Kerala has been described by philosophers and historians as God’s Own Country’. It seems true when one looks at the number of places of worship and pilgrimages situated here. It isn’t the fact that the pilgrimages located here belong to a particular religion. You can see from the cultural and religious diversity in the state, which India is so proud of. ‘God’s Own Country’ hosts a number of religious festivals throughout the year. Almost every Temple or Mosque in Kerala has its own festival, which are celebrated annually by the devotees with much pomp and show.
The Kerala Pilgrimage Destinations are a brilliant design of secular co-existence and religious harmony. The wealthy tradition and culture of Kerala has resulted in numerous places of worship in Kerala. There are a number of pilgrimage destinations all over Kerala, these religious places of Kerala can also be called as Kerala pilgrim centers as most of them have become important pilgrimage with time.
Hindu Pilgrim Centers
Aruvikkara is an Kerala Pilgrim Destination centre located at Trivandrum is the Aruvikkara pilgrimage. It is nearby 16 kilometers and a very serene picnic spot and many tourists visit this place for peace of mind. It is both a pilgrim centre and a picnic spot. Flowing by is the Karamana River, on the banks of which, is the rock-shrine dedicated to ‘Bhagvathi’, the divine embodiment of Female power. There is a waterfall nearby.
Aruvippuram is also one of the most beautiful and serene pilgrim centre, located at a distance of 24 kilometers from Trivandrum. It is a small but also lovely picnic spot for tourist. Sree Narayana Guru built this temple on the banks the river from which the place derives its name from a stream. This holy shrine attracts a number of devotees during the ‘Sivarathri’ festival in March.
Guruvayoor Temple – Known as the Kasi of South India
Guruvayoor Temple of Thrissur is a very important and famous pilgrimage. According to the legends, the idol worshipped at Guruvayur temple is more than 5000 years old. It is located 29 kilometers from Thrissur city. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who is worshipped as Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu. The idol is built out of a rare stone called Patala Anjana. The temple holds the maximum number of weddings and “Annaprasanam”, which means feeding rice to a child for the first time.
The Kodungalloor town is situated 35 kilometers south of Thrissur/ Trichur district. It is a very beautiful and strategic port of the Chera rulers of Tamilnadu that attract lots of tourist to visit this town. It is said that the apostle of Jesus Christ is said to have landed when he came to India. At Kodungalloor, there are worship places belonging to various religions.
Muslim Pilgrim Centers
Cheraman Juma Masjid, Kodungallor
The first mosque in India. Situated in Methala, Kodungalloor, hardly 20 kilometer from the Irinjalakuda railway station.Legend says King Cheraman Perumal of Kodungallor left for Mecca, embraced Islam, accepted the name Thajudee, married the sister of the then King of Jeddah. Ottapalam Juma Masjid
The Jama-at mosque, Malappuram
The Jama-at mosque is important for Kerala’s Muslims. The annual Nercha festival of the mosque is celebrated for four days in April. The Jama-at mosque is important for Kerala’s Muslims. The annual Nercha festival of the mosque is celebrated for four days in April. Adjoining the mosque is a mausoleum of the Malappuram Shaheeds whose brave exploits have been immortalised in Mappilla Ballads.
Beemapally Mosque Thiruvananthapuram
Beemapally Mosque is situated in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. The mosque is widely visited by people of all religions and castes. Tomb of Syedunnisa Beema Beevi is one of the major attractions of this mosque. She was a Muslim lady who had divine powers. Her son Syedushuhadamaheen Abubacker also is entombed here.Every year, a feast is held in honor of Beema Beevi. Pilgrims from across the state and globe come to the mosque to witness the feast. However this is not the major festival. The most important festival at Beemapally Mosque Thiruvananthapuram is the Chandanakudam festival.
Malik Ibn Dinar Mosque Kasargod
Located at Thalangara, Malik Ibn Dinar Mosque is one of the top Muslim pilgrim centers in Kasaragod, Kerala. The mosque is believed to be constructed by Malik Ibn Dinar, an Arabian Islam missionary who is one among the pioneers to bring Islam to India. The mosque is known after his name.Built in the year AD 642, the mosque holds some historical importance. Malik Ibn Dinar Mosque is an important Muslim pilgrim center in Kerala. Muslim pilgrims, even from the deep corners of the world, visit this mosque and offer worship.
Christian Pilgrim Centers
Blessed Alphonsa, Bharananganam
The church is one the important centers of the Christians in Kerala. The mortal remains of Sr. Alphonsa.
Manjinikkara church derives its importance from the holy tomb of late lsnatius Elias, the Holy Patriarch of Antioch. Members of the Jacobite Syrian Chirch believe that the Holy Father was a sent.
St. Francis Church, Fort Kochi
The first European church in India, which later became the model for building churches in elsewhere the country. Vasco da gama, who died in Kochi during his second visit to Kerala.
St. Thomas Cathedral, Pala
St. Thomas Church at Pala in Kottayam district is known for Rakkuli festival commemorating the Epiphany feast celebrated on January 6. The festival has become an occasion for trade related exhibitions.