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Velur is centered on the St. Francis Xavier Forane Sero-Malabar Catholic Church, which is a three hundred year old protected monument in the Archdiocese of Thrissur with considerable antiquity and spiritual heritage. The fame of the church is closely linked with the fame of its founder, Fr. Johann Ernst Hanxleden, who is popularly known as Arnos Padiri. This Jesuit priest from Germany has given his energy not only to Velur but to the whole world through his literary works. It is believed that the Velur church was founded by Arnos Padiri about three centuries ago on 3rd December 1712 in honor of St. Francis Xavier. He lived and worked mostly in Kerala at Ampazhakkad, Pazhuvil, and Palayur. He died on 20th March 1732 at Pazhuvil of a snake-bite, and was buried there in the church. Later a memorial was built outside the church, and his mortal remains were removed to it. In order to maintain his memory a historical museum has also been started and this is a protected site under State Archaeological Department. He compiled the famous ‘Puthen Pana’. He and his predecessor, Heinrich Roth, were pioneering European Sanskrit scholars. His Velur home, and the church he built (St. Francis Xavier forane church), are preserved as historical monuments (John Kalliath, a teacher, was instrumental in organizing the people of Velur towards preserving them). Among various exhibits at the museum are the bed used by Hanxleden, and the ‘chathurangam’ (the Indian ancestor of chess, which Hanxleden used to play) columns marked on the floor of his home.

Location:

  • 28 km from Thrissur
  • 8 km from Kunnamkulam