Food For Thought And Further Contribution...EVALUATION....!!

Posted/Pic by: P. Archibald Furtado, Muscat. 24/01/2002
Place: Muscat Posted Date : 16/09/2012

Dear readers,

I have compiled here few quotes / extracts from well-known writers and Scholars with due credit, wherein the historical prominence of Barkur…. and one of the version, how the name of Barkur derived from is narrated…at about 2000 years back.

“According to Christian traditions Saint Bartholomio, one of the Apostles of Jesus, preached in India, Ethiopia, Persia, Asia Minor and Armenia”- The World Book Encyclopadia-2001.

“The legend has it that Barkur had the distinction of being visited during the early first century by St Bartholomio, one of the twelve apostles”- late Mr George V.D’Lima – Professor of Law and Advocate Bombay High Court – SPA Souvenir –1989

“Saint Bartholomio, apostle; Born in Cana. He was led to Jesus by the apostle Philip, and after the Lord’s ascension tradition has it that he preached the gospel in India and there suffered martyrdom”- The Roman Breviary

“In Tulunadu, in South Kanara, there is Kallianpur. Here Bartholomew then popularly known as Bhethal, preached the Gospel…….….. There are many names and places, words and usages in the coastal Konkan region going up to Bombay and beyond which have originated from his name Bhethal and his preaching and that Barkur which is close to Kallianpur sprung after his name Bartholomew i.e. Bar+Thulami+Ooru= Barthooru and so BARKURU”

-         ‘Konkanachem Christaunponn’-1929 -  [Apostolic Christianity in Konkan]

-         By Rev.Dr.H.O Mascarenhas, M.A.,Ph.D.,D.D.,Goa – Research Historian.

“Christianity has been long established in South Kanara and its adherents are more numerous here, than any other district of India. It is certain that, foreign Christian merchants were visiting the coastal town of Kanara and during that period of commerce some priests also might have accompanied them for evangelical work. According to tradition Kanara had its first missionary the Apostle St.Barthelomew, who landed on the shores of river Swarna at Colombian or Colombo village an ancient maritime port adjacent to Kallianpur, stayed there to preach. He was popularly called Bethel and so the origin of the place Barkur……..”

‘The land called South Kanara’-2000, - Image flex Publishers - By William Pais and Vincent  Mendonca.

“It can be said that it was the knowledge of that early Christianity in Kallianpur that prompted and urged the Portuguese Hierarchy to establish again the Church in Kallianpur when it did in 1678, or they must have found clues or traces of it when they arrived here. The Church at Kallianpur which was rebuilt in1806, by the Goan priests and which later was demolished in 1940, had icons of St. Thomas the Apostle and that of St.Bartholomew on its façade on either side of the main entrance evidently because of the tradition of St.Bartholomew in the place’s. Msgr. Denis Jeromme D’Souza who built the present Church saw to it that the tradition was carried forward. In the main body of the Church where the twelve Apostles of Christ are honoured with their statues all round the walls that of St. Bartholomew is prominently placed at the head of the apostles, nearest to the sanctuary. Opposite to him is St.Paul the apostle of Gentiles and by his side is placed St.Thomas the Apostle of India. These realities speak volumes of un-written tradition”- The Milagrian-1981-By Charles E.G.Lewis.

[In the above context, it has to be remembered that, the same Msg. Denis Jeromme D’Souza, built the present gothic style Church of Barkur, dedicated to St. Peter. Moreover the statues of twelve Apostles placed in the ‘main altar’ here and I can re-collect from my memory that the statue of St. Bartholomew is occupying the prominent slot here too.]

Further to substantiate this claim of  historical importance to Barkur, it may be noticed from records that, the Western influence brought to India not only by Greek, Persian, and Central Asian invaders, but also through sea and land trade between the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East, and the Roman Empire. This trade and the value of Indian exports to the West, was large. The Roman historian Pliny, writing in the A.D. 100s, complained that each year a vast quantity of gold and silver left the Roman empire to pay for spices… to India.

An unknown sailor or merchant of Alexandria Egypt, in a book called  ‘Periplus of the Erythraean Sea’, mentions the entire list of  major seaports of ancient India, of the west including -that of Barkur, Calicut, Bhatkal etc.

Conclusion: The past has left many traces, including traditions, folk tales, works of art, archaeological objects and books and other written records attributed to our Barkur town. Personally, I feel the old town was spread over to a large area, many scholars and historians spent lot of time and energy to focus on this heritage - later part, from fifth century A.D. It is my request in the interest of Society at large, to all, if you know something better or interesting to share with, through this Web site, you are most welcome.



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