Perunnal at St. Mary's Church, Athirampuzha

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Located 10 kilometres north of Kottayam town, Athirampuzha church dedicated to St. Mary is one of the oldest churches of the state. It is said that the original church here had been constructed in the year AD 1080 and renovated in 1874.

The church has an ancient statue of St. Sebastian, supposedly brought by the Portuguese. According to legends, there were three statues and the smallest of them was brought to Athirampuzha by the local traders.

The most important event related to the church is the Perunnal or annual Feast of St. Sebastian. The eight day long festival called the Athirampuzha Nercha is characterised by colourful processions and magnificent fireworks. Votive offering of gold and silver arrows is one of the unique characteristics of this festival.

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