Saint Thomas Cathedral Basilica and Saint Thomas Mount in Chennai, India

After going to several Hindu temples during our stay in Chennai, going to the Saint Thomas Cathedral Basilica was a unique experience. The church is built over the tomb of Saint Thomas, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, which is one of only three churches in the world to be built over the tomb of a disciple. You should also make time to visit Saint Thomas Mount and Little Mount, which has the cave where Saint Thomas hid. Combined, these three locations create a truly unique experience inside of the country of India.


View of the Cathedral


View from Saint Thomas Mount


Statue as You Climb to Saint Thomas Mount


Saint Thomas Mount

The original church over the tomb of Saint Thomas was built by Portuguese explorers in the 16th century and then later rebuilt by the British in the 19th century. The current cathedral was finished in the late 19th century and is in the typical Neo-Gothic style. The white exterior is quite striking especially against the blue skies. Unfortunately we were not able to enter the church while we were there, but we understand that it is very beautiful and that you are able to see Saint Thomas’ tomb.


Standing Outside of the Cathedral


Cathedral Tower


Cathedral Spire


Handprint Worn into the Rock

There are several features that make visiting Saint Thomas Mount and Little Mount quite fascinating. For a small donation, you are able to enter the cave where Saint Thomas hid and there is even a rock that is supposed to have been worn down by his hand. There is also a spring that is just outside of the cave called the Saint Thomas Fountain, which supposed provided healing powers to those that came to listen to him and people still drink from it today in order to be cured. To get to the top of Saint Thomas Mount, where Saint Thomas was speared while praying in front of a cross, you climb up a steep hill and pass by many figurines denoting the history of Saint Thomas. There is a cross carved into a rock that was believed to be carved by Saint Thomas and many believers report that it continues to bleed to this very day.


Bleeding Cross


Shrine Inside of the Cave


Where Saint Thomas was Speared


Climbing Up the Mount

Seeing both of these locations during our trip was something that was extremely memorable. It can also be a slight refuge from the hectic noises of the city as it isn’t visited by as many people as other place in Chennai.


Entrance with the Last Supper


Another View from the Mount


Bell Tower


Barred Window Inside of the Cave



This entry was posted in India and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s