10 Worth Visiting Indian Churches
According to the 2011 Census report, Christianity is the third major religion in India. The statistics suggesting that 2.4% of the population follow the religion. Now, with Christianity being such an integral part of the Indian culture, it is obvious that there exist a number of churches in the country. The query then to be put forth is, which are some of the catholic shrines in the country that are truly worth visiting? So, here is presenting, to you the answer in the form of an exclusive list of Indian churches that definitely warrant a visit.
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1.Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa:
Basilica of Bom Jesus Map
Constructed by the Portuguese after 1594 is a majestic church located in Goa known as the Basilica of Bom Jesus. Included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list, this church possesses the “mummified” body of St Francis Xavier, who was the founder of the Society of Jesus also known as “Jesuits”. Furthermore, this church attracts thousands of visitors from all around the country every year. Also considered to be “one of the oldest” in the country, this Catholic shrine possessing magnificent architecture is certainly one among a few Indian churches that are truly worth visiting.
2. Velankanni Church- Tamil Nadu:
Velankanni Church Map
“Lourdes of the east” is how the extremely popular Velankanni Church is commonly referred to as. Situated in a small coastal town in Tamil Nadu, this church is renowned for its magnificent 16th century Gothic architecture. It is also one of the “very few churches in India” in which the statue of Mother Mary has been decorated with the traditional Indian saree. Historically speaking, the status of “basilica” was granted to this church in the year 1962 by Pope John XXIII. In addition, the Velankanni church also possesses religious significance that attracts thousands of tourists every year. And so, it is a combination of majestic architecture and religious significance that makes this Indian church a worth visit.
3.St Paul’s Cathedral- West Bengal:
St Paul’s Cathedral Map
“Breathtaking” would be the apt way to describe the St Paul’s Cathedral situated in the east Indian state of West Bengal. Located in Kolkata this church is known for its beautiful Gothic architecture. It was first built in the year 1847 and is supposed to be the “first Episcopal Church (a type of Christian shrine) in Asia”. Adding true beauty to the overall architecture of St Paul’s Cathedral, is the presence of “frescoes and paintings”. It is therefore the architectural brilliance of this Indian church situated in the “City of Joy” that makes it truly worth visiting.
4. San Thome Basilica- Tamil Nadu:
San Thome Basilica Map
“A Roman Catholic Basilica” would be the best way to define a church known as San Thome Basilica situated in Tamil Nadu. It was constructed in the 16th century in the city of Chennai, and comprises of the tomb of St Thomas, who was an apostle (disciple) of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, this church has been constructed using the magnificent “Neo-Gothic” architectural style. It was in 1893 during the British Raj that this church underwent renovation. In addition, the white “façade” of this church which stands tall at 200 feet serves to add a lot of charm to its overall structure. It is thus the exquisite architectural beauty of this Indian church that makes it one among the many Catholic shrines worth visiting.
5. Se Catherine Church- Goa:
Se Catherine Map
“St Catherine” is how a church located in Goa known as Se Catherine is also referred to as. Constructed by the Portuguese in 1619, this church was built using the Manueline style of architecture. This church was erected to celebrate Portuguese’s victory over Mughal in 1510 which lead to Goa being annexed. A unique feature in this church is a large bell known as “Golden bell”, considered to be the largest in the world. And so, it is the fusion of magnificent architecture and historical significance that makes Se Catherine an Indian church worth visiting.
6. Vallarpadam Church- Kerala:
Vallarpadam Church Map
“Baslica of Our Lord of Ransom” is how a church in Kerala known as Vallarpadam is commonly referred to as. Located in Ernakulam, this church is dedicated to St Mary and is considered to be a “minor basilica”. Apparently, this church is said to have been enshrined by Vasco Da Gama. In addition, this pilgrimage site said to be the 20th basilica in India and 8th in Kerala is closely linked to a number of myths. It is then a mixture of architectural beauty and legends attached to this catholic Indian shrine that makes it worth visiting.
7. St Francis Church- Kerala:
St Francis Church Map
“European architecture” is what is used to construct the St Francis Church located in Kerala. Situated in Kochi this church was constructed in 1503 by the Portuguese. Apparently, it was at the site on which the church was built that the explorer Vasco Da Gama was buried. Constructed using a simple architecture it was renovated by the British and the Dutch. And so, it is the combination of simplistic architecture and historical significance that makes it an Indian Catholic pilgrimage site worth visiting.
8. Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church- Goa:
Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Map
Constructed during the Portuguese rule in the year 1541 is a church located in North Goa known as Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. Situated in Panjim, this church was initially constructed to serve as a chapel. It was only in the 1600’s that it was converted into a church. Furthermore, the “Baroque” architectural style was used to build this church. In addition, this church also comprises of a famous large old bell which was obtained from the ruins of the Church of Our Lady of Grace. Currently, this church conducts “mass service” on daily basis in English, Konkani, and Portuguese. It is therefore a combination of architectural magnificence and historical significant that makes this Indian church a must visit.
9. Resi Magos Church- Goa:
Resi Magos Church Map
Situated alongside the banks of the River Mandovi in North Goa is the magnificent Resi Magos Church. Constructed in 1555 by Franciscan Friars, this church is also referred to as the “The Church of the Three Magi Kings”. Furthermore, this church is one among the very few in the country that has been dedicated to commemorate annually “The Feast of Three Wise Men”. And so, it is the beauty of its Portuguese styled architecture and religious significance attached to it that makes it an Indian Catholic shrine worth visiting.
10. Basilica of Our Lady of Mount- Maharashtra:
Basilica of Our Lady of Mount of Map
Located in Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra is an extremely popular church known as Basilica of Our Lady of Mount. Furthermore, this church situated in a suburb called Bandra is renowned for a feast celebrated in honour of “Blessed Virgin Mary” during the second week of September. In addition, it also includes the “Bandra fair” which attracts thousands of visitors from all across the state. This church which is situated high up on a hill also provides for the magnificent view of the adjoining Arabian Sea. The statue of Virgin Mary is said to have been first enshrined at the spot where this church was eventually built in the 16th century by Jesuit Portuguese priests. It is therefore the religious significance attached as well the feast which is celebrated by a “fair” annually that makes this Indian church a must visit.
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