St Thomas, the apostle is said to have visited India in 52 AD and died in 72 AD in India as per history books. But looks like this event has no proof before 16th century AD. So, my questions are:

  • Did he really visit India?
  • If yes, is there any inscription/literature mentions this before 16th century AD?
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    Have you checked the Wikipedia article on Christianity in India which presents St Thomas's arrival in India in 52AD as possible (if unproven)? Aug 2, 2017 at 16:48
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    "as per history books." Which history books. Its tough for us to provide any viable answers not knowing what you may have already read and considered.
    – justCal
    Aug 2, 2017 at 17:10
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    While it would certainly be possible for Roman travellers to visit India, perhaps we need to back up a step, and first ask whether there is actual historical evidence for the existence of St. Thomas?
    – jamesqf
    Aug 2, 2017 at 17:49
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    @T.E.D.: Which historians are those? I did ask about actual evidence, not merely consistency between myths :-)
    – jamesqf
    Aug 3, 2017 at 5:36
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    There is no evidence. It is just a false historical narrative to somehow prove that Christianity is an ancient religion in India. Even 8th century Sri Adi Shankaracharya haven't mentioned anything in his works about any such thing while he was from Kerala where St. Thomas was supposed to have arrived in 52 CE.
    – Rolen Koh
    Aug 25, 2017 at 8:06

2 Answers 2


Its possible that the tradition of Saint Thomas had a historical basis. However, its very unlikely that the Christian community in Kerala dates to such an early period.

The story you're referring to is from the Acts of St Thomas. This is a new testament apocrypha, or a non-canonical work, dated to the 3rd century. The most compelling part of the story is that it correctly names the ruler in North India, Gondopharnes. This is significant because we didn't know anything about him or most Kushan rulers until they were discovered by modern archaeology and numismatics. This means that it probably does represent a tradition near contemporary to the time in which it is set.

The details of the story are quite probable. He accompanied a businessman. He first stayed at the court of Gondopharnes, then traveled to South India where he spent the rest of his life. The amiability of Gondopharnes to Christianity may be represented by the fact that he became one of the three kings in the new testament.


There are certainly no inscriptions or literature that I am aware of but the group of Syrian Christians of Indian state of Kerala are certain proof that St. Thomas the Apostle came to India. The form of Christianity that the British, French and Portuguese’ Catholic and Protestant versions are much, much different from the Syrian version. Moreover, The grave of St. Thomas the Apostle is in Mylapore, Chennai(an Indian city) and a few churches and crosses built by St. Thomas the Apostle still survive to this day. An incident where the Syrian Christian minority is mentioned;when Pedro Alvares Cabral of Portugal incited violence in Calicut, where the Portuguese massacred Arab traders and Syrian Christians. There is also evidence that St. Thomas came to Taxila(a famed Indian centre for learning) but failed This incident is in ‘Land of the seven rivers’ by Sanjeev Sanyal. The overall information is in the second link and the evidence that St. Thomas was in Taxila is in the first link 1]: http://odysseuslahori.blogspot.com/2013/03/st-thomas-in-taxila.html?m=1 [2]: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_the_Apostle

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    The things you mention I think show that Syrian Christians reached India, but references would help. However you provide no evidence that St Thomas actually came.
    – mmmmmm
    Mar 13, 2019 at 18:35
  • Syrian Christians in India were converted by St Thomas and did not come from foreign as immigrants
    – Rohit Hari
    Mar 14, 2019 at 6:23
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    Better for me to say Syrian Christianity reached India but you have given no evidence that st Thomas hit the or even existed.
    – mmmmmm
    Mar 14, 2019 at 12:33

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