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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Eparchy of Mavelikara

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Eparchy of Mavelikara
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The Mavelikara diocese belongs to the Syro Malankara Catholic Church. The eparchy of Mavelikara comprises civil districts of Alappuzha, Kollam and Pathanamthitta in Kerala state.

The diocesan headquarters is at Punnamoodu, near Mavelikkara, which 94 kilometers north east of Thiruvannathapuram, the state capital.


Malayalam, Tamil and English are in use in the territory.


Mavelikara is the sixth eparchy of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and the first eparchy constituted by the decree of major archbishop Cyril Mar Baselios Catholicos on Jan. 1, 2007, and was inaugurated on Feb. 16, 2007. He appointed Bishop Joshua Mar Ignathios as the first metropolitan of the new eparchy. He was enthroned on Feb. 16, 2007.


The territory is well-connected with roads and railway. The nearest airport is at Thiruvananthapuram.


Mavelikara diocese has a warm climate. The rainy season (south west monsoon) begins in June and lasts up to September. The North West monsoon brings light rainfall from October to December. The average annual rainfall is about 229 cm. The maximum temperature is 35 degrees Celsius.


The economy of Mavelikara diocese is mainly based on agriculture and small-scale industries. Industries.


Mavelikara was once part of the principality of Onattukara and has been a center of religious harmony for several centuries. Mavelikara is one of the rare places in Kerala where one can find the statue of “Buddha in Seated Position,” dating back to the 9th century AD. Hindus are the majority in the area.

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