Malayattoor is a village in the North Eastern corner of Ernakulam District in the state of Kerala in South India. The name ‘Malayattoor’ is an amalgamation of three small words. Mala (Mountain) Arr (River) Oore (Place).
This is to say, Malayattoor is a meeting place of mountain, river, and land.
Kurisumudy is a mountain at Maiayattoor, 1269 ‘Ft. above sea level.Kurisumudy has its fame as a place visited by St. Thomas, one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. Jesus gave a mandate to his Apostles to go out to the whole world and to proclaim the Good News.
Taking upon himself this commandment, Thomas set out to India and landed at Kodungalloor in AD 52. He spent 20 years in India travelled through different parts of this great country of spirituality. He founded seven communities of believers which were Kodungailoor, Palayoor, Kottakavu, Kokkamangalam, Chayal, Kollam, and Niranam.
St. Thomas and Malayattoor
Upon his visit to India St. Thomas visited Kurisumudy too. His missionary expeditions took him far and wide and while travelling through the famous caravan route from Kodugalioor to Madras St. Thomas came to Malayattoor.
A hostile reception was in store and his life was in danger. He was forced to flee to the top of the mountain and he spent days together in prayer. According to the ‘Ramban Paattu’ , St. Thomas went up the mountain to converse with the Lord. In deep anguish and agony, St. Thomas prayed to the Lord and he made a sign of the cross on the rock . The Mother Of Our Lord, Blessed Mary, appeared to console and strengthen him.
He descended from the top hill. His zeal for the Lord took him to Mylappoor in Chennai and later died a martyr’s death in AD 72. The locals began a practice of lighting an oil lamp and whenever the lamp gave in for the wind, a herd of goats came down wailing and people used to climb the mountain and light the lamp again. Pilgrims, who climb the mountain, even today carry with them seasamum seeds to feed the goats, even though goats are a rare sight.
St. Thomas and Thamizakam
The place of St. Thomas in the life of Tamil believers is something not to be overlooked. Anyone would be moved at the sight of an ardent but the simple faith of a Tamil pilgrim, a usual seen on the mountain. According to Rt. Rev. Dr. Soosa Pakiami the “Archbishop of Trivandrum, “Muthappan” the name by which the devotes invoke St. Thomas on the mountain, may have come from Tamizakam.
A good number of pilgrims that visit Kurisumudy and seek Muthappan’s blessings is from Tamilnadu. The vital role played by the caravan rout that existed between Kodugalloor and Madras from time in memorial has certainly contributed to this spiritual and cultural bond that exists between Kerala and Tamilnadu. Later on the hunters went to the mountain for hunting.While they stayed in the night they saw a glittering sign of cross on the rock.
Out of curiosity they struck there with their rude weapons. To their surprise blood gushed out. They ran to the valley and told the locals. They went to the mountain and while they prayed thre they got many miracles. This is the humble begining of Kurisumudy Pilgrimage.