Diocese of Bathery
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With a land area of 67,482 square kilometers, the eparchy covers the districts of Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu state; Mysore, Mandya, Hassan, Kodagu, Chickmagalore, Chamrajnagar, Shimoga, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada in Karnataka state; and Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, Wayanad and Kasargod in Kerala state.

The diocesan headquarters are situated in Sulthan Bathery, commonly called Bathery, in Wayanad district. Tippu Sultan, a hitorical ruler of Mysore, used to store arms here, and hence it came to be known as Sultan's Battery .

Population

Wayanad district has a large Adivasi (indigenous peoples) presence, around 36% of the population, comprising Paniya, Kuruma, Adiyar, Kurichya, Oorali, Kadan, Kattunaikkan, etc. Members of these communities mostly work as laborers. But people from almost all parts of Kerala and elsewhere have migrated to this fertile land.

Language

Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and English are used in the diocesan territory.

History

The Diocese of Bathery belongs to the Syro-Malankara Church. Pope Pius XI established the Syro-Malankara hierarchy on June 11, 1932, reuniting the community with the universal Catholic Church. At the time he erected the Archieparchy of Trivandrum with the Eparchy of Tiruvalla as its suffragan.

On Feb. 14, 1958, the territorial boundaries of the Eparchy of Tiruvalla were extended to the north, including the Malabar region of Kerala, and several districts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states.

The Diocese of Bathery was established in 1978, with territory taken from Tiruvalla, and was formally inaugurated on Feb. 2, 1979.

The first Bishop of Bathery, Bishop Cyril Mar Baselios, was enthroned as Archbishop of Trivandrum on Dec. 14, 1995, and was made Major Archbishop and head of the Syro-Malankara Church in 2005. His successor in Bathery, Bishop Mar Divannasios, was ordained Bishop of Bathery on Feb. 5, 1996. He was transferred as bishop of newly created Puthur Diocese on Jan. 25, 2010, and Bishop Konna, until then Auxiliary Bishop of Trivandrum, was appointed the third Bishop of Bathery on that same day.

Transportation

The territory is well connected by roads, but the nearest railway station and airport to Wayanad are at Kozhikode, which is about 80 kilometers from Bathery. Calicut, about the same distance away, also has an airport.

Climate

Wayanad has a salubrious climate. Rainfall averages 2,322 mm a year, but some areas record an annual average of 3,000-4,000 mm. High velocity winds are common during the southwest monsoon and dry winds blow in March and April. High altitude regions experience severe cold. The maximum temperature, usually during the month of May, is about 30 degrees Celsius. The year is divided into four seasons: cold (December-February), hot (March-May), southwest monsoon (June-September) and northeast monsoon (October-November).

Economy

The economy of Bathery diocese is mainly based on agriculture. Major industries include agro-based and timber-based industries.

Telecommunication

The level of telecommunications infrastructure in Wayanad is low compared to other districts in Kerala. In town areas, almost everyone has a mobile phone, and most homes have television, telephone and Internet. In rural areas, Internet access is very limited.

Topography

Wayanad district stands on the southern tip of the Deccan plateau. It borders Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to the north and east, Kozhikode and Kannur districts to the west.

Education

Literacy rate in the diocesan territory is 85.25 percent, higher than the national average of 59.5.

Religion

Christians form one-fourth of Wayanad's population, the third-largest community after Hindus and Muslims. The district is also home to a small Jain community, the Gowder, who migrated from neighboring Karnataka.

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