Kothamangalam is a small town lying at the foothills of the Western Ghats and is known as The Gateway to the High Ranges. Until the recent past, the town was also a very important trading center for spices and hill produce. Kothamangalam is known for its old Christian churches and its prominent educational institutions. One of the first colleges in the region is the Mar Athanasius College of Arts and Science inaugurated in 1955 by the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I during his visit to Kerala.
Marthoma Cheriapally situated in Kothamangalam in Ernakulam district is one of the famous pilgrims in Kerala. Many institutions work under Marthoma Cheriapally for betterment of the people in Kerala.
The Syriac Orthodox Church dates back to the very dawn of Christianity. In Syriac, the proper name of the Church is 'idto suryoyto treeysath shubho. In the past, the name of the Church had been translated to English as "Syrian Orthodox Church". The Holy Synod of the Church approved the translation "Syriac Orthodox Church" for use in English speaking countries in its session of March 28-April 3, 2000. The Church justifiably prides itself as being one of the earliest established Apostolic Churches. It was in Antioch, that the followers of Jesus were called Christians (Acts 11:26).