St. Thomas Mount, Parangimalai is a small hillock located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Located near the neighbourhood of Guindy and very close to Chennai International Airport, St. Thomas Mount is associated with St. Thomas, the apostle of Christ, who is said to have been martyred here. The mount was originally named as Periyamalai in Tamil , but is also commonly called in Tamil Parangi Malai , overliterally hill of the Franks, more accurately hill of the foreigners, where parangi means foreigner, cognate with the Hindi firangi. Syrian Christians of India trace the origin of their church to the Apostle of St.Thomas, understood to have attained martyrdom here in Chennai. From the 17th Century, this part of Chennai was populated predominantly by Anglo-Indians. A serene and beautiful relic-filled church built in 1523 by the Portuguese stands on top of this 300-foot hillock. Pope John Paul II visited St. Thomas Mount on 5 February 1986.
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