Dr. Joseph J. Palackal

A program to honor and preserve the unparalleled legacy of an ancient language and music tradition that are part of the history and an intangible treasure in the world’s cultural heritage .

Dedicated to :

  ܐܲܠܟܣܲܢܕܪܘ̇ ̇ܣ ܗܸܢܕܘܝܐ

Alexander the Indian (1588-1677)

Inspired By :

ܦܵܠܲܝܟܲܠ ܬܵܐܘܡܵܐ ܡܲܠܦܵܢ

Palackal Thoma Malpan (1780-1841)

The Aramaic (Syriac) language in which Jesus and His disciples preached the Gospel reached South India in the early Christian era. Until the 1960s, the St. Thomas Christians in Kerala, who trace the origin of their faith to St.Thomas the Apostle, celebrated liturgy in this language. Since the vernacularization of the liturgy, the language and the melodies are on the path to extinction in the Syro Malabar Church (3.25 million members)....

Purpose & action plan

The Aramaic project is a part of a larger plan of a digital library of Christian music in India under the auspices of the Christian Musicological Society. This library will be beneficial to the general public, as well as academic departments that specialize in such topics as South Asian and West Asian studies, Indology, musicology, anthropology, theology, religion, Church history, Syriac Christianity, liturgy, and linguistics....


This website is dedicated to Fr. Chandy Kadavil (1588-1677), a great son of India and a celebrated St. Thomas Christians from Kaduthuruthy, in central Kerala. He was also known by his nickname in Syriac, “Alaksandros hendwāyā” Alexander the Indian. Fr. Kadavil was a great scholar, orator, and a prominent leader of the St. Thomas Christians. He lived at a tumultuous period in the history of the St. Thomas Christians,, who reacted vehemently ....

Source of Inspiration

The source of inspiration for the Aramaic project is the life story of the saintly Palackal Thoma Malpan (Pālackal Tōmmā Malpān, circa 1780-1841), my collateral ancestor, a teacher and scholar of the Syriac language and liturgy, founder of the first seminary of the Syriac Christians in India, founder of the first indigenous religious congregation for men in India (see video), and a father to the Syro Malabar Church......


Dr. Joseph J. Palackal


Felix Simon


 Mathew Thalikasthanam
Research Associate


Joseph Puthenkudy
Research Assistant


Rosy Kurian
Field Work Coordinator


Sherin Joseph
Project Coordinator


Latest Videos

Ranna Abro sings Laku Mara

Ranna Abro sings Laku Mara Melody of Chaldean Catholic Church of the East. The melodies of the same chants of East Syriac liturgy is shared by Chaldean and Syro Malabar Churches. This video also opens an new era of Comparative study of Christian Musicology.

Wilson Muriyadan: One of a Kind in the Syriac World

Wilson Muriyadan, who is a member of the Chaldean Syrian Church of the East, India, is a person of particular interest to the Aramaic Project, is the owner of the most extensive private collection of books and manuscripts in Syriac. Wilson is willing to share his knowledge and resources with researchers. Wilson and his daughters are our resource persons for Part II of the Aramaic Project.

Did St. Thomas Come to Kerala?

A critical inquiry into the CNN program on Doubting Thomas. Cyriac Scaria cross-examines Dr. Joseph J. Palackal, CMI, one of the guests on the CNN program.




Qambel Maran
Syriac Chants from South India - CD

Chants in Syriac (Aramaic) from the Chaldean liturgy of the Syro-Malabar Church of the St. Thomas Christians. 

Solemn Syriac Qurbana 
Fr. George Nellikkatt

This recording of the solemn Syriac Qurbana in the golden voice of a celebrated singer, Fr. George Nellikkatt (1935-2006)

Rev. Fr. Varghese Mattathil

Collection of Syriac Chants from Solemn Syriac Qurbana Celebrant - Rev. Fr. Varghese Mattathil. Produced By Archdiocese of Changanacherry


This was one of the most memorable moments of this Qurbana! To hear the words of consecration in the language of our Lord... It felt like I was there on the night of Passover with the disciples.
There is nothing more heartening than seeing one's efforts bearing fruit and I'm sure Rev Palackal Kathanar would have felt so , interviewing Sophia Chirayil.
Thank you for the English appreciated by your English speaking followers...the chants, always soul reaching, are more meaningful.
A belated note to say thank you for your most interesting talk and video recording which you presented to CWC at SOAS last Monday evening.