had been to Chennai last week and made it a point to visit this mount and the surroundings. It was tough locating the place and I found that the railway station itself had two names, Parangimalai in Tamil and St Thomas mount in English, a first of its kind as the names of the stations are usually the same in any language.

There is a flight of 134 steps from the back side and I took that path instead of the road that is available now. Though the climb is steep, it is worth the effort.  
From the mount one can see the planes landing and taking off from the Meenambakam  or the Chennai International airport.

Interestingly this Mount comes under the Cantonment area Pallavaram which is also the second oldest cantonment in India.
I spent some time inside the church (or rather the old chapel which was the original one)

It houses 100 relics of the 12 apostles including the toe bone of St Thomas.

Noticed a family moving about very reverently and they spoke in  Marathi the way the Kolis (fisher-folk) of Mumbai speak..

 I spoke to one of them and he said that they came all the way from Vasai - Mumbai for this pilgrimage.

In the church compound I saw a banyan tree which is 175 years old.

One has to obtain permission to click pictures, but it is not an issue as they give permission to anyone on payment of Rs ten for which you get a receipt.

There were certain signs and guidelines put up at places, like this one for example which is self-explanatory (or is it?)


Amrita said...

Greetings from India. I visited St Thomas Mount many years ago as a student and remember it well. Thomas was the one who brought Christianity to India.

Lovely pictures , thanks for sharing.

I am amazing to see the fisher folk from Mumbai visit the church.

shivani said...

Wonderful...thanks for sharing. Feel so happy to know that u were in 'Namma Chennai'.
Gr8 pics and feel gud about refreshing memories that ur post showered me with.:)

Anuradha Shankar said...

my uncle once lived near here, and we used to go to the st thomas mt station regularly then... that was many many years ago, when i was in school.. and at the time, st thomas was just another saint to me... i had heard abt the chapel and church up on the hill, but we never went there.... to us, it was just another church then... it was only when i grew older that we learnt more about him, and the thought of visiting the church actually came up, but just then my uncle shifted to another corner of chennai, and i have yet to visit the place....this post brought back many memories of living in the area

Neha said...

Thanks for sharing the pictures and some history.

rama said...

Very informative. My sister in law is from St. Thomas Mount area, her parents used to live in a place called Adhambakam, and to get there one had to reach St.Thomas Mount Station. It used to be a big pain to go to that place. However, things must have improved tremendously.

Kelly Hashway said...

Wow, I can't believe that last sign is needed. That's incredible!

B M said...

India is rich..steeped in so much colour, history, stories, I always learn something new from the blogs of India's residents.
Thank you for stopping by my blog.


magiceye said...

Fascinating history and cute notice!

dr.antony said...

beautiful pictures.
I had studied at MMC long time back and visited the place at that time.But it looks more beautiful in your pictures than in reality.

Phani said...

the way you take off is always superb , recently been to many Cathedrals in Europe , shall share a few snaps with you . By the way ,there a station in amchi Mumbai by name Sion / its Hindi / Marathi name is shiv.


Thank you so much for this post, you enlighted me on this new Indian history, been Catholic this makes me happy..and for someone who also follows Parhamansa Yogananda's teaching philosophy; I love India and it's rich culture. Great meeting you and I'm going to follow you now, hope you like to do the same and visit me more often..I too will do. Have a nice weekend.

Brenda Lazzaro Yoder, said...

I love your pictures, and I'd love to dialog about Jesus Christ. I love the fact people can dialog around the world.

Coral Crue said...

Loved reading your post and nice to know that Craganore is the present day Kannur.

Donetta said...

Good Morning
This was new information to me of our dear saint.
Thank you for your thoughtful comment on the car, yes the engine was also damaged the car cost $2400 to repair and three weeks for them to do so. We were able to get it back. The mechanic gave us $300 discount off of the original cost.
I hope your day is beautiful.

deeps said...

That’s a lot different from your previous posts…
Now that it s come down to my neighborhood ….

Dolly said...

Nice piece of history. Interesting to know about St. Thomas in India. Thanks for sharing. Dolly

TexWisGirl said...

the curvature of that chapel is really neat! the relics of the saints are so interesting to me. i don't know whether to be in awe or to be rather put off by it. :)

Weekend-Windup said...

Excellent post, thanks for sharing