Churches and cathedrals in India are spread across the length and breadth of the country. Drawing inspirations from different colonised rulers, these places of worship are among the must visit attractions in the region. For those of you planning a holiday to India, here is a list of some of the most ancient churches in the country.
Santa Cruz Basilica, Kochi
One of the eight Basilicas in the south Indian province of Kerala, Santa Cruz Basilica is a must visit attraction in Kochi. Build originally by the Portuguese in 1558, the basilica is known for its gothic style architecture. The painting of the renowned Italian painter Fr Antonio Moscheni and the seven large canvas paintings including a beautiful reproduction of the ‘Last Supper’ by Leonardo da Vinci are top highlights here. The stained glass windows and paintings on the ceiling, depicting scenes from the life of the Jesus, are the other highlights.
Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa
A classic example of baroque architecture, Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the most beautiful churches in Goa, India. Constructed in 1605 by a group of travellers, this ancient basilica features the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier along with several paintings and sculptures. Many visit to see the 17th century Florentine sculpture and the ornamented entrance gate.
The Christ Church, Shimla
Located on the famous Mall Road, The Christ Church is the second oldest church in this part of the country. Originally constructed in 1857, this beautiful neo-gothic structure today is one of the most important tourist attractions in Shimla. The five stained glass windows representing the Christian virtues of faith, hope, charity, fortitude, patience and humility are loved by the visitors. The church holds a valuable collection of books, ancient sculptures and paintings.
All Saints Cathedral, Allahabad
Popularly known as ‘Patthar Girja’, All Saints Cathedral is a classic example of traditional architecture and efficient workmanship. Preserving some of the ancient works of glass and marble for over 125 years, the beautiful gothic styled church is home to different plaques mentioning the deaths of different British officials during the colonial period. Every year on All Saints Day (1st November) the church celebrates its anniversary by offering prayers and feast.
Moravian Mission Church, Leh
Moravian Church is one of the most famous churches in India. Constructed using Bohemian design and architecture in 1457, the cathedral is home to ancient pictures and sculptures dating back to the time when Christianity set its grounds in India. The emblem ‘Lamb of God’ surrounded by the flag of victory is a big highlight here.