5 most beautiful churches in India
A huge chunk of India's rich history of multiple cultures and religions comes from the colonization by the British, French, Dutch, and Portuguese. The Western invasion in modern history was a major boost to the spread of Christianity in India. Thus, several churches and cathedrals began to pop up in different forms of architecture across India. Have you been to these five beautiful churches?
This Roman Catholic basilica is a pilgrimage point and the most iconic monument in Goa. It is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Located in Old Goa, it is home to the mortal remains of St Francis Xavier. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is India's first minor basilica, and one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the World.
Well known for its Gothic architecture, St. Paul's Cathedral is dedicated to Paul the Apostle. It is also the seat of the Diocese of Calcutta. When construction was completed in 1847, it became the first Anglican cathedral in Asia and the largest church in Kolkata. The architectural design is "Indo-Gothic," a Gothic style created to survive well in the local climate.
The Saint Francis Church was built in 1503 and is one of the oldest European churches in India. Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama died in Kochi in 1524 and was originally buried here, but after fourteen years, his remains were moved to Lisbon. When the Dutch captured Kochi in 1663 they broke all other churches but restored and used this as a government church.
Also called Samba Kovil, it is the Cathedral Mother Church for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Puducherry. The Jesuits came here during the French rule in the 1600s and built three churches one after the other, all of which were razed to the ground. The current church was then built on the site of the third church and was completed on June 20, 1791.
Also called Patthar Girja, this is an Anglican cathedral. Built like the 13th-century Gothic-style churches, it is one of the Gothic revival buildings built during the British Raj. British architect Sir William Emerson, known for the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, designed this cathedral in 1871. The church celebrates its anniversary on All Saints' Day, November 1, hence the name.