The Marthoma Pontifical shrine is a major pilgrim centre that comes under the Muziris Heritage Project. The church on the banks of the River Periyar is located about 6 km from Kodungalloor, in the village of Azhikode in Kerala.
It is believed that St Thomas, the apostle landed at Kodungalloor on November 21st, 52 A.D. He is believed to have formed seven churches in Kerala, the first one being in Kodungalloor itself. The bone of the right arm of St Thomas was brought from Ortona in Italy and enthroned in the present Pontifical shrine. From then on, the shrine at Azhikode has been a great pilgrimage centre; it has attracted large numbers of pilgrims from all around the world, irrespective of caste and creed.
Situated on the beautiful banks of the River Periyar, this shrine can rightly be called the ''cradle of Christianity in India. It is a perennial source of the Christian faith experience to all pilgrims who visit the place. Built in a 3500 sq. ft large aesthetically designed mansion of Indo-Persian style, the Marthoma Smruthi Tharangam artistically depicts the major episodes in the life of St Thomas.