Christianity, in India was considered have its origin
in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, where many of the famous India
churches still exist today. It was recorded in history
that Apostle Thomas has set foot in Kodungallur, Kerala
somewhere around 1st century; who built the famous 'Seven
Churches' there. He also helped Christianity spread
rapidly to other Indian states.
Of the famous Churches in South India, Mar Thoma Church
at Kodungaloor in Kerala is one of the seven churches
built by St. Thomas, and is considered to be the first
Catholic Church in India.
Occupying the position of the most famous church in
India is the San Thome Basilica. Built by the Portuguese
at Santhome in Chennai around 16th century, it was later
made into a cathedral by the British around 1893 and
then into a Basilica around 1896. This India Church
has beautiful stained glass depictions around it showing
various stages of the life of St. Thomas in glory and
splendor, and also contains a statue of Virgin Mary,
that traces it origin to Portugal.
The quest for South India Churches cannot end, without
the mention of Velankanni Church, located at Velankanni,
Tamilnadu. This is the most visited pilgrimage center
for Christians across the nation and world too. It is
no wonder that the highest echelon of the Catholic community,
the Pope, called it a 'holy city' after all.
Among the most notable Churches in North India, the
most popular is the Holy Christ Church of Shimla, located
at Ridge Ground; this beautiful yellow colored Church
is visited by tourists across the world and has even
appeared in many Bollywood movies.
St. John's Church located about four to five kilometers
from the popular 'Peace of Mind Spot' in Mcleodganj,
Dharamshala is considered the oldest of the Cathedrals
in North India. It was built around 1852. There is an
absolute virginity associated with this Church-it is
completely surrounded by Deodar trees and in a natural
Coming to the most famous Catholic Church in India,
'Basilica of Bom Jesus' located at Panjim, Goa, is considered
one of the most sacred and preserved. It is here that
the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier are preserved
and kept for public viewing. When ever the Church puts
up the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier for public
display, a large number of visitors and pilgrims throng
the Church. This church is accorded the status of 'World
Heritage Site' by UNESCO.