St Thomas Church at Palyar in Trichur, Kerala is considered to be the oldest church in India. In 52 A.D. Thomas Didaemus, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. is believed to have landed at Musiris (Cranganore) in Kerala. He made his first converts both Jews and Hindus at Palayur a town now in Trichur district, Kerala. There he built a small church with an altar, which he consecrated. The Palayur church still stands at the same site and is the oldest church in India. In the 17th century Reverend Fenichi enclosed the original church with a new outer building, as the wooden walls of the old church were destroyed with time. But the original altar consecrated by St. Thomas still remains at this site.
Tallest Statue in India
The statue of Gomateshwara at Sravanbelagola in Karnataka is the tallest statue in India. The statue is 17m (55 ft) high and is visible from a distance of 30km. The gigantic monolithic statue is carved out of a single block of granite and stands majestically on top of a hill. This statue of Lord Gomateshwara was created around 983 AD by Chamundraya, a minister of the Ganga King, Rajamalla. Lord Gomateshwara was a Jain saint, hence the place is an important Jain pilgrimage center. The statue of Gomateswara shows the recluse completely nude, in the Jain custom. The neighboring areas have Jain bastis and several images of the Jain Thirthankaras. At Sravanbelgola the Mahamastakabhishekam festival is held once in 12 years, when the image of Gomateswara is bathed in milk, curd, ghee, saffron and gold coins.
More India Facts
The corridor of Ramnathswamy Temple at Rameshwaram is the largest temple corridor in India. The temple has 1220 metres of magnificent corridors and has 1200 gigantic granite columns. Ramnathswamy temple was built in the 17th century. The temple is situated close to the sea on the eastern side of the island and has a 54 metre tall gopuram.
Rameshwaram is an island situated in the Gulf of Mannar at the tip of the Indian peninsula. Rameshwaram is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of India. Rameshwaram is an important pilgrimage destination for Hindus. According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Rama performed thanksgiving rituals at Rameshwaram after his triumph over the demon king Ravana. Therefore, Rameshwaram attracts Vaishnavites and Saivites
Jama Masjid in New Delhi, overlooking Chandni Chowk and the Red Fort, is the largest mosque in India. The mosque was built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan in 1656. It has typical Mughal architecture with three gateways, four towers and two minarets. The Jama Masjid is made up of red sandstone and white marble. About 25,000 people can pray here at a time. The mosque has a vast paved rectangular courtyard, which is nearly 75 m by 66 m. The whole of the western chamber is a big hall standing on 260 pillars all carved from Hindu and Jain traditions. The central courtyard is accessible from the East. The Eastern side entrance leads to another enclosure containing the mausoleum of Sultan Ahmed Shah. It took fifteen years to build the mosque and more than five thousand artisans worked on it.