(Last Updated on : 24/11/2016)
of West India deal with churches of the states of Gujarat
and the union territories
of Daman and Diu
and Dadra and Nagar Haveli
. These churches add greatly to the heritage of the country. A huge variety can be observed in these churches in terms of types and architecture
. A cross is the most prominent feature of a church along with some other common features including a dome, a spire, which is a tall tower either over the cross or in the western end of the church, a circle which represents eternity and an octagon or star representing the light that the church brings to the world.
Churches in Gujarat
Among the famous churches of Gujarat, St Francis Xavier
Catholic Church holds a distinct place. It is situated at Navrangpura in Ahmedabad
. Crucifix of this church exhibits a unique attraction which shows the Risen Christ
. Ahmedabad also serves as a home to the Shahpur Church, which was built in the year 1973 and is also associated with a social centre. The Church of Christ is another important church located in Vadodara. It is basically a government registered organization. St James Church
, also known as the White Church is one of the most ancient churches of the state. The architecture of this church is an amalgamation of gothic and classical styles. Another church of Gujarat namely, the Jesus Temple Bible Church attracts a number of Christian
pilgrims. A place called Maninagar houses the Methodist Church.
Churches of Goa
Goa houses a plethora of Portuguese built churches having magnificent architecture. Se Cathedral
Church of Goa was commissioned by the Portuguese Viceroy, Redondo. The construction of this church was accompanied by several obstacles and thus it took about eighty years to complete its construction. Church of St Francis of Assisi
in Old Goa is another famous and ancient church built in the 17th century. The church houses two spectacular statues of Jesus Christ and St Francis of Assisi. St. Catherine
is a testament of Alburquerque conquest of Goa. The church is dedicated to St. Catherine. Basilica of Bom Jesus
is one of the most popular churches of Goa. This was the first church in the country to be promoted to the status of a minor basilica. St. Cajetan Church
is another significant church of Goa having an amazing architecture. St. Augustine Church is listed among the ancient churches of Goa. It was built in 1602.
Churches of Maharashtra
A number of churches are also located in the state
of Maharashtra. St. Mary's Church
is considered to be one of the oldest churches of Deccan
region. It is thus also known as the 'mother church of the Deccan'. The church was established to shelter the spiritual beliefs of British
soldiers in and around Pune. St. Francis Xavier's Church is a Roman Catholic
Church situated in a village
called Giriz. The church was built in 20th century and is comparatively a new one. St. Thomas Cathedral in Mumbai
was constructed in 1718 and is the first Anglican church of Mumbai. The church was built with the aim to improve the moral standards of British settlements. Another old church of Mumbai is St. Andrew's Church
established by Portuguese Jesuits. This is also enlisted among the old churches of the state and was built in 1575. It is located in Bandra. Other important churches of Maharashtra include Our Lady of Egypt Church, Church of Lady of Mount Carmel, St. Teresa
Church, St Michael's Church, Afghan Church
, Cathedral of the Holy Name
and Church of our Lady of Dolours.
Churches of Daman and Diu
The union territory of Daman and Diu also nests some important churches. St. Paul
Church is one of famous sites of Daman and Diu which is dedicated to 'Our Lady of Immaculate Conception'. It is an ancient church established in 1610. The architecture of this church exhibits a gothic style. Church of St. Francis of Assisi is another ancient church of this region which was constructed in 1593.
Churches of Dadra and Nagar Haveli
, the capital of Dadra and Nagar Haveli houses a church called Our Lady of Piety Church.
This church was built in 1889 by the Portuguese. A noteworthy aspect of this church is its architecture.
The history of churches narrates that many of the buildings constructed for other purposes had been converted into churches in the course of time whereas many church buildings have lost their identity and have been converted into buildings for other purposes. The establishment of some of the Churches of West India dates back to ancient times whereas many of them are comparatively new. The layout and architecture of these churches differs widely although most of them exhibit gothic style of architecture often combined with other styles.