The Portuguese and French rulers have left a legacy of spectacular churches across South India. Their architecture and intricate carvings are enough to lose oneself in their divine serenity.
Fort St. George, Chennai
Built it in 1640 AD, this fort also houses Saint Mary's Church - the oldest Anglican Church. Don’t forget to see the oldest British tombstones in India and the 46 meter-high flagstaff in the fort.
San Thome Basilica, Chennai
The Portuguese built this church in the 16th century. Stunning stained glass windows depicting the story of St Thomas and the three feet statue of the Virgin Mary, said to have been brought from Portugal in 1543, are not to be missed.
Little Mount Church, Chennai
Locally known as ’Chinnamalai’“, this small cave, once the abode of St. Thomas, can be accessed through a Portuguese church built in 1551.
St. Andrew's Church, Chennai
A resplendent blue dome adorned with gold stars adds to the unique beauty of this church whose roof-top also offers a breathtaking view of the city.
Christ the King Church, Chennai
Designed and built by an Indian in 1933, this magnificent church has attractive ribbed vaults, rose windows and pointed arches. The stunning stained glass windows are a feast for the eyes.
Malayatoor Church, Kerala
One of the important religious places in Kerala and situated on the top of the 609 meter-high Malayatoor Hill near Kochi, this church is dedicated to St. Thomas, whose life-size statue is awe-inspiring.
The Santa Cruz Basilica, Kerala
Built by the Portuguese, this church has an interesting past -- promoted to a cathedral in 1558 AD, it was demolished by the British in 1795 AD. After a century, Bishop Dom Gomez Ferreira rebuilt the structure at the same site, which was declared a Basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1984.
St. Francis Church, Kerala
Initially known as Santo Antonio, this church was built by the Europeans with granite. Lush green lawns and the majestic Fort Kochi add to the beauty of the church.
St. Mary's Church, Kerala
Located near Kottayam and built in 1550 AD, its Persian stone cross with ancient inscriptions is a major crowd-puller.
There are many more not-so-famous yet splendid churches in South India. Write to us about your favorites!