Christmas Celebration: While we are eagerly waiting for Christmas holidays, pre-planning is a done deal. Sure you are planning for some exotic destination but Christmas is also about prayers and carols. So we bring you a list of beautiful churches in India. Of course, one can’t spend all the holidays in religious travel but they can include a sacred place for sure.
Christmas Celebration: Here Are The 8 Most Beautiful Churches Of India
1. Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Goa
The exterior facade of the church, rich with Portuguese Baroque style architectural elements, is kept painted a bright white. The tall belfry centred atop the facade houses the bell from the Augustinian Monastery. The interior of the church is not extravagant but is colourful. The main altar, which has an elegant decor, is dedicated to Mother Mary. There are two other intricately carved, gold plated and decorated altars, one each on either side of the main altar.
2. St. Alphonsa’s Church, Delhi
St. Alphonsa’s Church after the name of a Syro-Malabar Catholic Franciscan nun who is now honoured as a saint. Sister Alphonsa became the first native Indian saint, canonised in 2008. She was the first woman of Indian origin to be canonised as a saint by the Catholic Church. St. Alphonsa’s Church offers services in three languages English, Hindi and Korean and the timings may differ basing on the season and preferred language.
The Church is filled with rich detailed carvings and sculptures that denote stories from the bible. The wood detailing with white interiors give a light and airy feeling to space, it had me moving into a meditative zone for a while; with the statue of Christ placed on a wooden background and calm chirps of birds.
3. St Paul Cathedral, Kolkata
One of the finest looking churches in India, the St. Paul Cathedral is definitely a must see in Kolkata. the St Paul’s Cathedral Church in Kolkata was built in 1847. It is said to be the largest cathedral in Kolkata and the first Episcopal Church in Asia. It was also the first cathedral built in the overseas territory of the British Empire.
4. The Basilica Of The Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pondicherry
The church is situated on the south boulevard of Pondicherry in Puducherry, India, is an oriental specimen of Gothic architecture.
The biblical verse from 2 Chronicles 7:16 is written above the entrance door in Latin “sanctificavi locum istum, ut sit nomen meum ibi” which means “I have consecrated this house, that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there forever.”. Inside the church, there are glass pictures of 28 saints who were related to the devotion of Sacred Heart of Jesus. It contains rare stained glass panels depicting events from the life of Christ and saints of the Catholic Church.
5. St Paul Church, Daman and Diu
The St. Paul’s Church, Diu, is situated in Diu Island, on the west coast of India, a Union Territory of India. It is located in the town of Diu, which came under the control of the Portuguese colonists in early 16th century.
The interior of the church is decorated with intricately carved woodwork that is considered one of the most elaborate in any Portuguese church in India. Its interior has an elaborate and impressive design with delicate volutes (spiral scroll-like ornament) and shell. The Church is stated to be an innovative design of Jesuit architecture, typical of India. The unique aspect is the facade, which has intricate decoration vis-a-vis its plain walls.
6. St Peter’s Church, Mumbai
It stands on the sea-shore of the Bandra suburb of Mumbai and was the only church there till the first quarter of the 17th century.
The church, built in the Baroque architectural style, exhibits strong similarity but with better workmanship and design than the Bom Jesus Basilica at Goa.Though the frontal elevation of the church is a replica of the Bom Jesus Basilica, but it dispenses with an additional third storey and also the compartments created by the buttresses, as seen in the Bon Jesus.
7. St Philomena’s Church, Mysore
St. Philomena’s Cathedral is a Catholic church that is the cathedral of the and the Diocese of Mysore, India. Its complete name is Cathedral of St. Joseph and St. Philomena, and it is also known as St. Joseph’s Cathedral.
The church was designed by a Frenchman named Daly. The long part of the cross is congregation hall called the nave. The two arms of the cross are the transepts. The part containing the altar and the choir is the crossing. The cathedral has a crypt that houses a statue of St. Philomena. The twin spires of the church are 175 feet (53 m) in height.
8. St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Bangalore
St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bangalore in India. This church was inaugurated on 26 May 1932, which would become a cathedral in 1940. On its platinum jubilee in 2009, two new domes of the facade were inaugurated. Bangalore archbishop Bernard Moras re-dedicated the cathedral to St. Francis Xavier. The domes had been constructed along with several other renovations.