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India Armenians take a trip from Kolkata to Chennai


28 February 2011, Chennai, India – Very Rev. Father Khoren Hovhannisyan, Pastor of the Armenians in India and the Manager of the Armenian College & Philanthropic Academy, the Church Committee of the Holy Nazareth, Kolkata, India and Armenian teachers along with a group of students of ACPA on February 20 went on a pilgrimage to St Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Chennai (Madras) which was established in the year 1712.


The Armenian Church is located on the Armenian street in Madras. The pilgrims assembled at the church directly from the Chennai Airport where Father Khoren conducted the Divine Liturgy.


Thereafter, a special Repose of Souls service was held at the ‘Shmavonian Garden’ within the church precincts where the souls of Father Harutyun Shmavonian, Shahamir Shahamirian rest among others.


An Armenian community developed in Madras in the 17th century. It became the centre of cultural and spiritual life of Indian Armenians.


The first Armenian monthly magazine ‘Azdarar’ whose editor was Father Harutyun Shmavonian was published during the years 1794-1796 in Madras. Such work deserves to be worthy of recognition and the name of Father Harutyun should be made immortal with carved gold letters and postered in the Armenian culture and the history of Armenian press publication for posterity.


In 1772 Father Movses Baghramian from Artsakh published, “Nor Tetrak, vor kochi hordorak” in Shahamirian’s publishing house.


In the same printing house, in the following year, a draft Constitution for Armenia, ‘Vorogayt Pharats’ was published by the famous ‘Madras Group’ comprising of Hovsep Emin, Father Movses, Grigor Khogaganian, Shahamir Shahamirian, his sons and others.


The Armenian Church in India will celebrate the 300th Anniversary of St Mary’s Church in 2012 to show gratitude to the various achievements brought about by the Armenian community of Madras.


Source: The Armenian Reporter

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