(Last Updated on : 31/10/2012)
Churches in Puducherry are very popular across India and around the world. Many churches were constructed by the French, and its architecture and structure gives a definite feel of the French culture. One of the major examples is that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This church, like most church in Puducherry, is full of eye pleasing paintings in stained glass and also has marvellous decoration with marbles. Sacred Heart of Jesus was supposed to have been erected 1700s by French Missionaries. Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a catholic church and is brown and white in structure.
Some of the other admired churches in Puducherry
include Church of Capuchins, Notre dame de, The Notre Dame des Agnes; Church of the Assumption, The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, and Church of Our Lady of Good Health Church of Capuchins holds the distinction of being one of the first churches in Puducherry. This church, though, has lost its old charm; it is still revered and houses an orphanage. The Notre Dame De reminds of the signature French churches. The statue is of Mother Mary with the baby Jesus in her arms. The church is constructed on Greek-Roman architectural design.
There is a church which is of much interest to the followers and the tourists called the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes. It is in the model of Basilica in France.
Also, there stands a statue of Notre Dame donated by the French Government. There is a ritual of temple bathing every year. This church is situated in Villianur. The church of Assumption is situated at Nellitoppu. This church is admired for their beautiful altar piece that is a fine sight. The Church of Our Lady of Good Health is located at Ariyankkuppam and is a rebuilt version of the church built in 1690.A lot of wooden paintings can be found here.
Puducherry is home to many churches that were constructed by French. Hence these churches show features and characteristic that is dissimilar from churches in the rest of India. The main differences lie in the design of architecture. Apart from the above mentioned Churches, there are a host of other churches which are lesser known like the Saint John Church , Seventh Day Adventist Church and so on.
Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
This church, situated on Subbayah Salai, is white and brown neo-gothic church and is one of finest Catholic churches in Puducherry. During 1700s this church was constructed by the French missionaries, in a contrasting Neo-Gothic manner with towers flanking a central gable and stained glass windows on the side. This church possesses an imposing entrance and exquisite stained panels portray happenings from the life of Jesus Christ
. Further along the southern boulevard is the cemetery which has some interesting tombs with ornate marble decorations.
Church of the Capuchins
This church, situated on rue Dumas, is one of the first churches to be constructed in Puducherry. Though this happens to be one of the few buildings in 1761, which actually survived the destruction of the town, it is a sheer shadow of its past glory, except for its rather interesting gable. Today, it houses an orphanage.
The Notre Dame des Anges
The Church of our Lady of the Angels on rue Romain Rolland was set up in the year 1852 in the Greek Roman architectural style. Its facade, which is flanked by two unadorned square tower, faces east towards the ocean. The interior is roofed by a barrel vault, with a great dome rising over the crossing. The pastel peach and lime colours give it a very serene appearance. This church is also famous for its rare oil painting of Our Lady of the Assumption, which was a gift from the French emperor, Napoleon III. The cemetery next to the church has the tomb of Marquis de Bussy (dated 1785), who was one of Dupleix's most enterprising followers.
Church of the Assumption
Church of the Assumption, constructed in the year 1851, is situated on the western outskirts of the city - Nellitoppu. The main entrance has an image of Our Lady and on the left towers is the statue of St. George in the act of slaying a wall-like monster. Inside the church tourists can find some of the finest glided altarpieces including a Crucifix surrounded by flying angels.
The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes
This church is situated at a small town 11 km from Puducherry known as Villianur. It was erected in the year 1876 and is modelled on that of Basilica in France. A year later, the statue of Notre Dame, was contributed by the French Government a year later. The interesting feature of church is the Church tank that is usually common in all the Hindu Temple.
Church of Our Lady of Good Health
This particular church, founded in 1690 was subsequently rebuilt several times, is situated at Ariyankuppam, a tiny village 4 km south of Puducherry. The church is an interesting place for tourists and makes for a thrilling cycling expedition. The interior of the church has rounded arches carrying vault over central aisle. A freestanding Crucifix is displayed upon the altar and brightly painted wooden images are set on shelves in the side walls.
Besides these imposing structures there are various smaller churches and shrines in Puducherry which have their devout followers, like The Church of Francis Assist, which was built in 1843, the shrine of St. Anthony in the French Quarter, The Saint John Church and the Seventh Day Adventist Church