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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Archdiocese of Trichur

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Archdiocese of Trichur
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In a land area of 2,000 square kilometers, the ecclesiastical province of Trichur comprises the metropolitan Thrissur archdiocese with suffragan dioceses of Irinjalakuda and Palakkad.

The ecclesiastical province’s capital is Trichur, the cultural capital of Kerala. Majority of the population are Hindus.

The Christianity traces its origin back to the Apostolate of St. Thomas, who landed at Crangannore (Kodungallur) in the present district of Trichur in the year 52 AD. According to tradition, he founded the first Church in India at Palayoor.

The present archdiocese of Trichur was begun as a vicariate apostolic on May 20, 1887, and was erected as diocese in 1923 and a Metropolitan See in 1995. It was the biggest diocese in India in Catholic population until the dioceses of Palghat and Irinjalakuda were bifurcated in 1974 and 1978 respectively. The significance of Trichur as the cradle of Christianity in India, the most ancient diocese of the Syro-Malabar Church, was reiterated during the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1986.

The word 'Trichur' is the anglicized form of the Malayalam name of the town 'Thri-Siva-Perur', meaning the town of Lord Siva. The name is appropriate, for Trichur derives its main glory from Vadakunnathan Temple, (Vadakunnathan, Lord of the North, is a name of Siva) that dominates the topography of the town.


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


Thrissur basically enjoys four types of climate such as winter, summer, southwest monsoon and northeast monsoon. The coastal areas record a maximum temperature of 32 degree Celsius and a minimum of 22 degree Celsius. The interiors record a maximum of 37 degree Celsius during the summer.


Thrissur is located at the central of Kerala state with a coastal line.

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