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 Irinjalakuda

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Diocese of Irinjalakuda
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The diocese of Irinjalakuda was established on June 22, 1978, bifurcating the diocese of Trichur and Monsignor James Pazhayattil became its first bishop. The eparchy of Irinjalakuda covers an area of about 1,180 square kilometers and has 43, 301 Catholic families at present.

The diocese is blessed with the footsteps of St. Thomas the Apostle since it contains Kodungallur where he visited in Ad 52.

The diocese of Irinjalakuda is privileged to receive the Christian faith for the first time in the history of India.


Malayalam language is in use. English, a mandatory subject in public schools, is widely spoken and understood.


The diocese enjoys four types of climate such as winter, summer, southwest monsoon and northeast monsoon.


The diocese starts from the Karuvannur river in the north to the Chalakudy river in the south. Its western boundary is the Arabian Sea and eastern side is occupied by the district of Palaghat and some parts of Tamil Nadu state.

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