Posts for church

12 Destinations of Tirunelveli for your next visit

Blog, Destinations - GoroadTrip - June 24, 2014

Tamil Nadu is a state with many facets. From rural villages dating back to several centuries to tech savvy cosmopolitan cities, the state has it all. For the history buff, it is a wonderland. One such area in TN that historians and tourists find fascinating is Tirunelveli. Called Nellai during the British rule, Tirunelveli was ruled by the Pandyas and later by the Cholas. Located in the southern-most tip of the Deccan Plateau, Tirunelveli is surrounded by many scenic places along with several historictemples. Some places to check out are:

12 Destinations of Tirunelveli for your next visit

Nelliappar and Kanthimathi Temples:

These twin temples are very popular religious sites in Tirunelveli. The temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi and were linked by a chain mandapam built by Vadamalaiappa Pillaiyan. The beautiful Dravidian architecture and the musical pillars are truly appealing.

Sankaranarayanan Temple:

The deity of the temple as the name suggests is a combined form of Narayana and Shankara. Aged about 900 years, the temple has a massive dome with nine tiers and a height of 135 feet.


With a number of water falls, Kuttralam is home to a natural bounty of flora and fauna. Many perennial rivers originate from here making it a popular tourist spot. It is also fondly called as the Spa of southern India. The Shenbagadevi Temple near the Shenbagadevi Falls is a must visit too.


Blessed with expanses of green paddy fields and abundant rivers, Papanasam town gives tourists a chance to indulge in natural bliss. Lose yourself in the views of the lush landscapes from the Manjolai Hills and the many dams present in the town. Spend time watching the many species of migratory birds that have made Papanasam their home.

Agasthiyar Falls:

Also called Papanasam Falls the Agasthiyar Falls is on River Tamiraparani and holds a religious belief for many devotees. A person is believed to be washed off his sins with a dip in this waterfall.

Ulagamman Temple:

Built by the Pandya kings, the Ulagamman temple is located in Tenkasi or South Kasi. The impressive gopuram of this temple is the second largest in Tamil Nadu and built in the characteristic Dravidian style of the Pandyas. The main deity of KasiVisvanath and the intricately carved musical pillars are the highlights of the temple.

Kalakkad Mundhanthurai Tiger Reserve:

Being the second largest protected reserved forest in TN, the Mudhanthurai forest is spread across 895 square kilometres. It is in the Western Ghats at 1800 metres above sea level and is resplendent with greenery and many varieties of plants, birds and animals. It is the habitat of the Royal Bengal Tiger. Kalakkad is biologically one of the most diverse sanctuaries and one among the 18 biodiversity hotspots in India. It is situated at the southern tip of the Western Ghats and makes it a wonderful trekking destination owing to the rocky terrain. The sanctuary is home to jungle cats, panthers, tigers, hyenas and various amphibians and reptiles.

Vettuvan Koil:

Literally translated as sculptor’s temple, the temple is built from carved rocks. The construction of the temple is incomplete but the sculptures of Dakshinamoorthy, Brahma, Vishnu and Uma Maheshwar can be seen at the top of the temple.

Holy Trinity Church:

With a pristine white exterior, the Holy Trinity Church in Palayamkottai is a popular tourist destination. It is believed that St Xavier stayed here when he visited India. The Church holds one of the most beautiful Christmas celebrations of our country.

Krishnapuram Temple:

Located at a distance of 15 kilometres from Tirunelveli, the Krishnapuram Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is most popular for the beautiful idol of Lord Vishnu and many other life sized sculptures. The temple site is said to be 9000 years old and the temple structure around 700 years.

MelaTiruvenkatanathapuram Temple:

Located just a few kilometres from Tirunelveli, this temple is also one among the most visited ones in the area. It is dedicated to one of the forms of Lord Vishnu and can be reached by climbing a long flight of stairs as it is on an elevated plane.

Kappal Matha Church:

Built in the shape of a boat the Church is dedicated to St Mary. It is in Uvari, a town inhabited mainly by fishermen. The Church is built on the seashore making it worth paying a visit both for its unique structure and wonderful location.

Owing its ancient temples, river banks and the scenic beauty of the Western Ghats, Tirunelveli is by far one of the most visited places of Tamil Nadu.

Continue Reading

12 Striking Churches of South India

Blog, Destinations, Heritage & Culture, Pilgrimage - GoroadTrip - April 27, 2014

Churches in India are as old as the religion of Christianity. It is believed that one of the apostles of Jesus, St. Thomas visited India and brought the religion to South India. He built churches in Kerala and the inspiration spread across India. Colonization was another reason India gets to see different styles of the British, Portuguese, Dutch and French in its churches. Some of the more striking churches of South India are:

12 Striking Churches of South India

Santhome Basilica, Tamil Nadu:

This church in Santhome is an important attraction of Chennai. It showcases the Neo-Gothic style of architecture and is believed to house the remains of St Thomas. The long arched windows, pristine spires, wooden domes and elegant roof are aesthetically pleasing.

Medak Cathedral, Telangana:

Built in Gothic Revival style, the Medak Cathedral has an impressive 175 feet high bell tower. The church is built with stunning finesse which is evident by the six different colours of mosaic tiles believed to be imported from Britain, the decorative flooring by Italian masons and the well carved magnificent grey pillars.

Santa Cruz Basilica, Kerala:

Originally built by the Portuguese, the church was marked as a cathedral by Pope Paul IV. The church is one of the oldest in India and a prominent landmark of Kochi. It was one among the few structures that survived the Dutch invasion.

Se Cathedral, Goa:

One among the largest churches in India, the Se Cathedral in Old Goa is dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria and is on the banks of the Mandovi River. The Church boasts of a Golden Bell, so named because of the rich bell tone. It is one of the best bells in the world. The old paintings on the Alter and the chapel where a vision of Christ is believed to have appeared called Cross of Miracles are great attractions.

Velankanni Church, Tamil Nadu:

Possibly the most visited church in India, the Velankanni Church in Nagapattinam is dedicated to the Lady of Health known as ‘Our lady of Velankanni’. It is believed that devotees who offer candles to the Mother will be cured of all illness. The Church with its white exterior and red roof is an imposing Gothic structure on the shores of the Bay of Bengal.

St Mary’s Basilica, Karnataka:

The oldest church in Bangalore city, St Mary’s Church depicts the Gothic style of architecture. It has been elevated to the position of minor basilica in Karnataka.

Mount Mary Church, Maharashtra:

Situated in West Bandra in Mumbai, the Mount Mary Church is set on a mount as the name suggests. It is oldest church of Mumbai and attracts a horde of worshippers. It is a beautiful sea front structure standing on a hill. The wooden statue of Mother Mary with child Jesus is another lovely sight.

Parumala Church, Kerala:

A parish church in Thiruvalla district in Kerala, the Parumala church holds the tomb of the great saint, Saint Gregarious Geevarghese. The church has a unique circular structure and is believed to have miraculous powers. It has a capacity to hold about 2000 people at a time.

Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa:

One among the more popular churches, the Basilica of Bom Jesus or Good Jesus, is around 300 years old. The church holds the remains of St. Francis Xavier. His body is open for public viewing at a particular time of the year when people come in thousands to visit the church. The church is a World Heritage Site.

Our Lady of Dolours Church, Kerala:

Known to be the largest church in India and the third tallest in Asia, this church is a minor basilica in Thrissur. It boasts of the Gothic style of architecture and has some fine interior decorations of scenes from scriptures, images of saints and murals.

Rosary Church, Karnataka:

Located in Shetihalli, Hassan, the Rosary Church was by built by French missionaries on the banks of River Hemavati. The church is a brilliant example of Gothic architecture. After the Hemavati Dam and Reservoir was constructed in 1960, Shettihalli Church is submerged in water during the monsoons and only its spire can be seen. The church is said to be built with the unique mix of mortar, bricks and eggs.

St Francis Church, Kerala:

One of the oldest European churches in India, the St Francis Church stands as a testament of Christian history in India. It holds the descriptions of the struggle of European colonies in India and was declared a protected monument in 1923.

Continue Reading