5 Beautiful & Historical Churches In Chennai & Why You Must Visit Them
Experience colonial Chennai at its best, with a walk through these beautiful churches, spread across the city.
St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica, Santhome
For someone who loves visiting churches, every drive to the Chennai Railway Station has got us stealing a glance of this beautiful church, right in the heart of Santhome. One of Chennai’s most famous pilgrimage spots, the Santhome church was built above the tomb of Saint Thomas, way back in the 16th century by the Portugese. Many of Chennai’s heritage walks include a stroll around this world famous church, which is full of old world charm and comprises the best of Neo-Gothic architecture. We visited during an early morning walk to Marina Beach and we think the shrine is a blissful place for Sunday masses or just appreciate the glorious architecture.
St. George's Cathedral
Located right next to the US Consulate near the Gemini bridge, St.George’s Cathedral is historical and tucked away in a quiet spot in the city. We spent an hour sitting at the wooden benches, reminiscing carols during Christmas, and soon set out for a stroll around their huge backyard right next to the cemetery (we spotted many parrots here!). Although built in 1815 and earlier known as the ‘Church Of England’, the Cathedral was inaugurated in 1947, marking India’s independence.
St. Andrew's Church (The Kirk), Egmore
St. Andrews is a must-visit during Christmas for carols. The Kirk originally built for Scottish soldiers, apart from being a very spiritual place to worship, is also a structure known for its grandeur. The Palladian stylecChurch is know its soulful pipe organ. Don’t miss out on this architectural wonder while you’re in the thriving Egmore area.
Armenian Church, Parry's
Amidst Chennai’s many places of worship, the Armenian Church was a real find. A 1712 structure which was redone in 1772, Chennai’s Armenian Church is one of the oldest in the Indian subcontinent itself and has a part of history buried in there. It is situated on the way to the CSI St Mary’s Church and emits a rustic charm right from it’s worn-down exteriors. Though located on one this most bustling streets of George Town, enter the Armenian Church and it is a different world inside. Right next to the church, you’ll find graves of around 300 Armenians and this heritage site has plenty of stories restored on its walls.
Make sure you visit before 2:30 PM on any given day.
St Thomas Mount, Guindy
This hillock shrine, is an annual pilgrimage for most Chennaities. A 160 step journey leads to the summit of the mount. The 17th century structure is dedicated to Mother Mary. Located really close to the Chennai Airport, regular visitors of the church say it’s not only their holy place but also a favourite spot to catch a panoramic view of the city, along with beautiful sunrise and sunsets. Read more here.