CHRISTIANITY IN INDIA AND VISITING CHENNAI’S TOP CHURCHES
India is a country with not just cultural diversity but religious diversity as well. There are important pilgrimage sites owing to different types of religions. While Chennai may be known for its iconic temples, it is also a place where you can see some major churches and cathedrals making it an essential pilgrimage site for the christians. This article talks about Christianity in India and the important temple you will find in Chennai.
Christianity is definitely not one of the top religions in India counting by sheer numbers. That being said, there are almost 30 million Christians in India today. The density of this Christian population is mainly focussed in parts of south India, parts of Maharashtra and Goa, and the rest in the north-east region of India. Christianity grew rapidly in the Northeast region when catholic priests from Italy and American baptist church ministers came over to set up schools and churches. In south India, it began with the arrival of St. Thomas, one of the 12 apostles of Lord Jesus Christ. St. Thomas spent the last days of his life in this region spreading christianity, converting people through the word of God and strengthening the faith of the people. His remains lie in Chennai today making Chennai a major pilgrimage site for Christians all over. Christians from Mumbai can be seen taking the Mumbai to Chennai flights during special christian festivals. Mentioned below are some of the top temples in Chennai.
San Thome Basilica
The most iconic church in Chennai or even India for that matter, the San Thome Basilica is the ultimate pilgrimage site for Christians in India. It was build over the tomb of St. Thomas, the apostle of Lord Jesus. The structure of the church is magnificent and it has on display a small bone taken out from the hand of St Thomas that has been preserved carefully. Like most major churches and cathedrals, San Thome Basilica also has the 14 plaques hung on the walls of the church displaying the scene from the last procession of Christ to his crucifixion.
The Armenian Church is found on the Armenian street in the Chennai provincial regions. Armenian merchants who settled in Chennai for trade reasons built this church in the year 1771. The Armenian Church of Virgin Mary is a marvel of outline perfection and one the most well known sacred spots for Christians in India. The complex has a little church and turret tower. The standout feature of this church are the six different kinds of bells found in the church.
St. Mary’s Church,Chennai
The St. Mary’s Church found at Fort St.George is a 5400 square foot church with a beautiful roofhouse on top. This unique rooftop house is four feet in width, and has a four feet thick divider. It is also believed that this rooftop house was used as resting quarters and storeroom in the midst of War times. The structure has encountered various alterations over the time. This prestigious Church is arranged inside the city and is one of the noteworthy travel interest of Chennai.
St. Andrews Church
St. Andrew’s Church is located on the Poonamallee High road, close Egmore Railway Station. The Church was worked by Scottish Community that had settled in Chennai in the year 1821. It is considered as one of the best Georgian Architecture structures in the whole Asian sub-continent. Rich mahogany wood work had been used to cover the internal parts of the Church. The luxuriously laid, check outlined marble on the floor adds wonderfulness to the already majestic structure.