December 31, 2010

St. Peter's Church, Chennai - A 19th century unknown Church

St. Peter's Church is one of the oldest churches in Chennai city, which was constructed in 19th century AD.

Chennai, the gateway to South India, is a prominent South Indian city located in Tamil Nadu state. There are many churches located in Chennai city. St. Peter's church, located in Royapuram of North Chennai, remains unknown to even public of Central Chennai and South Chennai. St. Peter's is a small beautiful church, called as "Madha Koil" by the locals. It is located at a distance of around 500 m from Royapuram railway station, the oldest surviving railway station of India.

The British East India Company occupied Madrasapattinam (Chennai aka Madras). They established their trading center in Madras. In those days, the transport of goods by boats were monopolised by a group of Hindus, and there was no proper harbour in Madras. In due course, some of those fishers/boatmen became Catholics. In the year of 1779 these boatmen shifted their residence from Chepauk area to Royapuram area. In the year of 1829, the present chapel was built for these boat men. The church called as "Madha Kovil" by the locals was named after St. Peter. St. Peter is called as "Rayappar" in Tamil language, the language spoken in Madras. Due to this church of Rayappar, the area was also called as Royapuram.
When you happen to go to North Chennai, do visit this small beautiful church of St. Peter, which stands as a heritage symbol of Chennai city.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: St. Peter's Church 
Site Type: Heritage site, Old Church
Location: Royapuram, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: The church which belongs to British era
Nearest Railway Station: Chennai - well connected from the cities/towns all over India
Nearest Airport: Chennai has both national and international airports
How to reach: Easily reachable by road, train, and flight
Hotel: Many star hotels, luxury hotels/resorts, and budget hotels are available in Chennai
Restaurants: All options - vegetarian, non-vegetarian, Chinese, South Indian, Gujarati, North Indian, Punjabi,....- you can find everything in Chennai city

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