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 Palghat

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Diocese of Palghat
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Malayalam, English and Tamil are the languages used in the diocese.


The diocese of Palghat was established in 1974, bifurcating the then diocese of Trichur. The diocese encompasses Palakkad district of Kerala, and Coimbatore, Karur, and Erode districts of Tamil Nadu.

In 1974, Mar Joseph Irimpen was appointed as the first bishop of the diocese. Mar Joseph Irimpen retired as bishop in 1994. In 1996, Mar Jacob Manathodath was appointed bishop of Palghat and has been serving since then.


The climate of Palakkad is tropical. During dry weather, hot winds blow from the plains of Coimbatore through the Palakkad Ghat. Palakkad gets uniform rainfall as well.


Palakkad is one of the main granaries of Kerala and its economy is primarily agricultural. Agriculture engages more than 65 percent of the workers and 88.9 percent of the district's population is rural in nature. The proximity to Tamil Nadu has caused intermingling of Malayalam and Tamil cultures. This district is perhaps the foremost in fostering Carnatic music. Great musicians like Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar and Palakkad Mani Iyer hailed from this district.


Palakkad lies between north latitude 10° 46` and 10° 59` and east longitude 76° 28` and 76° 39` Revenue districts: Palakkad in Kerala, Coimbatore, Karur and Erode in Tamil Nadu.

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