the grand ol’ english churches of south bombay

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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

the quaint ol’ english church of malabar hills

“There is no church here. I have never seen one,” the cab driver asserts as I get off on a quiet lane in Malabar Hills, South Bombay. Google Maps begs to differ. I am pretty confused. 🙂

I am looking for a 130-year old Anglican church that I had read about, built during the British Raj for the British Raj. Continue reading

the prettiest church in bandra


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