“Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting”
Christmas is such a lovely, wonderful time of the year! The jingling of bells and the impeccably adorable decorations at every corner of the city which indicates the message of hope, happiness, joy, and merriment. This is often a reason for bringing the family together, making friends and celebrating the very spirit of togetherness. This Christmas challenge your family to try something new instead of staying at your place go out and explore the midnight mass in a church. And so, we bring you 17 of the most prepossessing churches in India to visit this year and make your festival memorable.
St. Paul’s Cathedral, Kolkata
Plausibly St. Paul’s Cathedral is the most iconic church in Kolkata, . The shrine, dating back to 1847, Built in the Indo-Gothic style it is regarded as the first Episcopal Church in Asia. The cathedral is decorated beautifully during Christmas and New Year’s time and is thronged by local visitors and by tourists as well.
St. Philomena’s Church, Mysuru
St. Philomena’s Church is considered to be the second largest church in Asia. This Roman Catholic Church was built to honor the memory of Saint Philomena, a Latin Catholic Saint and martyr of the Roman Catholic Church. On Christmas Eve, the church attracts a large number of people cutting across religious lines.
Mount Mary church, Mumbai
Mount Mary Church is a Roman Catholic Church, dedicated to ‘Virgin Mary’, is also known as ‘The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount’. This is also famous for a Feast of Mount Mary every year is followed by the Bandra Fair, which is held for a week. The Mount Mary is a must-visit if not out of belief, then to appreciate the semi-Gothic architecture.
The Bom Jesus Basilica, Goa
The Bom Jesus Basilica is partially in ruins but still a model of simplicity and elegance, and a fine example of Jesuit architecture, it is aptly named as Bom Jesus which means ‘good Jesus’ or ‘infant Jesus’. its foundation stone was laid on 24 November 1594. One of the most dazzling areas in the city during Christmas or any other time, for that matter.
Our Lady of Ransom Church, Kanyakumari
A pristine and exquisite example of Gothic architecture, Our Lady of Ransom Church is dedicated to Mother Mary. It was built in the 15th century and forms a scenic picture against the backdrop of the blue ocean. Three towering towers, lolling in the brilliant sun and transmitting their immaculate white! This is the manner by which the Shrine welcomes the visitors. Highly recommended mark this at top of your list.
Christ Church, Shimla
Second oldest Church in North India, Christ Church is the star attraction of Shimla. It was built back in 1884 While you get to enjoy silence inside the church, there is a completely different world outside it, at the ridge which is a major tourist spot. This is why the Christ Church is called a gift from another era.
Sacred Heart Church, Shimoga
Sacred Heart Church second largest church in India. The statue of Jesus is the salient feature of the church attracting people in large numbers. Its architectural magnificence can be attributed to the peculiar Gothic and Roman styles.
San Thone Basilica Chennai
San Thome Basilica is one of the historical churches in India, and a minor basilica in Chennai The church is built using the neo-gothic style of architecture, following the faith of Catholic Christians. The church complex consists of the church, a chapel, the apostle’s tomb, and a museum and a treat for everyone who wants to visit.
National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom, Vallarpadam
A church christened as the Basilica of Our Lady of Ransom was set up by the Portuguese at Vallarpadam in Ernakulam. They also placed a famous painting of the Lady of Ransom in the church. Later, the local people started to attribute many miracles to the painting.
St. Mary’s Basilica, Bangalore
The church is very famous in the State and attracts a large number of devotees from in and around Bangalore.the formation of the church is interlinked with the formation of the Bangalore city.The initial structure of the church was known as the Kaanike Matha Devalaya, which simply means Goddess of Gifts Temple. Later in 1973, the church was elevated to a higher level and was made a minor basilica.
St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Hyderabad
It is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Hyderabad. Replete with history, the St Joseph’s Cathedral situated in Gunfoundry was built in 1820 AD. It’s most significant features are the façade and the bell towers. The beautiful interiors get an added charm during Christmas.
St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai
Situated on Veer Nariman Road, St.Thomas Cathedral was the first Anglican Church of Mumbai constructed in 1718. The entrance of the Church has one of the gates of Fort built for British settlement. This is Point Zero, where the pin falls in ‘Bombay’, from where distance in the city was measured in milestones.
St. John in the Wilderness Church, Nanital
St. John in the Wilderness is a Church of North India church dedicated to John the Baptist built in 1852, is known for its Belgian stained-glass windows donated by Lady Elgin. For people who are planning a trip to North India, during Christmas vacation, this is a charming and rustic place to visit.
Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Pondicherry
This church is also known as “Samba Kovil” and has a striking similarity in its resemblance to a church in France that was built in 1791. It’s an impressive example of French architecture in India. The use of white, blue and yellow paint in the interior makes the cathedral cheerful and inviting the visitor all over the world.
St. Francis Church, Kochi
Known as the prominent monument of Dalhousie, the St. Francis Church was constructed in the year 1894 by the Army and Civil Officers and civilians. Tourists who wish to take a leap into the yesteryears, the St. Francis Church would be a paradise with hidden wonders. The interior of the church reflects the ancient Indo-European architecture with wooden roof and stone flooring.
All Saints Cathedral, Prayagraj
Known as Patthar Girja This famous church “All Saints Cathedral” as inspired by the Gothic style that was constructed during the 13th century. The church is known for its intricate work and design on the marble altar and its stained glass panel This is one among the best Churches to explore and spend some peaceful time on Christmas Eve.
Velankanni Church, Velankanni
The holy shrine was constructed in the memory of the Lady of Health, also known as the Madonna of Velankanni and is popular as a Lourdes of the east. There is a unique practice that visitors offer candles to the mother to cure themselves. Is can be said as a great combination of international, multination and religious harmony.
Do you know any other famous churches in India? Let us know in the comments section!