All roads lead to Athirampuzha church from January 19 to 26 for the feast of St Sebastian. This church, traces its history to 835 AD, and has two major festivals – the other being the St Mary's feast day observed in September.
It is said that a Brahmin belonging to Ettunnusserry Illam gifted the land to build a church as a token of gratitude to Mother Mary after he was blessed with a baby boy. Though dedicated to Mother Mary, it is the feast of St Sebastian that draws huge crowds. According to historians, the statue of the saint installed here was brought from Portugal. And that is not the only ancient artifact in this church. Three massive bells that decorate the bellfry were imported from Germany for 25 chakram and 4 kasu, the coins of the day. An 18th century cross in front of the church is made of a single piece of granite and is 200 years old.
The festival dates
The feast of St Sebastian is held from January 19 to 26 every year.
Reaching Athirampuzha church
Athirampuzha church is about 11 km from Kottayam, which is the major railway station. Buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws are available from Kottayam.