Grand, sacred and pure; churches of Delhi are pivotal not only for the Christians that inhabit the city but also exemplify the blend of different cultures that the capital is gifted with. Moreover, these churches have effectively developed a community based on the core values of nobility and service to humanity, in the city. These cathedrals in Delhi belong to distinct Christian faiths. All of them bear in themselves the essence of Christianity and thus are preserved, respected and embraced by the people of the city. Thus, we share with you a list of five famous churches that must be visited by travelers and residents alike to witness and be enthralled by the heritage.
1. Cathedral of Sacred Heart
Considered to be one of the oldest churches of Delhi, the “Cathedral of Sacred Heart” holds quite a significant place in the city, for it is considered legendary in several aspects. Built during the colonial rule by architect Henry Medd at Delhi’s Gole market, the design of the main complex has influences from Italian architecture. This Roman Catholic Cathedral belonging to the Latin rite was started by Father Luke from the Franciscan First order and Dr. E.Vanni (Archbishop of Agra). The main altar of the cathedral is made out of pure marble and the atmosphere oozes with calmness and piousness. The traditional religious services are held throughout the year with special occasions like Easter and Christmas, celebrated with much fervency.
2. Cathedral Church of Redemption
‘Masterly, exquisite and serene’, these three words perfectly express the essence of the “Cathedral Church of Redemption” in Delhi. Located on the restful Church road, North Avenue, it was built during the colonial rule in India, in the year 1936 by British architect Henry Medd; and is often regarded as one of the most beautifully built churches of Delhi. The architecture of this cathedral is noteworthy for two main reasons. Firstly, the intricately crafted lofty arches and domes of the main building are sure to leave anyone spellbound. Also, the complex is built in such a way, that even during harsh summers the place remains cool and comfortable.
3. St. Stephens Church
Belonging to the Church of North India Diocese of Delhi, the “St. Stephens Church” was built in the year 1862. Made of red sandstone and bricks the building has been greatly influenced by Italian gothic architecture. Built on the rather crowded and noisy, Church mission road, Fathehpuri, Khari baoli in Chandni Chowk, this cathedral lends its name to the famous, St. Stephens College( Delhi university) and St. Stephens Hospital. Another striking feature of the church besides the exquisitely set up walls and ceiling is the stained rose window, which gives the place an unusual appeal.
4. St. James Church
Also known as Skinner’s church, “St. James Church” is located at the intersection of Church road and Lothian road in Delhi. The church was built in the year 1826 by British colonel James Skinner, whose grave lies there. It is considered to be one of the oldest churches in the capital. Though not as towering and massive as the other mentioned churches of Delhi; St. James church has an air of being secure and restful. The design of the main structure is timeless and delicately laid. Also the historical significance that this cathedral carries makes it even more fascinating for explorers. It is believed that during a battle in the year 1800 James Skinner was badly injured and it was then that he pledged, stating that he’d build a church if he survived. Further this is also the place where besides the tombstone of Skinner himself, the graves of his 14 wives and their children also remain.
5. St. Thomas Church
Dedicated to St. Thomas, one of the twelve main disciples of Jesus Christ, this Catholic Church in Delhi was established in the year 1972. The church has been greatly influenced by contemporary architecture. The area encompassing the main complex is lush green and is relaxed and peaceful. The church, which has been built purely with red sandstone and bricks, goes by this name in two places of Delhi; one at Mandir marg, Gole market and the other at Sector 2, R.K. Puram. However, the one at R.K. Puram is often times considered as one of the more prominent church complexes of Delhi. The main structure is fringed with several schools and temples and is thus bustling with activity.
Visit and be enlightened. Each church in Delhi is different from the other and has its own story to tell. But they share the one common thread of upholding sanctity and honoring humanity. So don’t forget to witness these marvels in the capital.