Pondicherry is the capital of Puducherry, a small Union Territory located in the southern peninsula of India. Pondicherry has changed hands with the Dutch, French, Portuguese, British and Indians. The influence of this varied history can be easily seen in its food, art, culture, architecture and more. Pondicherry is a sea lover’s paradise and it also offers numerous adventurous water sports for tourists. But take some time out to visit these few churches in Pondicherry to get a real feel of the place. These churches are original testimonies to the changing times and their impact and how it has shaped Pondicherry to what it is today. Besides this, it is really cheap and greatly comfortable to travel to Pondicherry, especially on the bus. Red bus offers amazing discounts on the bus fares to make it a soft trip to your pockets.
Why Go There? Spiritual reawakening| Gothic/ Contemporary architecture| Rich history
Ideal For: Family trips| Solo Trips| Spiritual and theological quest| Photography lovers
Trivia: The churches built originally by the French colonists in Pondicherry are located in and around the White Town area. They are located close to each other and can be conveniently visited in half a day’s time.
Things to bring back: Varied textile | Pottery | Leather products
Churches in Pondicherry: List of 10 Amazing Churches in Pondicherry
|Name of the Church||Address|
|1. Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health Church||Madha Koli Street, Ariyankuppam|
|2. Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus||South Boulevard, M. G. Rd|
|3. The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes||Villianur|
|4. Immaculate Conception Cathedral||Mission Street, M. G. Road Area|
|5. Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges||White Town|
|6. Saint Andrew’s Church||Reddiarpalayam|
|7. Our Lady of Assumption Church||Church Street, Nellithope|
|8. Holy Spirit Church||Tagore Nagar, Lawspet|
|9. Saint John’s CSI Church||Romain Rollan Street, White Town|
|10. Emmanuel Methodist Church||Pattannur Village, Gorimedu|
Churches in Pondicherry: Complete Guide to the 10 Best Churches in Pondicherry
1. Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health Church
It is one of the oldest churches in Pondicherry and was built by the French colonists in India. The church was founded in the year 1690 by the bishop Adda Simon and was originally known as Church of Our Lady of Conception. It was renamed as Church of Our Lady of Good Health by the Jesuits of the Carnatic Mission who then undertook the charge of administration and management of the church. The church has a wide facade supported by plinths and is surrounded by lush trees all around. The interior has a majestic vault that is supported by beautifully curved arches. Many renovations to the church have been made till date but the church still stands strong and sees thousands of devotees every year.
Distance from Pondicherry: 5.4 kilometres
Things to do at the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health Church: Feel the divine grace and soak in the spiritual aura of the church. Enjoy the calm, soothing atmosphere of the church’s surroundings. Do watch the free hanging crucifix that portrays the death of Jesus Christ.
Now it is very easy to book your tickets to Pondicherry and visit Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health Church at a very affordable price. All you need to do is book your tickets through Booking.com. Checkout Redbus online booking application and don’t forget to use Redbus offer code to avail great discounts on the bus fare that will never disappoint you.
2. Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was founded in the year 1902. The monumental building is famous for its Gothic style of architecture complete with a facade, raised platform and apse. The Church belongs to the Archdiocese of Pondicherry ad Cuddalore. The interiors of the church have high columns and soft sloping arches. Precious stained-glass panels that depict the life of Jesus Christ and other revered saints of Christianity adorn the church. The entranceway is adorned with a biblical verse in Latin which is inscribed above the door.
Distance from the Pondicherry: 3.6 kilometres
Things to do at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Watch the central high altar of the church which was recently renovated. Look for the intricate detailing of the Latin inscription over the doorway or the curved arches in its interior. You can also offer prayers, flowers and other offerings at the altar.
3. The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes
The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes is a charming and artistic building located in the Villianur region of Pondicherry. Establishment of the church was done in 1876 which makes it one of the oldest churches in Pondicherry. Every year on the first Saturday of August, holy water from the Lady of Lourdes Church, France is poured into the holy pond here and is witnessed as a holy fest by thousands of worshippers. In October many people partake the pilgrimage on foot to this Church as a sign of true devotion and reverence.
Distance from Pondicherry: 8 kilometres
Things to do at The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes: Participate in the annual feast of the church that is held on the 15th day post Easter. You can also become a part of the Easter Vigil, attend the novena and observe the flag hoisting that is done after Easter.
4. Immaculate Conception Cathedral
Immaculate Conception Cathedral is the mother church for Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore. The church was originally established in 1692 after which the building was demolished and rebuilt several times over the following decades. The church building today is the fourth building that was built and is spectacular to look at. The church has many altars among which the central altar is the most ornately and exquisitely decked. All the altars are dedicated to different revered saints of Christianity. Mass service is conducted every day in two main languages: Tamil and English.
Distance from the Pondicherry: 4.1 kilometres
Things to do at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral: Witness the influence of Portuguese and French styles of architecture in this church and also the play of yellow, blue and white colours in its interiors that make it vibrant yet calm. You can also attend the fest of the Immaculate Conception of Blessed Virgin Mary that is held annually on 8th December.
5. Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges
Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges or Our Lady of Angles Church was built in the year 1855 by Napolean III. The church has been designed on the Greco Roman architectural style and is the fourth oldest church in Pondicherry today. The church has two columns on each side of the main chapel. In the bygone era, the pillars held two clocks that struck every two hours and played Ave Maria. They have been rendered dysfunctional in the modern times. Originally, the church had been painted with a concoction of egg, limestone and paint which gave it a beautiful white colour and earned it the moniker ‘White Chapel’. The church and its surroundings stand on a picturesque location facing the Bay of Bengal.
Distance from Pondicherry: 1.4 kilometres
Things to do at the Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges: Experience the Greco Roman style of architecture with circular columns, gracefully sloping arches and tapering domes. Get a spiritual boost and offer prayers at the pier.
6. Saint Andrew’s Church
One of the most ancient yet prominent churches of Pondicherry, Saint Andrew’s church was founded in the year 1745. It was built in the Gothic architectural style by Kanakaraya Mudali, the chief dubash of French East India Company. The Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore are responsible for the administration of the church. The church has magnificent plaques of Saint Andrews and Our Lady. The mortal remains of Kanakaraya Mudali are also housed in the precincts of the church. The church is thronged by locals and tourists for its grand architectural style, the art, decor and relics and the calmness and serenity.
Distance from Pondicherry: 2.6 kilometres
Things to do at Saint Andrew’s Church: See the Gothic style of architecture followed by the French colonists. You can also see the vestry and the grotto of Saint Andrews that is located at the entrance of the vestry.
7. Our Lady of Assumption Church
Our Lady of Assumption Church is also known as the Nellithope church or parish. It was founded in 1750 on an orchard land on the shores of the Bay of Bengal. The original church was destroyed in a deluge and foundations were re-laid in 1841 on which the present church building currently stands. A seminary known as the Le Petit Seminaire for the boys was also established in the same year. The church is adorned with high plinths and columns, broad facades, beautiful garden and ornate altars. The church believes in fostering a spirit of harmony and accord among the people.
Distance from Pondicherry: 2.2 kilometres
Things to do at Our Lady of Assumption Church: Observe the detailing of the paintings on the walls and the high arches of the church. Attend a mass service and enjoy in communal gatherings after the prayer service. Also, take a stroll in the church premises and absorb the divine grace that the church exudes.
8. Holy Spirit Church
The history of the church dates back to the 1900s when more than 10 acres of land was purchased by the Christian diocese for building a parish. Although the church is relatively new as compared to the other churches on the list, it is exceptionally beautiful for its splendid architecture and design. Beautiful pillars and arches embellish the interiors of the church while the exteriors are adorned with grottos, statues and more. The church has statues of patron saints with plaques and other inscriptions.
Distance from Pondicherry: 1 kilometre
Things to do at Holy Spirit Church: Roam around the quiet and peaceful premise of the church or attend a mass service, sing hymns in the praise of God and find spiritual awakening. Admire the contemporary architectural design of the church. Attend the Easter Vigil or Christmas Vigil in the church.
9.Saint John’s CSI Church
Saint John’s CSI Church is a small simplistic church located in White Town in Pondicherry. The strikingly beautiful Anglican Church was built in the eighteenth century and is one of the most popular churches with the devotees. Even today, the interior of the church has a housing capacity of at least 300 people at one time. It’s beautiful arches and domes and an ornate altar is something to look forward to. The rich history and French culture mixed with colonial culture make this church extraordinary.
Distance from Pondicherry: 3.3kilometres
Things to do at the Indian Pentecostal Church of God: Experience the tranquillity and divine aura of the church. Attend an evening mass and then bask in the diving glory on some famous beach on Pondicherry while watching the sunset.
10. Emmanuel Methodist Church
A modest little church located in the heart of Pattanur village in Pondicherry has caught the eye of the tourists recently. The church is a young addition to the list of the churches in Pondicherry and has only just completed its silver jubilee. The contemporary style of architecture makes it stand out from the other churches on this list.
Distance from Defence Colony: 800 metres
Things to do at Saint Luke’s Church: Observe the contemporary style of architecture in which the church is made. Attend the prayer service or novena or visit it during Christmas to be a part of the Christmas revelry.
This is a curated list of the 10 best churches in Pondicherry. From contemporary to the ancient, this list covers all. Many of the churches in Pondicherry have Italian, Gothic or French architectural influences. Whether atheist or not, when in the town, make sure you drop by a few churches to appreciate the city’s history, art, culture and architecture that have undergone many transformations over the centuries. Visiting the churches on the list will definitely give you a better understanding of the place.