Explore the Oldest Dioceses in South Asia

Cardinal Cheong

The cathedral of the first diocese in India.

It is believed that Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle,
who is said to have reached the Malabar Coast of Kerala in 52 AD.

Christian communities developed and expanded further when
Portuguese missionaries arrived in the 13th and 14th centuries.

History of a few oldest dioceses in India as the cradle of Indian Christianity
can be dated back to the 15th century.

Find out which is the first diocese in India here.

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Diocese of Calicut

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Diocese of Calicut
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Calicut or Kozhikode is situated on the southwestern coast of India. The diocesan territory of 12, 505 square kilometers is bounded on the north by Kannur, on the east by Wayanad, on the south by Malappuram and on the west by the Arabian Sea. 

Calicut diocese came into existence on June 12, 1923, when Pope Pius XI created it with territory taken from the dioceses of Mangalore and Mysore. It covers six northern districts of Kerala, extending from Shoranur to Kasargod. Besides local people, the faith community it served comprised the descendants of Portuguese, Dutch, French and British settlers, Anglo- Indians, Konkani-speaking settlers from Goa and Mangalore to the north, Tamils who came east seeking job opportunities, tribals who were converted to Christianity, Dalits (people from the lower castes), Orthodox Christians accepted into the Catholic fold, Marthomites, Protestants and Latin Catholics who came from various other dioceses. In the ensuing years, the Syrian-rite Catholics from Travancore came and settled along the high ranges of the Western Ghats and the Malabar area. The diocese of Calicut welcomed and looked after them until Tellicherry diocese (now archdiocese) was established in 1954. 

Calicut diocese is one of the sufragan dioceses of Verapoly Archdiocese. 

Vasco da Gama landed at Kappad (16 kilometers north of Kozhikkod) in May 1498 as the leader of a trade mission. This marked the beginning of foreign domination in the east.


Malayalam, English, Tamil and Konkani. 


The area has a humid climate with a hot season extending from March to May. The Southwest monsoon brings the main rainy season, from the beginning of June to September. The northeast monsoon extends from the second half of October through November. The average annual rainfall is 3,266 mm.

From December to March, practically no rain falls, and from October onward the temperature gradually increases to a peak in May of about 36° C.

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