Hate Brings No Good

Vampire Owl: Are you sure that we are supposed to be here? This is the world of the dead and we are kind of immortal. By arriving here, we become the immortal dead which is kind of paradox.

Vampire Bat: You are now an emissary to the world of the dead. We are the only connection between the dead and the undead, which in turn connects the living and the dead. So, lets not think about unnecessary things and wait for the Representative and the Left Hand of Lady Death to arrive.

Vampire Owl: I don’t want to, but that creature is looking at us. It feels strange. What is that thing? I have never known that one.

Vampire Bat: Maybe we should go and ask.

Vampire Owl: Are you sure? It looks angry and frustrated.

Vampire Bat: It looks sad and depressed. We are diplomatic representatives, and we gave immunity against all attacks from the dead. Don’t worry.

The Creature: One plus one plus one and add another one to the total, makes it a hundred; I killed a hundred and I don’t know why even now.

Vampire Owl: I think that this one failed in Mathematics. It is a subject that makes many people mad. A dangerous thing indeed.

Vampire Bat: What is your name, creature?

The Creature: I have had many other names, but for now, please call me The Disfigured. I am not of this world, but I decided to belong here as I was dumb.

Vampire Owl: So, you have nobody to blame. It is really a sad thing. You should make more friends.

The Disfigured: I used to have many, and one day, I lost them all. I made the decision to choose the wrong ones, and that made me miss them all.

Vampire Bat: Why do you talk in riddles, The Disfigured? And why do you call yourself by that name?

The Disfigured: It is part of my penance. I disfigured myself and made me what I am now. The world of the dead has its own special punishments, and among them, I was given the choice; I decided to choose the one which I inflicted upon myself.

Vampire Owl: You are too weird even for the vampire standards. Are you really dead? And if yes, what has brought you to this situation?

The Disfigured: I lived at a place where people of all religions were leading happy lives, respecting each other for their beliefs. I had friends from all religions and communities. I was a religious person, but never felt anything bad about the other religions. I studied science and scored well in the subjects, but kept religion and God close to my heart. But one day, that man came to our land, and he changed things a lot. Even after he left, some people followed his path and made things worse.

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Vampire Owl: The great bringer of death?

The Disfigured: Something like that, yes. He came to our worship place and told us how the people from other religions will one day come and murder us. He told us that our religion was perfect and the other religions were worshiping the devil, and their cults needed to be destroyed. He brought a long list which he carried inside his huge bag. It was so long and as he told us the problems of other religions and made us believe that our religion was never wrong and will always be right till the end of the world. He gave us the idea that only our religion can save the world with us as the selected people, and that is the will of the God, the right God, which is our God.
Vampire Bat: That is quite natural for some people; but an educated person like you fell for that speech? Didn’t you study a lot of science?

The Disfigured: I learnt things by heart for the exams. That was all which was needed. I was never really taught values with studies. I was told to study everything by heart, get good score, find a job and bring money home. But then, this idea sounded better. I could stop studying and get my reward in another way. I could be a hero of my religion and my people who would keep screaming my name.

Vampire Bat: But what about the people from other religions with whom you were very close? Were they not your people too?

The Disfigured: I forgot them at that time. They were my friends and brothers by love, but I decided to go through them too. I was taught the art and science of murder in the name of God. I had decided that those who said something unpleasant about my God and also everyone else from that religion should die; if the ones from other religions also died, it came as a bonus because only we worshiped the real God.

Vampire Owl: So you killed your own friends and neighbours in the end?

The Disfigured: Yes, I pulled the trigger. I saw the river of blood, fire and the ashes as I felt myself becoming the abomination in their eyes during the few last moments of devastation. During those moments between life and death, I saw and heard the screams of the mothers, the cries of the helpless orphaned children, and the souls of the little children leaving that world for the other. I saw my former best friend, and he pointed at me and I knew he was asking me why. I was here, and I found nothing here; not the glory of a martyr or the reward for being a murderer for God. I understood that I made myself unworthy of even going near that God whom I once worshipped.

Vampire Bat: I don’t understand why you would think that God would want you to kill his own creations? It is a terrible misunderstanding. You felt that murder can bring you heaven and not good selfless deeds? Even zombies know better.

Vampire Owl: And now what has happened to you?

The Disfigured: I still awaited my chance to be lifted to firmament, but nothing like that happened. I was left here surrounding by the inferno and I could see the people I killed right on the golden clouds high above me, with wings made of star-dust. I tried to jump into the fire, but it brought me back each and every time, more and more burnt.

Vampire Owl: I am not surprised at all.

The Disfigured: One day a woman appeared before me, pale and wearing dark clothes, with a huge black cat and a big dog which burned bright on her side. She was wearing a crown made of parts of a giant skull and bones decorated it. She told me that I had a choice, to enter the inferno of eternal torment to be punished by the demons of the other world or to stay here, in the world of the dead as a symbol of what happens to those who hate their fellow beings, and punish myself as instructed. I decided to choose the latter, as I stand here, burning and impaling myself, being the symbol of what reward hate brings. May be doing these myself as penance can give me a second chance. I haven’t lost hope yet.

Messenger of Death: Greetings, emissaries from the Vampire World. Lady Death’s representative will see you now.

The Disfigured: Let me get back to my schedule then. I have to jump into some boiling oil now. You should go and meet them, but please be careful about that dog.

Vampire Bat and Vampire Owl continued their journey into the interior circles of the world of the dead with the Messenger of Death. They wondered what it would take to make the humans stop hating each other. There will be religion, caste, race and community now, and during other times, there will be some other reasons. They felt very much relieved that they were not among the humans. They reached the Dark Gate of the Palace of Death, and as they looked on, the gate opened by itself.

#BloggingForPeace with BlogAdda

TeNy

Dome: A Special Thing

Whether it is of Taj Mahal, Victoria Memorial or Humayun’s Tomb, I have always loved the domes. Most of the pictures which I took at these places were of those domes. Whenever I passed in front of a building with a dome, I had to take a clear look at it, because I have always considered them the most beautiful element as part of a building – other than those Gothic elements. Simply speaking, we would consider the dome was the half of a sphere. But such an architecture always gives an even more special feeling.

I wish to visit many buildings in the world with the domes, including the Pantheon, Santa Maria del Fiore, Saint Peter’s Basilica, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Saint Gereon’s Basilica, Dome of the Rock, The Marble Church, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, and along with them all, Hagia Sofia, and the large number of buildings which was inspired by this Eastern Roman or Byzantine structure. The list is rather endless. Also among the buildings in India, I want to have a few names which are to be in a must visit list.

There are a few churches which I have noticed around here with those domes. None of them are that big in scope; these are the simpler ones. I believe that the largest dome I have seen until now is of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. But the cutest dome which I have seen should be of the church on the way to Angamaly from Aluva – Saint Martin de Porres Church. It has been there for a long time, I can remember it back to those times when I first traveled on the NH 47. I first noticed it due to the dome, and it is good to have such a simple spiritual building on the side of a road which is a lot traveled.

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Saint Joseph’s Church on the side of the NH 47 at Karayamparambu should be one of those churches which can catch anybody’s attention. Situated on the way from Angamaly to Chalakudi, closer to the former, it can be seen if you are travelling from Kochi or from the Cochin Airport to Trichur or Northern Kerala. There are figures of the Apostles around the statue of Jesus Christ right in front of the dome. Inside the dome, light gets through the cupola on the sides of the wings of the Holy Spirit in the form of dove, which is a nice arrangement. It is surrounded by photos of the saints.

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Saint George Basilica at Angamaly stays as the symbol of a rich history of the town. It is one of the largest churches in South India, and has a nice cupola on the top too. There are images of the Apostles on the glasses of the dome, and if you look from the inside, you can see that the light also comes through the glasses with the pictues of Apostles painted on the glasses. You can also see the smaller domes at the front. The use of painted glasses can be seen throughout this church, and the light makes some wonderful reflections!

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Saint Joseph’s Cathedral can be seen at Muvattupuzha just before reaching the town while coming from Perumbavoor/Angamaly or returning. You can see the domes from some distance. The Malankara Catholic Cathedral has a total of five domes of which three are visible from a distance – the number five should be representing Jesus Christ and the Four Evangelists. This big onion domes are rather rare in the case of churches here – it is good because I won’t have to travel to Russia or parts of Eastern Europe to see them.

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Saint Thomas Church at Karumalloor on the way from Aluva to Paravoor, has a newer style of domes. It was rebuilt in the last few years, and even though it is not special in its architecture, the domes and the altar are worth having a look at. Having three domes in the front and the rest extending like a hall, there is some modern variety here, for there are domes, but none which reminds one of the antiquity. We do keep looking for some variety everywhere, don’t we? Well, here is one.

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***The images used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot Camera.

TeNy

Spirituality: Special Ones

***About a few special churches from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, from the City of Kochi to Kanyakumari. The photos were taken on my Sony Cybershot.

St. John’s Cathedral, Tiruvalla, Kerala
Have you travelled around Tiruvalla at some time? Then you might not have missed this one because it is such a beauty on the side of the road. We came across the church while going for Niranam Church, and this happened to be a big find because nobody really told us about this one – may be people at that side might find it too usual a thing and don’t want to make it a big deal, but this is not the kind of church you will see anywhere else. It is a special structure which you need to visit.

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Kappal Matha Church, Uvari, Tamil Nadu
The simple structure might resemble many things including a ship and an airplane, but surely not a church if you look from a distance. The scene of a ship carrying the plane might rather seem strange, but it is another special place to be – I found this one while searching for places around Kanyakumari, and added it to the list of destinations to visit while traveling to the southern most point of the Indian peninsula, and the journey towards this place is also an interesting one. There won’t be many visitors around here.

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St. Mary’s Church, Kuravilangad, Kerala
A very famous Marian pilgrimage destination and with a history which goes back to a time when Christianity hadn’t spread through Europe, and was not yet the grand official religion of the Roman Empire as proclaimed by Emperor Theodosius; this one actually goes even before Constantine the Great had declared the religion legal for the first time. It is also believed that the first Marian Apparition was here, and the church remains a much visited pilgrim centre and a beautiful structure.

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Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom, Vallarpadam, Kerala
This is a major pilgrim centre about which you might know enough already. Nowadays, it is even easier to visit with the better road links, and this church with is locally known to be dedicated to Vallarapadath Amma (Local name for Mother Mary), this was one of the first few churches to be dedicated as basilicas in this part of the world, and as you climb to the top of those towers of the renovated church, the view is just spectacular. This one also has a long history which goes back through Kochi’s past.

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St. George Church, Edathua, Kerala
The Edathua Church is a very well known pilgrimage centre with devotees flocking from all around Kerala as this structure remains a place of peace on the banks of the river Pamba. The feast at Edathua is very famous, and people pray for the saint’s intercession all the time to save them from ailments. Whenever I watch the Malayalam movie – the beautiful romantic satire of visual and musical beauty, which was Amen, this is the church which comes to my mind (movie is to be remade in Bollywood with Ranbir Kapoor playing the lead role).

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Our Lady of Ransom Church, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
There are many things to catch one’s attention at Kanyakumari, and the list is like an endless one with more and more places added to it. But what caught my attention after the Thiruvalluvar Statue and Vivekananda Rock Memorial was this church which catches the attention from a distance with its tall tower, and also has a special look with the blue sky and the clouds around. This one was actually not part of the places to visit, but just appeared out of nowhere and caught our attention.

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St. Mary’s Church, Thiruvithamcode, Tamil Nadu
This small structure is part of the seven and half churches which are believed to have been established by Saint Thomas the Apostle. We had read about the same, and so had gone searching for this one which was not really easy to find. This is also believed to be the first church in Tamil Nadu (formerly part of the Kingdom of Travancore), established in 63 AD. Located between Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari, this church is a place of serenity, and remains the only church established by the Apostle in Tamil Nadu.

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TeNy

Religion and Love

There might be a lot of people who have achieved more, and a good number of them got the potential to reach the summit of greatness like nobody else – it is the quality of the list of people related to #WillOfSteel by JSW that makes us feel proud of our fellow countrymen at the first look. But then there is the realization about what we really want. Above all, what comes to the mind is more about what the nation needs than anything else. It is not people who make a lot of money or those who become famous for being good at a random thing – it is more.

Each and everyday that we spend on Facebook or the internet as a whole has become more of a curse, and it continues like there is no end. There are more hate messages than there is the true essence of any religion. Everyone has their own idea of bringing hatred, and they go on with the same. People hate all who spread the message of love just because they are of another religion, and we know how the venom spreads when some people opens their mouth.

Therefore, Krishnadas becomes the man whom the nation really needs and should inspire a lot more with the message “Follow your religion, love everybody”. He has spread the message for years as he stands at the centre of the busy street holding the placard having the message; also leaving something for the people who visit the beach. With a few declarations which have been made in the recent days, I would expect the intolerance to rise to a new level and people are going to be doubtful about the other religions. Some worship centres are going to be closed to others due to fear of mob violence, and some devotees are going to avoid certain places of worship due to fear of the same. This is where people like him can do wonders.

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When we wander through the dark realms of the internet, we see those high achievers and those men with lots of money, education and fame that make ridiculous speeches spreading hatred against other religions. Then we have this man who spreads love in the name of all religions to everyone alike. If your religion is not love and kindness, but hatred for other religions, you need to rethink in the name of any God which you follow – is this what your God has taught you? If hatred comes free with some people, you have to wonder what kind of devotees they are.

Some people bring the past to hate other religions, but if you do repeat what has been happening in the past in present modern age, it only gets worse in your case. It doesn’t get any better, and extremism in the modern world of globalization is plain stupid, no matter how much you can fool people. The world has changed, and it is time for people to stop going through the Dark Ages again. Yes, some people need to be reminded of love very often and may be we can have this written everywhere! This is actually with a potential for the end of religious terrorism that we have here!

What we need are people like him, not politicians who divide us in the name of religion, caste and many other things. We need educated people who understand the true meaning of religions, and spread the message of love. We don’t need the religious leaders who spend their time talking about how bad the other religions are, and we don’t need those who care about others only after looking at what has been filled in the “religion” column. Yes, love people regardless of their religion – why is it so difficult these days?

Well, all we see on the road these days are religious processions and political protesters on the roads, but it is so difficult to spread love. May this man’s #WillOfSteel be inspiration to many, and work as a device for not hating other religions just because some of those so called “leaders” say so. If anyone comes close to being a true sage these days, it is him. We need someone like him everywhere as we always see the loss of respect towards other cultures and religions. People need to know that being Indian is beyond religions. This man is more than just a sign, because his sign is the new hope. He has #WillOfSteel.

I’m voting for Krishnadas’ #WillOfSteel and blogging on BlogAdda to help him get felicitated and eventually enabled by JSW.

***The image used in this blog post is from the BlogAdda page related to the same.

TeNy

Conversion or Transformation?

Dark Eldar: No, you can’t take care of our dying. It is not fair. As the leader of all eldar kind, I prohibit the same. I have even prepared a long list of the things that I don’t allow and published it as a book. You can buy it from the book shop for three hundred and ninety nine gold coins.

Vampire Bat: What? Why? We have come all the way to the other world after going through twenty four portals of hell just to take care of these people, especially of your uncle and your grandfather.

Dark Eldar: We are the eldars, the oldest group of people in the world. We have doubts that our people will be converted from our worship of coffee to your religion of tea, which is unacceptable. May be you are terrorists too, how can we be sure as you worship something else?

Vampire Bat: You are accusing us of conversion and terrorism just because we belong to another religion?

Dark Eldar: Yes, we eldars are very much an elder race. We are so old and awesome that it amazes me.

Vampire Owl: I think he is dead.

Dark Eldar: No, don’t touch him; wait, yes you can touch him and try healing without converting. No vampire conversions here.

Vampire Bat: It is a vampire transformation. Not conversion. It is also done by biting. What is wrong with you people?

Vampire Owl: Yes, he is dead. Congratulations.

[A team of people armed with claws and swords comes in, and the eldars get their wand-guns and knives ready].

Vampire Crocodile: Is that a werewolf?

Eldars have advanced weaponry, but still your hostile neighborhood extremists.

Eldars have advanced weaponry, but they are still your hostile neighborhood extremists.

Werewolf Anger: I am the leader of Werewolf South Squadron 47. You can call me Anger.

Vampire Owl: I could have easily guessed that name. You look very angry. But are the werewolves always very angry? So I wouldn’t consider that a nice name for a werewolf standing among many werewolves. I can call you all with the name Anger.

Werewolf Anger: Forget my name. You can call me Master Tintu instead. I am here for the dead grandfather. Any questions?

Vampire Crocodile: What do they call you when you are not angry? It is unfair to call you angry when you are slightly less angry because when compared to the standard werewolf anger, that should be too less to be officially called anger.

Werewolf Anger: What? I hate these religious fundamentalists who are not of my religion. We, the worshippers of lime juice are offended by the tea and coffee drinkers. Now, any questions which are not related to my name or any type of anger?

Dark Eldar: I am not going to ask any questions. See, my dear fellow eldars; he is too stupid, like an eldar without his magic wand. He doesn’t even know that this is our dead body.

Werewolf Anger: How can you say that? No, this is our dead body.

Dark Eldar: Shut up. This is our dead body. Ours, ours, ours.

Vampire Bat: One question. Isn’t this actually the dead person’s dead body?

Vampire Crocodile: Wow! What a question. This is why I have joined the vampire team.

Dark Eldar: He is our great grandfather. How can his dead body be not ours? He is a martyr for our Great Eldar Religion.

Werewolf Anger: No, he was bitten by a werewolf last night. He was going to convert into a hybrid werewolf tonight. So, he is our dead body, and the martyr of the Legendary Werewolf Religion.

Vampire Bat: Why do you people keep using the word conversion? People transform into vampires, werewolves and even eldars.

Dark Eldar: Dude, it is the new trend. If we say conversion, things sound pretty cool.

Werewolf Anger: Your grandfather was going for a homecoming, Mr. Eldar. Accept it. He has a bloodline of werewolves through his mother’s side.

Dark Eldar: Forced conversion! He had already returned home with the “home return programme”. You bit him and tried to convert him, you religious fundamentalists of lime juice.

Werewolf Anger: He came to us and asked to convert him. This is voluntary conversion. It is you who do forcible conversions.

Dark Eldar: No, we take only those people who were always ours; its a re-conversion.

Werewolf Anger: Nonsense. We have copyright for all re-conversions in all known dimensions of the Southern Realm.

Dark Eldar: Do you remember what happened at Satyrisya?

Werewolves are always ready to pounce on others, just waiting for the right opportunity.

Werewolves are always ready to pounce on others, just waiting for the right opportunity.

Werewolf Anger: Don’t you dare to say even one word about Satyrisya.

Dark Eldar: Why? Did you receive Satyrisya as a reward for forcibly converting all the poor satyrs of the Ting-tong forests?

Vampire Bat: People with brains have the tendency to explore other religions. Intellectual people can’t stay at a point and blindly follow the ideas of just one religion and surely can’t stand its extremists who come up with hate speech. Conversion is one’s personal decision. Why are you so much bothered about it when it happens between almost all big enough religions?

Werewolf Anger: I am Anger.

Vampire Crododile: Everybody knows that already.

Werewolf Anger: I am just saying that to remind myself about it as I was brainwashed by religious fundamentalists and got some major memory problems. I am just left with one doubt – is it eating potato chips that we have banned or was it about tapioca chips? I am actually kind of hungry angry.

[A group of zombies enter through the window].

Lich Queen: Am I late? My zombie minions wanted to have ice cream on the way. I am looking for a dead grandfather.

Vampire Bat: Meet Miss Lichie, the Great Queen of the zombie underworld. They believe in ice cream and its greatness.

Vampire Owl: I have just received the text message that a group of mutants are heading this way, lead by a Professor XYZ. They are holding flags with beer cans printed on them.

Vampire Crocodile: Damn. Here we go again.

*A few parts of some dialogues were inspired by the Malayalam movie Sandhesam, the best political satire ever produced in India and the flick is also part of IBN Live’s list of greatest Indian films of all time. ***Please don’t consider this as anti-religion, but as anti-extremist concerning the haters. This is exactly how you sound like when you fight over religion – please don’t discriminate by religion and pray to God that you may be granted the wisdom to know about the same and love your fellow human beings! *The images used in this blog post are from http://hdwallpapersfactory.com/

TeNy

A Little More Divinity

Here is another flashback of my spiritual journeys that go back a few years to a season of Honda Unicorn. I have my doubts if churches can be called “cute”, but here are a few of them if they can really be called so. All of them are from Kerala, and have left a permanent mark despite their small sizes and in spite of not being that famous. This is the season of Lent, and I would consider a few more of the abodes of God can only do good. After all, I am one of those very few unlucky people who always have their birthdays during the time of Lent.

Christ Church, Munnar: Belonging to Church of South India and having a history of over one hundred years, this one goes back to the people of the tea who had arrived here in relation with the tea plantations of Munnar from Britain. The stone laid in on 11th March, 1910, this church is really well-maintained and you can have a very good view of the hilly town from here, which is beautiful, only to be challenged by the beauty of the church itself. You can see India’s colonial past and understand that this one has a lot of stories to tell.

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Church of Our Lady of Hope, Vypin: Located at the island of Vypin, which forms a part and is connected to the city of Kochi by the group of Goshree bridges, this is a small church which has the lake directly in front of it, and makes a very beautiful view if you are looking from the other side of the water body. There is a lawn, a cross and a grotto in front of this white church building, and also a number of Chinese nets and some huge trees which give enough to shades to have some spiritual rest.

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St. Sebastian’s Church, Thoppumpady: The new bridge which was built at Thoppumpady made sure that you can only travel to Fort Cochin and Mattanchery through the road which goes on the side of this church. This is a protected monument by the archeology department and the renovation works were delayed as it couldn’t be done without permission – it has been renovated now, and the photo that I have is from before that. Its antiquity is its beauty, and there is also the lake on the back-side with a nice view of the historical Harbour Bridge.

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Holy Cross Church, Mattanchery: More of a shrine than a church, this is a pilgrimage centre with historical significance. There is the presence of a small church-like area inside it though. It tells the tale of the historic oath which was made by the members of the Saint Thomas Christian community of Kerala that they would not submit to the rising Portuguese dominance which have been trying to forcibily Latinize the local Christian community that had existed with the Indianized version even before Christianity spread through Europe.

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St. Mary’s Church, Njarakkal: A part and a major centre of Vypin that I had earlier mentioned, this church at Njarakkal is not that different from Church of Our Lady of Hope in its architecture, but can still claim an identity of its own. It has more space inside the structure and also has very beautiful and traditional altar. The style is just like a number of older churches built at that time and having the feeling of being very old, but the renovations have made sure that it stays beautiful and worth the admiration.

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***I wish to leave the total statistics related to the number of the churches I have visited since 2009. The first one is the district-wise division, second on the list outside Kerala and third on the churches visited outside India. The only two districts missing are Kasargode and Malappuram. The districts might not be exact as I have my doubt about the borders, but the numbers are exact. *The photos used in this blog post are those taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC W-310 only.
(Ernakulam-174, Kottayam-69, Thrissur-39, Alappuzha-29, Pathanamthitta-17, Kollam-9, Kozhikode-7, Idukki-13, Kannur-4, Trivandrum-4, Wayanad-4, Palakkad-3)
(Tamil Nadu-59, Pondicherry-11, West Bengal-11, Karnataka-8)
(England-41, Scotland-9, Sri Lanka-8)

TeNy