Kothamangalam, a small beautiful town in Ernakulam District at the foothills of the Western Ghats, has been for long years a busy commercial centre for hill produce and spices. It is connected by road from all four sides. Kochi is 50 kilometres to the west, Munnar 80 kilometers to the east, Edamalayar 25 kilometers to the north and Kottayam 75 kilometers to the south. Nedumbassery International Airport is just 30 kilometers away. Kothamangalam is now one of the most important pilgrim centres of Kerala, with a dozen churches, half a dozen ancient temples and a few sacred mosques. The place is spiritually glorified by the ancient Thrikariyoor Temple, mosques, St. George Cathedral, St. Mary’s Church (Marthamariyam Valiyapally) and Mar Thoma Cheria Pally. The St. Thomas Church at Kothamangalam, popularly known as Mar Thoma Cheriapally, where the Saint Baselios Yeldho is buried is one of the most prominent parishes in India. According to the popular belief, the first church at Kothamangalam, Martha Mariam Valiyapally, was established in the 4th century AD by a few Syrian Christian families who migrated from Paravur and Angamaly. Among the later Christian inhabitants of the place included a few Syrian Knanaites who eventually intermingled with the local Christian community. By the 14th century Kothamangalam, a Syrian Christian Center, became a major hub for trade with the neighbouring state of Tamilnadu. The Martha Mariam Valiyapally was the only Syrian Christian Church there at that time. By the middle of the 15th century some disputes surfaced in the Valiyapally which led to the separation of 18 families from there. It was these families who eventually built the historical Mar Thoma Cheriapally nearby. Initially a Cross was established there in 1455 at the land allotted by the local administrator. Later a small church was erected at the place which was rebuilt in 1504. The church which has a membership of more than 1600 families is under the Angamali diocese, the largest diocese in the Malankara Syrian Church. It is governed in temporal matters by its own constitution but its spiritual matters are guided by the Metropolitan of Angamaly Diocese who owes allegiance to Apostolic See of Antioch through the Catholics of Malankara under the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East. The parish runs a High School and a major hospital, both named after the Saint Baselios Yeldho Bava and is also the main support behind the Mar Athanasius College Association which runs the engineering college at Kothamangalam besides one of the largest Arts and Science colleges in the State and a famous residential High School, all named after the late Malankara Metropolitan St. Athanasius Paulose of blessed memory, who passed away in 1953. Organizations related to Medical fields are managed by Mar Baselios Medical Mission Association (MBMMA). MBMMA is under the ownership and auspices of Mar Thoma Cheria PAlly, Kothamangalam. MBMMA is a charitable Trust registered under the Travancore Cochin Literacy, Scientific and Charitable Societies Act XII on 1st January 1977. The college is governed by a governing body of 35 members, with his Beatitude Baselios Thomas-I, Catholics of the east, as President. Currently MBMMA runs Mar Baselios Medical Mission Hospital, Kothamangalam, Mar Baselios Nursing School, Kothamangalam, Mar Baselios College of Nursing, Thangalam Kothamangalam, and Mar Baselios Dental College Thangalam Kothamangalam.