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L.Srikumar Pai
B.Sc( Engg.), MIE, MIWWA, MICI
Civil Engineer & CAD Specialist
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Edathua Perunnal

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Edathua Perunnal, Kerala is one of the most famous festivals in India. Edathua Perunnal Kerala is celebrated at St, George's Church, Edathua, 23 km southeast of Alappuzha town. The annual feast of St George Church, Edathua, attracts a large number of believers from across the state to the scenic village of Edathua.

The annual feast here starts on the 27th of April with the hoisting of the flag and concludes on the 7th of May. During the feast, the statue of St. George, decked in gold regalia, is carried out and placed on the dais in the centre of the basilica.

All the prayers and related rituals are conducted here during these days. Devotees from all parts of the state attend the festival.

It is believed that prayers and offerings at this church help to heal mental disorders and other ailments. Fireworks, processions and special prayers mark the festival days

The St. George's church at Edathua stands on the bank of the river Pampa, sixteen miles southeast Alappuzha. Edathua church was founded in 1810 AD, under its ancient mother church, Champakulam Kalloorkadu St. Mary's, which was founded in 417 AD. In fact traditionally the Edathua church is known as the "Church of Geevarghese." In Malayalam St George is known as Geevarghese. How this saint came to be known as Geevarghese and became so popular among the ancient St Thomas christens or Syrian Christians (Traditionally known as Nazarenes in the Malayalam language spoken by the people of kerala, India) of Kerala is still a mystery. Varghese is also perhaps the most popular traditional name of Nazarene men. Like most beliefs about the Nasranee community of Kerala the history of Edathua Church and the statue of Geevarghese (which interestingly look very different from the St George icons found anywhere else in the world including Kerala) is mired in myth and miracle stories of grandmothers, hearsay and some church records. Edathua Church was built  by a few Catholic families of Edathua area. Prominent among them was the Oorammelil family of Pandankary, who broke away from the Champakkulam parish which is a few miles west of Edathua. It is said that even though originally the Church was built in the name of Arch Angel Michael, the church came to be known as Geevarhghese's Chuch after the the parish members purchased the icon of Geevarghese (St George) from Edappally near Eranakulam. The story is that even though the people of Edathua had purchased the Icon from the Edappally Church they had to forcefully take possession of the icon from Edappally and flee in the fast snakeboats (Chundanvallam) in the context of some miracles and subsequent hesitance from people of Edappally to part with the icon.

Nearest railway stations : Thiruvalla about 12 km; Alappuzha about 24 km.
Nearest airport : Cochin International Airport, about 85 km from Alappuzha town.



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