The murals in St. Mary’s Sunoro Church, Angamaly, with its Biblical themes rendered in vibrant colours akin to temple wall paintings, continue to draw keen visitors. Though Christian churches across Kerala have had a long-standing tradition of murals, the ones at Angamaly are particularly noted for their antiquity and the way they have weathered these years.
A former parish priest of the Sunoro church said the murals appeared bright and quite unaffected by the passage of time. However, as a student of local history and particularly of the lineage of the murals, Varghese Angamaly said the murals were showing signs of fading and needed expert care in the immediate future.
The first church is believed to have been consecrated in AD 409 though the present church was built in the 16th century by Archdeacon George, said Mr. Varghese, who has co-authored a book on the history of the town in 2002. The Biblical theme apart, the murals are a mix of West Asian and local traditions and have come down from the 17th century.
The murals depict Heaven and Hell and the theme of the Last Judgement.
Heaven is depicted in cheerful colours in contrast to Hell, which is in dark blue colour. The church also has colourful representations of Biblical events such as the sacrifice by Abraham, the Garden of Eden and the annunciation.