Sunday, October 13, 2013
At a time when the world was a much larger place, say a couple of millenia ago, a journey from Mylapore to St Thomas Mount was considerably long-haul. Going inland from the beaches of Mylapore, the traveller would most likely find thick groves, and then the scrub jungles. Coming out of those jungles infested with leopards, wolves and snakes, the traveller would be on the banks of the mighty Adyar river, which must be forded if he was to climb up that hillock of St Thomas Mount.
Thomas Didymus, he of the famed doubt, reportedly made this journey quite frequently. And in the course of doing so, he had at least one specific resting spot, according to legend. Hearing about this, the Portugese settlers at San Thome made sure they also took time out at this spot during their pilgrimage from their seashore settlement to the hillock shrine. Over time, they built a little church here in 1650. It continues to be in use although the name has been changed from the original Portugese Descanco Church to Illaippari Madha Kovil.