Thursday, April 21, 2011

Famous Churches in India

Christianity, in India was considered have its origin in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, where many of the famous India churches still exist today.
It was recorded in history that Apostle Thomas has set foot in Kodungallur,
Kerala somewhere around 1st century; who built the famous 'Seven Churches' there.

He also helped Christianity spread rapidly to other Indian states.
Of the famous Churches in South India, Mar Thoma Church at Kodungaloor in Kerala is one of the seven churches built by St. Thomas, and is considered to be the first Catholic Church in India.

Marthoma Shrine, a historical church in Kodungallur, is located at
Azhikode, the place at which Saint Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus,
landed first time in India to propagate Christianity. Mar Thoma Pontifical
Shrine is a renowned religious destination in Thrissur district of Kerala.
The shrine is built in Indo Persian style. The altar depicts the holy relics
of Marthoma Sleha (St Thomas). Daily masses and Novena are
conducted in this church. 

The shrine offers a short video showing the
life of St Thomas to the visitors. It is a nice experience to visit this holy
church with devotion and prayers.

Occupying the position of the most famous church in India is the San Thome Basilica.

Built by the Portuguese at Santhome in Chennai around 16th century, it was later made into a cathedral by the British around 1893 and then into a Basilica around 1896.

This India Church has beautiful stained glass depictions around it showing various stages of the life of St. Thomas in glory and splendor, and also contains a statue of Virgin Mary, that traces it origin to Portugal.

Santhome Cathedral Basilica,


The Santhome Cathedral Basilica Church in Chennai is a sacred place especially for the Catholic Christians. Touring to this Chennai(Madras )Santhome Cathedral Basilica church is pretty easy, as you will get auto rickshaws, 'call taxis' and even luxurious cabs. Auto rickshaws are the cheapest ones but bargain carefully before you get into one. The call taxis are the cabs that you get on your doorstep at any time whenever you call them. They charge higher but they are very active in their service.

The name of Santhome Cathedral Basilica was derived from the
name St. Thomas who is an archbishop of the Catholic Christians.
St. Thomas who is a hard-core devotee of Jesus Christ was buried
in this place and as a tribute to his soul a church has been built up
in this southern part of Marina beach.

This church in Madras is been erected in accordance to the Gothic
style of architecture. Also you can read the stained glass were the
divine moment of St. Thomas's meeting with the resurrected
Christ is been depicted. Some remains of the corpse and
also a part of the St. Thomas's bone are been preserved in the crypt.

The quest for South India Churches cannot end, without the mention of
Velankanni Church, located at Velankanni, Tamilnadu. This is the most
visited pilgrimage center for Christians across the nation and world too.
It is no wonder that the highest echelon of the Catholic community,
the Pope, called it a 'holy city' after all.

Velankanni Church

Velankanni Church is located in Nagapattinam. You can travel
to Nagapattinam by train or bus. The distance of Nagapattinam from Madras or Chennai is about 350 kms.
Velankanni Church in Chennai is also called as the 'Mecca
of the Christians'. The principal shrine of this Velankanni church
is Mother Mary and she is also prayed and worshipped by the
people as the Lady of Health. 

This church is also known as the 'Sacred Arogya Matha Church'. And though it is known as the 'Mecca of Christians' people of all different castes crowd in the feet of the Virgin Mary to receive her blessings.

Also the sight of Velankanni church is stunning with its sky-reaching

Christ Church at Ridge, Shimla:

Among the most notable Churches in North India, the most popular is the
Holy Christ Church of Shimla, located at Ridge Ground; this beautiful yellow
colored Church is visited by tourists across the world and has even appeared
in many Bollywood movies.

Standing high at famous Ridge ground of Shimla, visible from different parts
of main Shimla, is the yellow coloured holy Christ Church. This Christ Church at Ridge, Shimla is considered to be one of the oldest Churches in North india. Whenever Shimla is remembered or shown in photographs
or videos, one can always see this Christ Church at Ridge associated
with Shimla. It seems as if this Christ Church symbolizes Shimla.

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As the tourist enter into the hills of Shimla near Sankat Mochan, this Christ
Church adding to the beauty of Shimla hills is first seen due to its location at summit point (Ridge, Shimla) and tall architecture. Mostly each and every
visitor coming to Shimla does visit this holy Christ Church at Ridge. During
winters, the Christ Church at Ridge, Shimla gives even more fantastic view
as snow covers its entire premises making it heavenly place to visit.
Moreover, December 25th, that is X-mas, is the best day to see
this Christ Church in Shimla.
A year ago the renovation work was

going on the Christ Church at Ridge Shimla. Now, it has completed
giving it a fantastic look.

St. John's Church located about four to five kilometers from the popular
'Peace of Mind Spot' in Mcleodganj, Dharamshala is considered the
oldest of the Cathedrals in North India.

It was built around 1852. There is an absolute virginity associated with this
Church-it is completely surrounded by Deodar trees and in a natural atmosphere.

Its tapering high windows, the front and back sides of its
building all seem to be in perfect harmony with the deodar
grove which is a home to lots of monkeys, baboons and
birds. In 1905 earthquake, the bellfry of the church was
completely destroyed. However, the rest of the building
escaped damage. A new bell (built in 1915) was brought
from England and installed outside in the compound of
the church. The church witnessed a special event in 1992
when visitors from 39 countries participated in its service.

Coming to the most famous Catholic Church in India, 'Basilica of Bom Jesus'
located at Panjim, Goa, is considered one of the most sacred and preserved.
It is here that the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier are preserved and kept for public viewing. When ever the Church puts up the mortal remains of
St. Francis Xavier for public display, a large number of visitors and pilgrims
throng the Church. This church is accorded the status of 'World Heritage Site' by UNESCO.

Basilica of Bom Jesus

Basilica of Bom Jesus

Location: Old Goa, 10 kilometers from the city of Panjim
Highlights: World Heritage Site, Preserved body of St. Francis Xavier
How to Reach: The Bom Jesus church is a very popular tourist attraction and can be reached from Panaji or any other place nearby by hiring a taxi, auto, or even a bus.

One of the most popular churches in Goa, the Basilica of Bom Jesus truly deserves to be given the status of a World
Heritage Site. It is located in Old Goa which was the capital
city during the Portugal rule. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is famous
for the preserved mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. He was the
member of Society of Jesus and came to India to spread Christianity
with the Portuguese. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is India's first minor
cathedral and is supposed to be the best example of decorative
architecture in India.

The name of the Church, Bom Jesus basically means "Good Jesus"
and is used for Jesus when he was an infant. The Bom Jesus
church was constructed around 1695 and it became an
important milestone in the historical legacy of Christianity.
St. Francis Xavier was a member of the Society of Jesus
who preached the enlightening teachings of Christianity
when he came to India along with the Portuguese.
While on a voyage to China from India, he died on the ship on
2nd December, 1552.

It is said that the following year when the body of the saint was
being transferred to Goa as per his wishes, the people were
shocked to find his body fresh as ever. This was claimed to be
a miracle and his body was preserved in an air tight coffin
made of glass and placed inside a silver casket. Every year
thousands of devotees visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus on
2nd December to see the mortal remains of the saint that is
displayed publicly. Now, the practice has been stopped
to prevent the body from deterioration.

The Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the richest churches located
in Goa. The interiors of the church are as beautiful and extravagant
as the exteriors. The floor of the church is made of pure white
marble, decorated with semi-precious stones. The altar of
the church is adorned elaborately and covered with gold. It measures
around 54 feet high and is 30 feet broad. The church's interior is
strikingly charming yet simple and is built in the Mosaic-Corinthian
style. The tomb where the body is kept was carved intricately by
Giovanni Battista Foggini, who was a 17th century sculptor.
The walls are decorated with old paintings of the saint. A trip to
Basilica of Bom Jesus is a must when you visit Goa.



  1. what an amazing and large collection of info on this subject. Sir, your dedication to sharing in-depth info with your readers is truly inspiring. A humble suggestion would be to compile links to your posts according to subjects with a short description for each link and publish them as "pages" that you can display on your blog. In addition to the label cluster that you already have on your sidebar, these pages can work like a table of contents for each focus area. My deepest admiration to you for your diligence and commitment to what your blog stands for.

  2. Subhorup Dasgupta>>>Thank u for your nice comments and encouragement to me. I'll certainly take steps to compile the links to my postings under each subject. Thanks for the valuable suggestions

  3. Subhorup Dasgupta>>> I have given the link for Table of contents as suggested by you. Thanks again for the suggestion.

  4. Great post sir ! But I feel that a Church which is somehow missed should have been here, the one in Mysore, built in beautiful Gothic style.

    And yes, am hooked now, going to Mcdonadlgunj :)

  5. I live in Mumbai, and I still haven't been to Mahim Church!!!
    But I've always had a deep desire in me to visit all these famous churches, I'm waiting till I finish graduation, then free as a bird :)
    I also noticed you have a tamil blog. I'm sorry to say that despite being a tamilian, I don't read or write tamil, just speak it :P
    Oh, and as you mentioned, Christianity has a huge following in Kerala, I know cus I was born there and I lived there for about ten years :)
    Thanks for making this post, it increased my desire to visit these places of worship :)

    If you had a few moments, could you read a post of mine? And if you like it, give it a vote? I'd be most grateful, it'd mean a lot, Sir :)

  6. Great post. I am in Chennai. St. Thomes church is very famous and ancient one. Such a great historical information you about Churches in India. Keep it up.

    Places to visit in Chennai

  7. Thanks for post this informative post.I gained more of knowledge from you.I am really enjoyed when im reading.
    im also waiting for your upcoming post.