June 12, 2011

San Thome Basilica - Chennai, India

 Christians believe that St. Thomas, the apostle of Jesus Christ, arrived at India in 52 AD to preach Christinaity and he was killed in St. Thomas Mount area of Chennai city, the gateway city to South India. St. Thomas Basilica (popularly called as San Thome Church by the locals) is built over the tomb of St. Thomas. In the entire world, only three churches are built over the tomb of apostle of Jesus Christ. St. Thomas Basilica is one among them (the other two are in Spain and Rome). Due to this, this church is considered as one of the most important Roman Catholic Churches in South India.

The structure of the church built in Gothic style is an architectural marvel. It was originally built by Portuguese in the 16th century AD and rebuilt by the British in 19th century AD. The interior of this beautiful church is full of artistically beautiful windows and chandeliers. All over the wall, you can find small stucco images depicting the last day of Jesus Christ. The idol of Jesus Christ is located at the dais. The idol of Jesus in the cross and Mary with the folded hands are also found in the church.

Apart from the main church, there is a small chapel used for prayers. The tomb of St. Thomas is found behind the main church. The scene of St. Thomas lying down and being killed by the killer using the spear is depicted in the form of idols near the tomb. A small museum near the tomb has the relics of St. Thomas and few other apostles (such as bone, piece of spear used to kill the apostle, etc.).

San Thome Church is definitely a site which you should never miss to visit in Chennai.

Happy travelling.

Fast Facts:
Site Name: San Thome Basilica aka St. Thomas Church
Site Type: Church
Location:  San Thome area, Chennai city, Tamil Nadu state, India 
Highlights: One of the most popular churches in Chennai city; One of the three churches in the entire world which was built over the tomb of the apostles of Jesus Christ; the tomb of St. Thomas and the holy relics are found in the church

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 from any part of the city; 
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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1 comment:

  1. "only three churches are built over the tomb of apostle of Jesus Christ. St. Thomas Basilica is one among them (the other two are in Spain and Rome)." - Probably he died at three different places!