San Thome Basilica, Chennai

Private Tour: Chennai Sightseeing Including Fort St George and Government Museum
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San Thome Basilica, Chennai - Address

Address: 19/38, Santhome High Road, Off Rosary Church Road, Santhome, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600004

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Timings: 06:00 am - 10:00 pm Details

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Art And Culture, Church, Religious Site, Museum, Family And Kids, Architecture

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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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San Thome Basilica, Chennai Reviews - Write a Review

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  • Very holy and sacred place . Very silent environment. Peace is in the air of this church. Beautiful work done and a lot of creativity. Must visit atleast once

  • Nice pilgrim center to visit. St. Thomas tomb and St. Thomas relic are the attractive points here. They have kept all the places neat and tidy without disturbing the holy environment.

  • San Thome Basilica is a Roman Catholic (Latin Rite) minor basilica in Santhome, in the city of Chennai (Madras), India. It was built in the 16th century by Portuguese explorers, over the tomb of Saint Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. In 1893, it was rebuilt as a church with the status of a cathedral by the British. The British version still stands today. It was designed in Neo-Gothic style, favoured by British architects in the late 19th century. This church is one of the only three known churches in the world built over the tomb of an apostle of Jesus, the other two being St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Galicia, Spain.

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  • St. Thomas- yes THE St. Thomas is apparently buried here. Enjoy the peacefulness- something that is quite rare in Chennai.

  • Calm n beautiful place. Be aware of people who offers you the tour guide in the church n ask so much money

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