Friday, April 3, 2015

Churches In Chennai

As he laid his life for the sins of mankind, at arise again in glory of the God, it is time to recap the beautiful places of worship in Chennai.... Tribute to Lord on this Good Friday

Anderson Church

John Anderson arrived in Madras as one of the many Scottish missionaries. He started the John Anderson General Assembly School in 1835 (in the present Opthalmic Hospital premises), which later was christened the Madras Christian College and School and later was shifted to George Town. Spurred by the zest for spreading education, he founded the Muslim School for girls in Triplicane. It is indeed ironical that this zestful educationalist is now remembered not for what he actually stood for; rather his name was given to the church situated in George Town where once the handsome buildings of the Madras Christian College stood. The church, attractive with its unique, slim, towering steeple reminds us of the fire that burnt in the heart of the enthusiast.
Location : Brodway, Chennai - 600 108,
Tel : 25226149, 25211186

Armenian Church

The Armenian Church Chennai, constructed in 1712 and reconstructed in 1772, is one of the oldest churches of the Indian subcontinent. It is famous for its belfry of six. The Church, also called the Armenian Church of Virgin Mary, is located on the Armenian Street, Parrys, Chennai, South India.
It is situated in Armenian Street, just Opposite to High Court. Built in 1772 on the site of an old Armenian cemetery. It was the church of the Armenian community who began to settle in Chennai way back in 1666. A lovely little church, that has no congregation now but a caretaker who keeps this historic place of worship spic and span.It is situated in Armenian Street, just Opposite to High Court. Landmark:Near High Court, Broadway.
116,Armenian Street,
Chennai, 600001.
Phone: 044 25386223

Altar Armenian Church Madras
  • Michael Stephen was the caretaker of the Church until 2004 The current caretaker (2010) of the Church is Trevor Alexander. Functioning only as a heritage site, the Church is opened for visitors from 9 am till 2:30 pm.
  • It is funded by the Armenian Apostolic Church and maintained by The Armenian Church Committee in Calcutta.
  • The graves of about 350 Armenians have been laid out throughout the Church.
  • The founder, publisher and editor of the world's first Armenian periodical "Azdarar", Reverend Haroutiun Shmavonian, is buried here.
  • The Belfry adjacent to the main Church structure houses six large bells which are rung every Sunday at 9:30 am by the caretaker.
The Armenians were a select group of merchants in Madras Presidency. They walked all the way from Armenia, through the Hindukush mountains and came down to Madras. When the British were trading cotton cloth, Armenians dealt with fine silk, expensive spices and gems.

Andrew’s Krik Church

Described in the British days as the ‘Noblest edifice in Hindustan’, St. Andrew’s Kirk, an almost two-century-old church, as S.Muthaiah, the eminent historian of Madras writes, is perhaps one of the ‘best examples of Georgian architecture in Asia. ‘W.T Munro describes the church in Madras ‘the most splendid church in Madras’. The name itself is suggestive of the Scottish connections the City had, or rather the Madras Presidency of the British days. In 1815 a Scot was even appointed minister in the Presidency of Madras. Considering such an extent of prominence, it was but natural for the Scots to build a church of their own.
Location : Poonamalle Hig Road, Egmore, Chennai- 8.
Tel : 044-25383508

Avella Theresa Church

This church is the first Bishop House in Chennai. It was here, the first Bishop performed his duties later his office was changed to Mylapore. The Holy Mary of this Holy Church is Mother Avella Theresammal.
Location : 5, Nungambakkam High Road, Chennai - 600 034.
Tel : 28278788

Cathedral of St. Mary of the Angels

It is situated in the Cathedral Road.It was built in the year 1775 on the site of a Portugese Cemetery. It has some rare, antique oil paintings of the Crucification and Mary Magdalene. It is a white colonial church, with a beautiful garden. It has a 130 feet spire with its interior very light and airy with stucco walls. The decorated roof and many fascinating tablets and tombs add to beauty of the spire. It is situated in the Cathedral Road near Gemini Fly-Over.

St. Mary’s Church-Fort St.
St. Mary’s Church, the first Anglican Church in India, was constructed in 1680. It was here that the marriages of the then Governor of Madras Elihu Yale- the one who established the Yale University in USA - and Robert Clive were solemnized. The tomb stones found in its courtyard are the oldest British tomb stones in India.
Fort St. George, Kamaraj Road, (South line beach), Chennai - 600 009. Tel : 25382023

It is situated in St. Mary's Road in chennai.The Church was built to mark the spot church was built to mark the spot where St.Thomas would pause for a rest while on his daily walk from his cave on Little Mount to preach on the beach.

It is situated in St. Mary's Road.  Chennai.
224, Cathedral Road, Chennai-600 086. Ph 28112740

Christ Church

By the busy Mount Road is situated the impressive building of the Christ Church and Christ Church Schools with a long history of about a century and a half. Rev. Henry Taylor, Chaplain in the Service of East India Company, realizing the sad plight of the poor people in and around the Mount Road area, opened a large room for public worship in July 1842, which of course, marked the humble beginning of the Christ Church and the Schools. The newly acquired plot was then given to the Bishop for use by what was then the Mount Road Chapel. Arch Deacon Harper established two schools in the chapel compound in 1843 and these schools were then known as the Mount Road Male and Female Schools, which were reorganized and later named Christ Church Schools.
Anna Salai (near Cosmopolitan Club) Chennai - 600 002. Tel : 28583203.

Chinnamalai Little Mount Church

Chinnamalai (Little Mount) is another church, where, in a cave hewn out of a small mount, the Apostle St. Thomas lived and preached. It was from here that he leaped out through a small opening in order to escape from his assailants. An imprint found on the boulder on the other side of the cave is said to have been left by him. There is also a well with a natural spring gushing out water. During the turn of this century a circular church was constructed in this holy spot. Situated near Saidapet bridge.
More a rocky prominence than a mount, it is known as Chinnamalai to the locals. The legend has it, that St.Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ lived in small cave here. Little Mount has an ancient church built by the Portugese in 1551.
At the entrance is a Portrait of St. Thomas and a Portugese inscription, while a masonry cross at the top of the Hill marks the spot where St. Thomas customarily preached. It is believed that the apostle Caused a spring of fresh water to gush forth from a stone by hitting the stone with his staff, and the multitude who came to hear him preach quenched their thirst. The water Is believed to have had healing powers.

Location:St Thomas Mount. Chennai Near Meenambakkam - Chennai.

Luz Church

It is situated in the Luz Church Road , Mylapore. Standing a mile from the Basilica of St.Thomas, it lays claim to being the oldest church construction in Chennai.
It is known to the locals as Kaattu Kovil (Jungle Church). It is Dedicated to 'Our Lady of Light'. A inscription in the church denotes that the construction of the church to be made by Franciscan monk who is supposed built it in - 1516. It is situated in the Luz Church Road , Mylapore.

Portugese Church

It is situated in the Portugese Church Street, It was the church built by the Portuges on the outskirts of the British settlement- the church of the Assumption of our Lord. It has an Historic importance in the church as this is the first church built in British India.
George Town - Chennai.

Santhome Basilica

Further down south on Marina is the Santhome Cathedral Basilica. According to the legends, one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ - St. Thomas, in his mission to spread Christianity in Asia, came to Chennai soon after Jesus was crucified. He lived and preached in St. Thomas Mount and later took asylum in the caves at Little Mount. He was assassinated and buried there. This Cathedral has been built on his burial site.
The Portuguese between the 14th and the 15 century AD built The Santhome cathedral. Deriving its name after St. Thomas, this continues to be an important place of pilgrimage for the Christian community in the country and is also historically important. This Roman Catholic church is said to house the remains of St. Thomas the Apostle.
It is close to the seaport. A towering neo gothic spire dominates the 55 metres high San Thome Cathedral. This church is located on the southern end of Marina Beach. It has in its possession a small hand bone of Thomas and the head of a lance, which brought him down.  Renovated in the early 1970s, this Basilica draws huge crowds. Besides the beauty of its rising spire, this Gothic styled church has a brilliant stained glass depiction of St. Thomas' encounter with the resurrected Christ. In the cathedral is a 3ft. high statue of Virgin Mary, which is believed to have been brought from Portugal in 1543.

Address - 24, Santhome High Road, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004, Tel : 28545444

St. Andrew's Church

It is located in Egmore. Poetically described as the 'Queen of Scottish churches in the East', St. Andrews Scots' Kirk is indeed one of Chennai's most beautiful churches. It Was built around 1821 by the East India Company.

It is located in Egmore.

St. Mary's Church

This is the oldest Anglican Church in Asia. The imposing white edifice was consecrated in 1679 AD; and continues to be an important place of worship. It's treasures are the altar piece, a large painting of the last supper, a 1660 bible and silver plates.

Visitors to St. Mary's Church will be reminded of the men who built Madras (Chennai) and also of the institutions they gave to the city. This Church, often described as the Westminster Abbey of the East, is the oldest British building in Chennai.

To make your Madras trip exciting as well as informative visit this multi-purpose site. An exciting trip without any learning of that place is useless. After some years you are sure to forget it. While a trip full of scholarly learning and enlightenment is too boring. Plan your trip in such a way so that you will get a clear picture of the ancient history, the rich cultural heritage of India as a whole. Also the trip and the sightseeing places should suit your taste and preferences.

Here we will be giving you information about a church, which is situated in the fort St. George. A Trip to the fort St. George place is itself interesting as it has a vast history behind it. Also it can be a favorite hangout for the history-lovers. Trip to the St. Mary's Church in Madras is very easy as it is situated in the city itself. You can hire deluxe coaches, call taxis, which though rates higher, compared to the cheap auto rickshaws are quite comfortable and prompt in service. If you hiring the auto rickshaws be careful about the fares even if they are metered.

The St. Mary's Church has its own importance. It is also called as the Westminster Abbey of the East. It is one of the ancient buildings of Chennai and also it is the first Anglican Church in Asia. The church has been named as St. Mary because its origin was laid down on the Annunciation day of the Virgin Mary. It is believed that in this divine day the heavenly declaration of Jesus birth has been announced to Mother Mary. The church was originally built by William Dixon and designed by Edward Fowle. It is a bomb-proofed carved structure, which has the finishing touch of polished lime. The building of St. Mary's church had some later additions like the Sanctuary, Steeple, Tower and the Vestry. Colonel Gent added the church top in 1795. The interior of the church is embellished with the wooden and glass furnishings. You are sure to be overwhelmed by the intricate painting of the Last Supper, which is drawn by an unknown artist.

Fort St. George,
Kamaraj Road,
(South line beach),
Chennai - 600 009

St.George's Cathedral

It is situated in the Cathedral Road. This Cathedral which is 150 years old is remarkable for its splendid architectural beauty. Built in 1815 with a 45m spire and elegant lonic columns of brick and chunam. Unusual too, is the adjacent graveyard with its unique guard rail made up of musket barrels, bayonets and spikes takenat the capture of Srirangapatnam in 1799.   This Cathedral which is 188 years old is remarkable for its splendid architectural beauty. Built in 1815 with a 45m spire and elegant Ionic columns of brick and chunnam, it is of special historic interest for the several fine memorial tablets remembering such outstanding men as Bishop Caldwell - the eminent Philologist, Bishop Heber, ardent missionary, Dr. Corrie, first Anglican bishop of Chennai, Dr. Anderson, the famous doctor who introduced silk manufacture in Chennai and William Parry and John Binny, merchant entrepreneurs whose names are still remembered in the city’s oldest business establishments. Unusual too, is the adjacent graveyard with its unique guard rail made up of musket barrels, bayonets and spikes taken at the capture of Sri Rangapatnam in 1799.
Location : 224, Cathedral Road, Chennai-600 086.
Tel : 28272740, 28262740.

St.Thomas Mount

Situated near the Airport, the small hillock is believed to be the place where his assassins killed the apostle. A flight of 160steps, built by the Armenian merchant Coja Petrus Uscan, Leads up to the summit of St.Thomas Mount (76m).

St.Thomas Mount is a small hillock situated south of Chennai, where St. Thomas - the Apostle of Jesus, preached Christianity. It is interesting to note that the bleeding cross said to be carved in stone by St. Thomas was found here and installed at the altar of the Church of ’Our Lady of expectation’. The mysterious blood stains on the bleeding cross remain for years even after deliberate scrubbing and the wear and tear of centuries. The Church also holds a fascinating painting of Holy Mother and Infant Jesus said to have been painted by the apostle St.Thomas himself during 1st century AD.
The paintings of "The Holy Lady and The Child" in the church and "Our Lady of Expectations" are widely believed to have been painted by St.Thomas himself. Close to the seashore, the impressive Basilica is built over the tomb of St. Thomas containing in it's crypt a small hand bone of the Apostle and the head of a lance which is said to have been used in the attack on him.

Also above the altar is an oil painting of the Madonna. This is believed to be one of the seven painted by St.Luke and brought to India By St.Thomas, who never went anywhere without it.

Location: St. Thomas Mount, Chennai-600 016. Tel : 22346516

Velankanni Church

This church is in honour of Our Lady of Health, the Madonna of Velankanni. Smaller in scale than the original one at Velankanni (near Nagapattinam) the devoted believe in the miraculous curative powers of the Madonna.  Though much smaller than the original church at Velankanni, this church at Elliot’s Beach still attracts swarms of pilgrims who have implicit faith in the miraculous healing of the Madonna. Located at Besant Nagar, Chennai -600 090.  On the shores of the Bay of Bengal, at the Eliot's Beach, Besant nagar stands this beautiful shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mother of God and our Heavenly mother - The Annai Velankanni Shrine.

The picture of a person's mind when he is travelling to a particular place for the first time is quite different from the person who had already toured to the place. It is a general assumption that these both persons have different mental perspective. If you are visiting a place for the second time then the motive is just to relax, have fun and bring about some change from the regular daily routine life. But when you are visiting a place for the first time then you will be always curious to know about the lifestyle, cuture, and sociopolitical life of both the ancient and the present of that particular place.

Velankanni Church is located in Nagapattinam. You can travel to Nagapattinam by train, which you can catch from Tambaram station. It is an overnight journey. You can get into Tambaram station within 45 minutes from the Madras central. You can also travel to Nagapattinam by road hire any deluxe or 'call taxis'. These deluxe taxis offer the facility by which you can drive these cabs yourself. You can also hire the call taxis for which you need to call them up and fix your tour and also the charges of your tour. The standard charge of the private cabs is Rs.4.50 per kilometer or Rs.30 per hour. You can also tour to the Velankanni Church in Madras from Trichy and Thanjavur by rail. The distance of Nagapattinam from Madras or Chennai is about 350 kms. Chennai is the present name of the earlier Madras city.

Velankanni Church in Chennai is also called as the 'Mecca of the Christians'. The principal shrine of this Velankanni church is Mother Mary and she is also prayed and worshipped by the people as the Lady of Health. This church is also known as the 'Sacred Arogya Matha Church'. And though it is known as the 'Mecca of Christians' people of all different castes crowd in the feet of the Virgin Mary to receive her blessings.

Also the sight of Velankanni church is stunning with its sky-reaching towers. There is an interesting tradition, which the believers of the Lady of health follow. The person who is diseased offers his body part in the form of candle to Mother Mary. Like if a person has some problem in heart then he will present heart in the shape of a candle and if a person has some problem in liver then he will present the same form in wax. And when the diseased person is healed they offer the healed body parts made up either of gold or silver. The Velankanni Church in Madras also has a museum where all the offerings of the followers of the lady of health are displayed.

Besant Nagar, Chennai.,Near Elliot's beach.   

 Luz Church
Church of Our Lady of Light is a Roman Catholic shrine in Chennai, India. It is commonly called as Luz Church by the locals, which derives from the Portuguese name Nossa Senhora da Luz. . Oldest church in the city and also very famous European monument in the country
Address: No.156, Luz Church Road, Luz, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600004
Phone: 044 2499 2568

 Now some pictures:

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