Vallarpadam Church, also known as the Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom, is a prominent Christian pilgrimage center located in Vallarpadam, an island near Kochi (Cochin) in the Indian state of Kerala. It is one of the most revered Marian shrines in India and holds significant religious and historical importance.
The church is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of “Our Lady of Ransom” or “Vallarpadath Amma” in the local Malayalam language. The origin of the church dates back to the 16th century when Portuguese traders constructed a small chapel here. The present-day structure, the Vallarpadam Church, was built during the reign of the Portuguese in the early 16th century. Later, it was renovated and expanded in the 18th century.
The feast of Our Lady of Ransom is celebrated with great fervor and is a major event for both the local Christian community and pilgrims from all over India. The feast takes place on September 24 each year and attracts a large number of devotees who come to seek the blessings of the Virgin Mary.
Vallarpadam Church has a unique location as it stands as a symbol of religious harmony and unity. It is situated close to the historic Paradesi Synagogue (the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations) and the Juma Masjid, a revered mosque, showcasing the multicultural and multi-religious fabric of Kerala.
The church’s architecture features a blend of Portuguese, Dutch, and Kerala styles, making it an intriguing cultural attraction as well. The stunning interiors and intricate artwork on the walls and ceilings add to the charm of the church.
Due to its religious and historical significance, Vallarpadam Church is an essential destination for both spiritual seekers and tourists visiting the Kochi region.