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.
- 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.
- Mon to Sat 5:45 am (mass)-10:00 pm; Sundays 6:00 am (mass)-10:00 pm.
- Taxis, auto rickshaws available.
- Buses to Anna Square are available.
- Be sure to ask local travelers or the bus conductor for more specific details.
- 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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50.89% of people who visit Chennai include San Thome Basilica in their plan
07 AM - 08 AM
47.64% of people start their San Thome Basilica visit around 07 AM - 08 AM
People usually take around 30 Minutes to see San Thome Basilica
94.21% of people prefer to travel by car while visiting San Thome Basilica
Church is built on St Thomas tomb. There's a glass opening under the altar (near to altar), where you can see the tomb inside the church. Also you can visit it on the museum and tomb building right next to the church. The pole near to the church is laid by St Thomas and believed it protect them from 2004 Tsunami. Great place to visit.
Forgot about what religion you are and go with an open mind. The church is so posh and will remind you of European style architecture. They do prayers in 5 languages - Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil and English. You can check the schedule if you want to attend a specific one. The parking is spacious. You can go to the confession room and stay their for peace and calming experience.
Church is built in devotion to St.Thomas. Church was built over his supposed tomb and today is known as the San Thome Basilica. The Basilica is one of the four churches that claim to have been built over the tomb of an apostle. It has a museum attached to church. It is believed that church is being built over mortal remains of the saint. The cave at little mount is claimed to be his favourite preaching spot.
The most beautiful place in Chennai. Of course one can not only enjoy the beauty of this church but also have a great prayer time for relax ones soul and mind.
Roman Catholic Basillica and tomb of St Thomas the apostle. Very emotional visiting the tomb of St Thomas. Beautiful church, no a/c, large fans move hot air but they keep windows and doors open to help. Most parishioners remove shoes when entering but it is not mandatory. There is some parking right on the grounds but I'd get there early for mass if you want to ensure a space. It is handicap accessible. Masses said in English and Tamil - check schedule.