Though India is a predominantly a Hindu country, there are nearly 24 million Christians living in India. The faith of Christianity in India arrived as early as the 6th century AD, even before it spread to some countries in Europe. During 52 AD, Thomas the Apostle visited India to spread Christianity; after his death he was buried in place that is now called Santhome. During the 10th century AD, Christian converts built a tomb over the burial site of St. Thomas. Then the Portuguese who came to South India, saw the tomb and built a church, which was later was rebuilt by the British people.
I visited the Santhome Church a couple of times before, but I decided to visit it again just to take some photos to feature in Spice Flair. When I left my home at 4PM, the rush-hour had struck the city, and it took me over an hour to reach the Santhome Church. Luckily, the Basilica was almost empty giving ample time for me to take photos. First I took shots of the exterior. The church was so big, however, that I couldn’t capture the magnificent structure, even with my wide-angle lens.
I crept into the church, aware of the fact that thousands of footsteps had crossed here before me, to worship here as part of a pilgrimage of the nation. When I entered, I was dazzled by beautiful color lights flashing on the walls. My initial thought was that color lights were illuminating the wall, but I didn’t find any color lights. Instead, I found the evening sun reflected through the stained color glass windows, placing vibrant colors on the wall. Most of the windows have beautifully decorated stained glass, giving a quietly elegant look to the prayer hall. I took more photos, came outside the church, and took a photo of a lush green garden at entrance of the church, which looked surprisingly well-maintained despite the Chennai heat.
After spending an hour in the Church, I was happy with my photos and decided to leave, but not before taking one final shot of the great architecture.