San Thome Basilica, Chennai

Currently Open [Closes at 10:00 pm]
  • Address: 19/38, Santhome High Road, Off Rosary Church Road, Santhome, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600004, India
  • Timings: 06:00 am - 10:00 pm Details
  • Tags: Art And Culture, Church, Religious Site, Museum, Family And Kids, Architecture
  • Map
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About San Thome Basilica, Chennai

Built over the tomb of one of the apostles of Jesus, St. Thomas, San Thome Cathedral Basilica is a Roman Catholic Basilica located in Santhome in the city of Chennai. It is the main church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Madras and Mylapore. In 1956, the church was raised to the status of a Basilica Minor and 2006, was declared as a national shrine. This shrine was built over the Saints tomb, constructed in such a manner that its smaller tower is directly positioned over the tomb. This site is a popular pilgrimage site and has been attracting devotees for more than a thousand years, including Marco Polo. Situated near Marina Beach, the San Thome Cathedral Basilica is a world famous shrine, church and museum and an attraction for pilgrims and tourists the world over.

The Gothic architecture of the Basilica is splendid, with its magnificent edifice and tall spires. The steeple stands at 155 feet and the sanctuary is 62 feet long and 33 feet wide. The nave is 112 feet long and 33 feet wide, under a 6 feet high ceiling. Vines leaves are carved all around the arches. Much of the architecture is owed to Captain J.A. Power, a retired officer of the Royal Engineers as well as a parishioner of Santhome. Glass windows painted with the image of Jesus appearing to St. Thomas greet those who come to pray, with the words ‘Be not faithless, but believe’. The church provides a soothing atmosphere for people to find some peace and offer prayers, or even just to gaze at the beautiful architecture. A particularly precious piece of art present in the shrine is a statue of Mother Mary, in front of which St. Francis Xavier used to pray. About 3 feet high, this representation of Mary is called ‘MylaiMatha’.

World famous traveler Marco Polo travelled to the site in 1292 and another anonymous Italian pilgrim compared the beauty of the church to that of the Church of St. John and St. Paul in Venice. Since its creation, the Basilica has undergone a lot of restoration and renovation, without which it would stand today in ruins. The church has published a book of hymns, available in stalls and has sermons available on their website. It’s definitely a must see and travelers will be delighted by the basilica’s grand and ethereal beauty, it being an exquisite testament to love and faith.

One of the most revered churches of Chennai, San Thome Basilica is of much interest to the visitors as well as locals. Since this is a church, there are no tickets for San Thome Basilica. However, as you buy tickets for San Thome Basilica tours with us, you get an advantage of all the information at affordable costs. San Thome Basilica tickets are always in demand, hence, rush in order to get your share at the earliest with San Thome Basilica ticket prices, especially slashed for you.

San Thome Basilica Information

  • Make sure you get down to the tomb below the main altar.
  • Be sure to catch a charismatic sermon or mass. The timings are given above.
  • At different times, sermons are held in different languages.
  • Be sure to visit the church, library, gift shop and museum.

San Thome Basilica Opening and Closing Hours

  • Mon to Sat 5:45 am (mass)-10:00 pm; Sundays 6:00 am (mass)-10:00 pm.

How To reach San Thome Basilica by Public Transport

  • Taxis, auto rickshaws available.
  • Buses to Anna Square are available.
  • Be sure to ask local travelers or the bus conductor for more specific details.

Restaurants Near San Thome Basilica

  • Dakshin (South Indian cuisine/approx. Rs. 3000 for two)
  • Burgundy’s (Indian, Oriental, Italian and Continental/ Rs. 2,200 for two)
  • Annalakshmi (South Indian, North Indian/ Rs. 800 for two)

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TripHobo Highlights for San Thome Basilica

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Things to Know Before Visiting San Thome Basilica

  • 52.64% of people who visit Chennai include San Thome Basilica in their plan

  • 20.97% of people start their San Thome Basilica visit around 07 AM - 08 AM

  • People usually take around 1 Hr to see San Thome Basilica

Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday

94.56% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting San Thome Basilica

People normally club together Marina Beach and Vivekananda House while planning their visit to San Thome Basilica.

* The facts given above are based on traveler data on TripHobo and might vary from the actual figures

San Thome Basilica, Chennai Reviews

  • It is located just beside the main road. The church is very clean. Inside the church you can feel the essence of peaceful environment. I have visited few times here. You should visit this place specially on 25th December. During Christmas they decorate the church nicely using lights. Using some idols they display birth place of Jesus Christ. I really liked that.

  • Nice and big cathedral in Chennai. One of the landmark in Chennai. Located in the shores of marina beach. Large campus and nice and peaceful. Must visit place. Easy to locate.

  • Sacred place. Although it is situated by the side of main road, once you get inside the church it is really peaceful and silent. The tomb of Saint Thomas was very well maintained.

  • Given its historical importance as the burial place of St.Thomas the apostle, one would have expected the church to be better maintained. Some of the newer areas like the underground chapel seems to have taken architectural inspiration from a third rate public toilet. Wonder who approved the designs.

  • The Basilica of St. Thomas called Santhome is located along the shore of Marina Beach. It is called a Basilica because it is built on the tomb of an apostle or houses the mortal remains of a saint or Apostle of Jesus Christ. St. Thomas was martyred in Tamil Nadu for spreading Christianity in 72 AD. The Basilica houses a small museum as well. Located in the busy roads of Chennai, the church gives a serene atmosphere, peace and calmness to the faithful.

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