The Church bells are soon going to ring in the entry of Thanksgiving and Christmas, some of the most awaited festivals of the year. Do visit them these festivities!
1. Malayattoor, Kerela
This Church was built way back in 52 AD by Saint Thomas, who started preaching Christianity in South India. Located in Ernakulam district of Kerala, it has been declared as the international Christian pilgrimage place by Vatican. No surprises there that it is counted among the prominent Christian Churches in India.
2. St. Joseph Cathedral, Andhra Pradesh
The St Joseph Cathedral is considered as one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the country that will stun you with its ornate Italian architecture and beauty. Located in the Gun Foundry area of Hyderabad, the Church has a huge central hall with a capacity of five hundred people. Inside the Church, there is an imitation of the famous painting, the ‘Pieta’ by Michelangelo. But its most prominent feature is the open bell tower with its attractive huge bells at the top of the tower that distinguishes it from all the other Churches. In fact the bells are as old as 117 years and have been imported from Italy in the year 1892.
Since then, these bells have a significant value attached to them. It is said that these bells were rung to warn people against any natural calamities and disasters but are now used by priests to drive evil spirits away with hymns. Now that’s we call alarming bells with alarming beauty!
3. The Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa
Located in the beautiful State of Goa and constructed in 1695, The Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the richest and famous Churches of Goa. In fact, it has also been declared as the world heritage site by UNESCO.
The Church is extremely popular to Catholics especially for the sacred remains of St. Francis Xavier and depicts his life through the interiors. There are embellishments of marble and the interiors are done up with precious stones and paintings that portray life of the Saint. Once a year, when the body of the holy saint is opened for public display the Church attracts a large number of visitors at that time.
4. The Christ Church, Himachal Pradesh
Located at the beautiful hill station of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla, is the Christ Church. This second oldest Church in Northern India is grandeur exemplified, courtesy Colonel JT Boileau in 1844 who devised it. In fact, its silhouette can be seen from a distance of more than 8 kilometers and is still maintained exceptionally well.
5. Vallarpadam Church, Kerala
The Vallarpadam Church is dedicated to Mother Mary after whom the Church is named after. Constructed in the year 1524 by Portuguese, the Church is supposed to have miraculous powers and is believed to save her devotees several times from violent storms. For a period of time the Church was even destroyed by Dutch but later built again in 1676. Every year on September 24, there is a special feast of Vallarpadath Amma held with much fanfare. The celebrations which last for more than a week are accompanied by an unusually big fair and loads of fanfare.
6. Santa Cruz Basilica, Kerala
Built by Portuguese in 1505 in Kochi, the Santa Cruz Basilica is one of the eight basilicas in India. Pope Paul IV the then Pope elevated it to a Cathedral in the year 1558 but it was demolished and reconstructed again in 1887 by British. In the year 1984, Pope John Paul II declared it as a Basilica.
The true beauty of this Church lies in the Indo-European architecture and the traditional Italian paintings adorning the walls. The original huge granite pillar of the Portuguese era yet remains undeterred inspite of the British atrocities and symbolizes the rich heritage of this structure finely.
7. Velankanni Church, Tamil Nadu
Located in Chennai, the Velankanni Church is also known as Our Lady of Health Church. The Church has a huge following of devout devotees who are from all faiths daily, visiting this Church and praying for the health and happiness of their loved ones. And disappointed they are not!
The Church has an in-house museum as well that displays all the contributions made by the followers. In addition, even the sky-reaching towers are pretty striking; adding their individual touch to the architecture of this Church.
10. Medak Church, Andhra Pradesh
Medak Church is one of the biggest Churches in the country where festivals like Easter, Christmas and New Years are celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm, welcoming people from all ages. Built in pure white granite, it’s known for its tube of coloured glass windows which portray the epic Bible.
11. Mt. Mary Church, Maharashtra
The Mt. Mary Church that stands beautifully overlooking the Arabian Sea in Bandra, Mumbai is a hot favourite amongst Bollywood films, one of the reasons behind its huge following. Undoubtedly, the most popular Church in the country it looks especially stunning when it is decorated during all Catholic festivals especially for the Bandra Fest (birthday of Mother Mary) that is held in the month of September.
12. Mar Thoma Pontifical Shrine
One of the first seven Churches constructed by Saint Thomas, Mar Thoma Pontifical Shrine is a very famous Christian pilgrimage place in India. Located in Azhicode in Kerala, is also considered as the cradle of Christian religion in India and hence so important.