|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.
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 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