Kerala

A British-built church frozen in time

The St. George CSI church at Pallikunnu near Kuttikanam in Idukki district. (right) the tomb of the mare at the cemetery.  

An elegant British-built church with its Gothic style architecture at Pallikunnu near Kuttikanam in Idukki district is all set to celebrate its 150th anniversary this year.

The St. George CSI Church like the British church at Munnar has an European cemetery close to it with the names of those buried engraved on the tombstones.

The Church constructed completely in the European style still attracts people including those descendants of Europeans buried there.

The church was constructed on a 15-acre land provided by the Travancore Maharajah in 1869 for a place of worship for Europeans during the initial period of the tea planting.

Ownership

The ownership of the land was handed over to the Church Mission Society (CMS) missionary Henry Backer (Junior).

All the furniture including the wooden benches were those used during the British-era.

he tomb of the mare at the British cemetery at Pallikunnu near Kuttikanam in Idukki district.

he tomb of the mare at the British cemetery at Pallikunnu near Kuttikanam in Idukki district.  

 

Biju P. Chacko, a church trustee said that there are 34 tombstones of people from England, Ireland and Scotland.

It is in this cemetery that John Daniel Munroe, who was instrumental in planting tea in Munnar, was also buried. The Church is under the control of the British High Commissioner and the only Indian who is buried there is Nallathampi, who served at the church.

According to Mr. Chacko, the cemetery will be the only one of its kind where a mare was buried and a tombstone erected. The the tomb of the mare Downy stands opposite to the tomb of its owner John Daniel Munroe.

The Jubilee festival of the church will conclude on February 10, 2020, he added.


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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 10:49:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-british-built-church-frozen-in-time/article26241274.ece

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