On a quiet tree-lined lane aptly called Church Lane, a stone’s throw from Rashtrapati Bhawan the president’s estate, is New Delhi’s most beautiful church.
Most people in the city, and to the city, are clueless about its existence. Much like I was, and would have been, if it wasn’t for a chance conversation on one of the heritage walks I have been taking since I came to Delhi.
Delhi’s Sultanate and Mughal-era chapters, with their magnificent monuments and dramatic stories, tend to be all-consuming. Yet, the years the British Crown used the city as the capital of their ‘Jewel in the Crown’, from 1931 to 1947, churned out edifices just as spectacular. [Prior to Delhi, Calcutta had been their capital.]
Take for instance Herbert Baker’s North and South Block Secretariat Buildings, Edwin Lutyens’ Viceroy’s House now the Rashtrapati Bhawan, their joint endeavour the Parliament House, and Henry Alexander Medd’s splendid stone church for the Englishman in Delhi—the Cathedral Church of the Redemption. Continue reading →
Memorial to the first Bishop of Bombay, Right Reverend Thomas Carr at St. Thomas Cathedral; he died in England. His cenotaph was put up at the cathedral by his wife, in his memory.
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In keeping with the spirit of the festive season, I continue my exploration of Mumbai’s churches—from the quaint to the grand this time. 🙂
South Bombay’s two oldest churches can be traced back to the British Raj. Two very different churches representing two very different chapters from this period. They are also two of the most imposing in the city. Whereas St. Thomas Cathedral is a symbol of early British settlement, the Afghan Church is a dedication to the 16,000 soldiers who died in the first Afghan War. Continue reading →
Just across the road from where I stay is a quaint, whitewashed 19th Century Protestant Church with red shutters, exquisite stained glass windows, and wooden rafters holding up the ceiling. Just across the road is a little bit of England.
The St Stephen’s Church of the Church of North India Diocese of Mumbai, was built in 1845 by wealthy English entrepreneurs who had made Bandra their home during the British Raj. In the mid-19th Century, Bandra was but a small village with Kolis and Kunbis. To cater to ‘the spiritual needs’ of the British Protestant Christians in the area, the British parishioners got together and pooled in a then magnificent sum of Rs. 8,000. This was, however, not enough. John Vaupel, a high court judge at that time, pitched in with the balance. Continue reading →