Christian Pilgrimage Destinations

Christianity, the most popular religion in the world has strong roots with India too. Christianity in India is as old as World Christianity. The Catholic Churches and Cathedrals built during the rule of Portuguese and British speak of the grandeur of their lifestyles and the dedication of the missionaries. There are different classes of Christians in India, the primary classes being Syrian Christians, Knanaya Christians, Goan Christians, Tamil Christians, Anglo-Indians, Naga Christians, etc. Though they differ in language, social customs & traditions and economic prosperity, they play a decisive role in the fields of education, social work, politics etc.

Some of the famous churches in India are 
1. Velankanni Church is located 12 km south of Nagapattinam on the Coromandel Coast, in Tamil Nadu. The shrine here is dedicated to Lady of Health, the Madonna of Velankanni and is popularly known as 'Sacred Arogya Matha Church'. Virgin Mary is believed to have miraculous healing powers. Thousands of pilgrims belonging to various castes and communities flock daily to this 'Lourdes of the East'. The church has an imposing facade with tall spires and the wings present the shape of a cross. In a niche in the alter is enshrined the statue of Lady of Health 

2. Basiclica of Bom Jesus, Goa The holy Basilica of Bom Jesus, houses the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. It is a famous pilgrimage center among Roman Catholics. The church of Bom Jesus, "Good" or "Infant" Jesus, is known principally for the tomb of St. Francis Xavier. In 1946, it became the first church of India to be elevated to the status of Minor Basilica. One of the richest churches in Goa, it is covered with marble and inlaid with precious stones and paintings depicting the life of St. Francis Xavier.

3. Christ Church & St. Michael's Cathedral, H.P. 
Built in 1846-1857, Christ Church is the second oldest church of Northern India. It has become one of the landmarks of Shimla. The church's exquisite beauty comes with the stained glasses that are fitted on its windows for which it is famed

4. Church of St Francis of Assisi, Goa This church is the former palace of the Archbishop that connects the Se Cathedral to the Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assisi. The exterior of the Church is of the Tuscan order while the main entrance is in Manuline style.

5. Church of the Sacred Heart, Delhi Situated at the south end of Bhai Vir Singh Marg, is one of Medd's more ambitious projects, the Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart. This Church displays a strong Italianate influence, with a facade of white pillars supporting a canopy set against a dark brick background, and circular arcades turrets rising above the roof to each side of the entrance porch. The lofty interior has a towering curved roof, polished stone floors and broad arches set into smooth walls, presenting a very grand look.

6. Santa Cruz Basilica, Kerala One of the finest and impressive churches in Kerala, Santa Cruz Basilica is a historic church that was built by the Portuguese. It is located at K.B Jacob road in Fort Kochi. It is a place of devotion as well as a center of historic significance, endowed  with architectural and artistic grandeur and colours of the gothic style. Located close to St. Francis Church it is the 'capital church' of the diocese of Cochin. 
7. Cathedral Church of St. Thomas, Mumbai St. Thomas' Cathedral, the city's first Anglican Church is situated in the heart of the commercial fort area, in Mumbai . The foundation was laid in 1672 during the governorship of Gerald Aungier, and was opened to public on the Christmas Day in 1718. Devotees and tourists flock St. Thomas Cathedral to find a moment of peace and admire the beautiful architecture and of course relish the wanton elegies carved on many tombstones that make every visit so much lively.

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