Bangalore, the Garden City, is not just home to an abundance of flora and fauna or technology giants. History has a strong presence in this city, and one can experience the magic with a visit to the churches in the city. Most churches in Bangalore still stand tall and resplendent in all their glory bearing testimony to the British, French and Portuguese cultures that thrived here once upon a time.
A tour of the churches in the city is a good way to delve into a slice of history. These architectural symbols will take you back to the legacy of the Raj and have quite a few interesting stories to tell.
Find Divinity at These 12 Churches in Bangalore
1. Mark’s Cathedral
St Marks Cathedral located off MG Road bears a resemblance to the English Renaissance architecture at the St Paul’s Cathedral in England. A famous church in Bangalore it is also the oldest Anglican Church.
Christened after St Mark, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ, the church is known to involve a lot of community services concerning work in slums and educating the underprivileged.
- Location: At the West end of MG Road, Maclver Town
- Best time to visit: When the choir is practising, or a wedding ceremony is taking place
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2. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral
The church was built in the shape of a cross in granite and has a huge dome above the sanctuary. Two belfries, blue and white lend it a European look. In 1905 the cross from the old tower church fell indicating a sign to build a new structure. The new structure came into existence after the World War I.
- Location: At St John’s Church Road, Cleveland Town
- Best time to visit: Christmas or during December when the entire church is lit up until New Year.
3. Holy Trinity Church
A product of a protest against the ‘One Station, One Church” policy of the East India company, the Holy Trinity Church was built as the St Mark’s Cathedral was inadequate to accommodate the growing Catholic population. The splendour of the architecture is unique because the towers of the church can be seen from the west end of MG Road in Bangalore.
The murals on the walls of the churches carved in marble depict the labour who helped to build it. A military church, it has been frequented by officials like Sir Winston Churchill and Lord Cornwallis.
- Location: Near the Trinity Circle, towards the east end of MG Road
- Best time to visit: December when huge devotees throng to enjoy the festivities.
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4. St Mary’s Basilica
A famous church in Bangalore, St Mary’s Basilica is built in gothic style architecture, ornate with multiple columns, stained glass windows and motifs that lend it an elaborate touch. It is considered to be the mother of all parishes in.
Set up by Christian Tamils, it is one of the oldest church in Bangalore with throngs of devotees visiting every day. Devotees have faith in this church and believe that Mother Mary will fulfil their prayers.
- Location: F Noronha Road at Shivaji Nagar
- Best time to visit: September is the best time to visit as it hosts the St Mary’s feast to celebrate the birth of Mother Mary. The festivities go on for 10 days that ends in a grand chariot procession.
5. St Patrick’s Church
The second oldest Catholic Church, it is located in the heart of one of the busiest roads in Bangalore. Unarguably the best church in Bangalore, the architecture is sheer elegance with an arched entrance bordered by two belfries of impressive height. The twelve pillars of the church symbolise the apostles of Jesus Christ.
The architecture of the church served as an inspiration to the Central Tower of the Indian Institute of Science. There is a shrine of St Anthony to the right of the main church which is known to solve the problems and anguish of devotees.
- Location: Centre of Brigade Road amidst a commercial complex.
- Best time to visit: Tuesday, when devotees from all strata of the society and all faiths flock from 6 am in the morning to 10 pm in the night.
6. Infant Jesus Church
As the name suggests, the church is a Roman Catholic Church dedicated to Infant Jesus. Built to commemorate the Infant Jesus of Prague, it is frequented by several devotees owing to numerous miracles it has produced. The church is visited by people of all faiths who believe in the powerful prayer of Infant Jesus.
- Location: The bustling neighbourhood of Vivek Nagar
- Best time to visit: Thursday as the mass is very famous and is conducted in seven languages. January 14th is also the annual feast day at the church when several devotees throng to participate.
7. St Andrew’s Church
Named after St Andrew a saint of Scotland the Presbyterian Church has gothic style architecture. A westernised church with stained glass architecture reminiscent of a bygone era, it is synonymous with Scottish customs, typical Scottish square dancing and western music. It was earlier known as St. Andrew’s ‘KIRK’. The church offers services in English and Kannada.
- Location: Cubbon Road at Tasker town in Shivaji Nagar
- Best time to visit: Sunday as the service is very famous and also December as Christmas festivities are in full swing.
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8. Bethel Assembly of God Church
One of the largest churches in India and also a very influential one, it is gained popularity over the recent years. The church has two chapels and hosts services in eight languages namely Malayalam, Tamil, English, Kannada, French, Telugu and Nepali.
- Location: Ganganagar, Hebbal
- Best time to visit: Christmas day when festivities take place outside the church. The midnight mass is a grand affair.
9. St John’s Church
A striking building with a red edifice and a towering steeple emerging out of leafy surroundings, St John’s Church is the fourth oldest Protestant Church in Bangalore. The church is dedicated to St John’s the Evangelist. The main attraction is the Pipe Organ which is probably the oldest and rarest.
- Location: Cleveland Town, Bangalore Cantonment
- Best time to visit: December or during Christmas as festivities are in full swing.
10. St Luke’s Church
The architecture is a quaint blend of the Western and Indian style of construction. The façade is made of granite, with an 80 feet high central tower and the windows are made of stained glass. The church was named after St Luke owing to his association with medicine.
- Location: Chamrajapet
- Best time to visit: All through the year as it is well renowned for its architecture.
11. East Parade Church
The church derives its name from the location- East of the Parade Grounds (present-day MG Road), it is also called Wesleyan Cathedral of Bangalore. It was started by the Tamil Wesleyan worshippers in the Madras Army in the early 19th century. The church conducts service in Malayalam and Tamil.
- Location: M G Road, Bangalore
- Best time to visit: Throughout the year.
12. All Saints’ Church
The church is not dedicated to any one saint. It was established for the subaltern European community that could not be a part of the Churches housed in the Bangalore Cantonment. The campus houses a Senior Citizen’s home with 14 resident occupants.
- Location: Busy Hosur Junction at Richmond Road
- Best time to visit: Throughout the year.
A visit to the Churches in Bangalore offers an interesting perceptive of the lifestyle of the flourishing Christian community. The elaborate setup and the interesting trivia of Bangalore churches make for fine detours to the discerning tourists. Embark on a visit to the churches mentioned and do share your experience with us.
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