Home » Travel » Churches

9 Must-Visit Churches in Chennai For Hearty Experience!

By  | 

Most commonly, Chennai is considered a gateway to Tamil Nadu, the land of thousands of beautiful temples. But do you believe when we say Chennai churches are also well known and famous? What is less known is that since the 1st century AD the city has been associated with Christianity for a long time and is peppered with beautiful churches built between the 16th and 20th centuries by the colonial powers. So are you interested in a pilgrimage to Chennai and looking for ancient churches in particular? Here is a list of churches in Chennai. These churches have their traditional history, and they are peculiar in their ways.

Here are Most Visited Churches in Chennai:

1. St. Thomas Church, Chennai:

Churches in Chennai

Built on top of the final resting place of his eponymous apostle, Santhome Basilica (or St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica) is among the best church in Chennai. Further, it is a fantastic piece of religious history architecture and is the biggest church in Chennai. The church was first built in the 16th century by Portuguese explorers, became a cathedral in 1606, and was later rebuilt in the 19th century by the British. St Thomas Church Chennai has an all-white façade and is built in neo-gothic style, with large windows and interiors that are naturally lit.

Highlights:

  • Church Days: Open all days
  • Mass Timings: Sunday: 6 a.m., 8.15 a.m., 9.30 a.m., 10.30 a.m. & 12 noon; 6 p.m., 7.15 a.m.; daily mass: 6.00 a.m., 11.00 a.m. & 6.00 p.m.
  • Location: 38, Santhome High Road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600004
  • How to Reach: Chennai is very well connected to the major Indian cities by air, rail, and road.
  • Celebrations: Festivities include the celebration of Feast of its Patron Saint Thomas commencing with flag hoisting on June 24th.
  • Other Attractions Near Church: Poondi Madha Church, Shirdi Sai Baba Temple, Ramakrishna Temple.

2. St. Thomas Mount Church, Chennai:

Churches in Chennai

This church was built in the memory of Thomas, who was an apostle of Jesus Christ. It is believed that at this location, he used to pray and preach, and therefore, the people regard the place as Holy and pure. On the walls of the church, you can witness several paintings related to the legend that reflects and signifies the life and the true legend’s journey. This is among well-known churches in Chennai city.

Highlights:

  • Church Days: Open all days
  • Mass Timings: Everyday: 6.30 a.m., 12 p.m., 6.30 p.m.; Sundays: 7.30 a.m., 8.30 a.m., 12 p.m., 6 p.m.
  • Location: Near Pedestrian Route, Kathipara Grade Flyover, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600016.
  • How to Reach: The location can be reached by car, bus, auto or other means of transport.
  • Celebrations: Events include Mary Mother of God, St. Thomas Day
  • Other Attractions Near Church: Royapettah, Sri Parthasarathy Temple.

3. Armenian Church, George Town:

Churches in Chennai

One of India’s oldest churches, this church was founded in 1712. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, this is another important place for the devotees, believing that the wishes in the Armenian Church can be fulfilled here. Because of this magical reason, many people visit the Godly destination in search of God’s blessing. During festive days like Christmas, the place looks incredible under the glittering decoration.

Highlights:

  • Church Days: Open all days
  • Mass Timings: Every day – 9.30 a.m.
  • Location: Parry’s Corner, George Town, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 600001, India
  • How to Reach: The church is just a five-minute walk from Chennai Beach Railway Station. People can take a taxi, electric train or auto-rickshaw to the church from the airport, railway station or bus stop. It is also possible to hire private cabs to reach the church
  • Celebrations: During Christmas ‘it’s completely decked up, people throng here to be a part of the festivities of this church
  • Other Attractions Near Church: Anderson’s Church, Victoria War Memorial, Sri Kalikambal Temple, Amir Mahal, and St. Mary’s Co-Cathedral Church are other tourist attractions nearby.

[See More: Most Famous Churches In India]

4. Our Lady Of Light Shrine (Luz Church), Luz Road:

Our Lady Of Light Shrine (Luz Church), Luz Road

The locals know it as the Luz Church, which derives from the Portuguese name Nossa Senhora da Luz. Built by the Portuguese in 1516, it is one of the city’s oldest churches, and one of India’s oldest European monuments is its foundation stone marks. The church’s history dated back to the missionaries’ legend of safe arrival to land in the 16th century.

Highlights:

  • Church Days: Open everyday
  • Mass Timings: Weekdays: 06.30 a.m. & 12.00 p.m.; Sunday: 06.00 a.m. & 07.30 a.m., 06.00 p.m.
  • Location: No.156, Luz Church Road, Luz, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • How to Reach: People can get to the shrine from the railway station, airport or bus station by taxi, cab, car rickshaws, or local buses.
  • Celebrations: Our Lady of Light’s festival is celebrated every year on August 15th.
  • Other Attractions Near Church: Marina Beach, Kapaleeshwar Temple, Santhome Cathedral, Thiruvallur Temple, Alwarpet Anjaneyar Temple, and Cottage Art Museum.

5. St. Teresa Church, Nungambakkam:

St. Teresa Church, Nungambakkam

This church is one of the churches that the British built. This church, which was built in 1970 opposite Ispahani Centre, is bang on Nungambakkam High Road. It includes many attractions that are unparalleled with any other available churches in Chennai. During the first Sunday of October, which is considered St. Theresa’s festival, the church witnesses maximum crowd of devotees and like many other churches, Christmas is the time that multiplies the church’s beauty.

Highlights:

  • Church Days: Open all days
  • Mass Timings: Weekdays – 6.30 am, Sundays – 6 am
  • Location: No, 4. Nungambakkam High Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600034.
  • How to Reach: You can either get to this place by metro or by car
  • Celebrations: The feast of St. Theresa is celebrated with great devotion on the first Sunday of October. Starting from flag hoisting, Novena Prayers and Mass celebrated nine days before that at night.
  • Other Attractions Near Church: Kamakshi Amman Temple.

6. St. Andrews Church (The Kirk):

One of the most expensive buildings undertaken during the Raj was built and consecrated in 1821, St. Andrew’s Church in Egmore, making it one of the oldest heritage buildings in Chennai. Built with features of Neoclassical and Palladian architectural styles, the church has a main circular complex makes it one of the most famous churches in Chennai. The shallow dome that sits on the circular hall is one of the primary architectural highlights.

Highlights:

  • Church Days: Open all days
  • Mass Timings: Sunday Mass: 7 a.m., 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Location: #37, Poonamallee High Road, Egmore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu- 600008.
  • How to Reach: It is located a few hundred meters from the Egmore Railway Station.
  • Celebrations: St. Andrews is a must-visit for carols during Christmas.
  • Other Attractions near Church: Abirami Mega Mall, Kandhakottam Temple.

7. Annai Velankanni Church, Besant Nagar:

Annai Velankanni Church, Besant Nagar

The Velakanni Church is well known and among the most architecturally beautiful churches present in Eliot’s beach of Besant Nagar area. This church is otherwise known as “Mecca of Christmas”. Mother Mary is being worshipped in this church as Lady of Health, and the main shrine of this church is placed alongside on as Lady of Health. It is well said that during Christmas especially, people crowd these feet of Virgin Mary to receive her blessings. The towers of this church very well can be seen almost near to Skyline and look beautiful and marvellous during sunset times. Do not miss visiting this most famous church in Chennai.

Highlights:

  • Church Days: It is open wide all days
  • Mass Timings: Sundays: 7.30 a.m., 5 a.m., 6 p.m.; Saturdays: 7 a.m., Weekdays: 6 a.m., 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 12 p.m., 6 p.m.
  • Location: 4, Annai Velankanni Road, Odaimanagar, Besant Nagar, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600090.
  • How to Reach: Cab/ car/ bus can be used to reach here easily from any of the cities major points and stations.
  • Celebrations: Annual Feast of Our Lady of Health, Velankanni is celebrated from August 29th to the 8th of September-the Birth Day of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • Other Attractions near Church:  Ashtalakshmi Temple, Elliots Beach and Food Market.

8. St. Mary’s Church, Chennai:

St. Mary's Church, Chennai

Next in a famous church in Chennai is this St Mary’s church. Constructed in 1679, this was the first Anglican Church to be built in India by the East India Company. St Mary’s Church Chennai further magnificent structure is about 60/90 feet in area, and the church’s wall is 4 feet thick that can easily handle the explosives. Various treasure items can be seen in the church by visitors of this church along with the mind-blowing interior. This is also among the oldest church in Chennai.

Highlights:

  • Church Days: Open everyday
  • Mass Timings: Sunday Mass – 6.15 a.m. & 7.15 a.m., 8.30 a.m. & 6.00 p.m.
  • Location: Rajaji Salai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600009
  • How to Reach: Bus, train, flight, cab or car can be used to reach the church
  • Celebrations: Christmas Celebrations are grand here
  • Other Attractions Near Church: Om Sri Skandasramam, Adhiparasakthi Siddhar Peetam, Arignar Anna Zoological Park.

9. New Life Assembly of God Church, Chennai:

New Life Assembly of God Church, Chennai

It is also known as New Life Church Chennai and is one of the Pentecostal churches in Chennai. The New Life Assembly of God Church is a passionate family about glorifying God, being disciples in Jesus Christ’s teachings, and seeing lives, families, churches, and nations transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. This csi church in Chennai should not be missed.

Highlights:

  • Church Days: Open all days
  • Mass Timings: Sundays: 7 a.m., 8.45 a.m.
  • Location: No. 6, Anna Salai, NGR Colony, Little Mount, Saidapet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600015.
  • How to Reach: You can use public transport to reach this destination
  • Celebrations: Every weekend, the church gathers to glorify God through worship, prayer, scriptural study, and fellowship in many facilities.
  • Other Attractions Near Church: Jagannath Temple, Little Mount Shrine.

Chennai, especially when it comes to churches, has a lot to explore. This CSI Church Chennai list will allow you to see unique architectural features as well as religious artwork that is not entirely present elsewhere in the world churches. Comment below, share your experiences with us after you visited these Chennai churches. Also, let us know the uniqueness in each of these churches that you found.

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers:

Q1. What are The Things to do in a Church?

Ans: Things to do in a church’ are religious activities; one can see the significance of each church, the uniqueness of its architecture, one can learn more about the building style, when it was built and what the style is based on. Some churches have the pipe organ and still use it in spite of having modern instruments for music. Some churches have historical wall paintings, stained glass. The Andrew’s Kirk has a huge dome inside which is painted blue with a moon in the center, surrounded by stars all around it.

Q2. How to reach St. Thomas Mount Church Chennai?

Ans: You Can Reach St Thomas Mount Church by Any of The Below Means:

  • Mount St. Thomas by Car:

Just look for a driving route to St. Thomas Mount on Google maps and the road will be shown on Google maps. There’s a road going up to the top of the hill, and you can quickly get to the top using auto or by car.

  • Mount St. Thomas by Public Transportation:

The nearest railway station (2 km): St. Thomas Mount and Guindy.

From the stations, you can hire a car (Fare around Rs. 40) either to the church at the top of the hill (Chances are less) or to the foot of the mountain from where the stairs lead to the church. The walkway is more comfortable to walk, and it takes only 5-10 minutes to get to the top.

By Bus: Mount Bus Station, Kathipara, Jyothi Theater bus stop is the nearest bus stop. Foot-hill is within walking distance from all this bus stop.