St. Mary’s Basilica is one of the oldest churches in the State of Karnataka. It is the only church in Karnataka and the sixth church in India that has been escalated to the level of a minor basilica. The church is very famous in the State and attracts a large number of devotees from in and around Bangalore.
The church is located in Bangalore. The establishment of the church is as old as the establishment of the city. Hence, the formation of the church is interlinked with the formation of the Bangalore city.
The initial structure of the church was known as the Kaanike Matha Devalaya, which simply means Goddess of Gifts Temple. Later in 1973, the church was elevated to a higher level and was made a minor basilica.
Quick Facts about St. Mary’s Basilica, Bangalore
- Location: Shivaji Nagar
- Distance from Major Places: 34 kms from Airport, 5 kms from the City’s bus stand & railway station
- Important Festival: Mary’s Annual Feast
- Address: F. Noronha Road, Shivaji Nagar, Bengaluru- 560051 (MAP)
- Website: www.stmarysbasilica.in
History of St. Mary’s Basilica, Bangalore
The history of St. Mary’s Basilica dates back to the 17th century. This church was initially a thatched hut named as the Chapel of Kanikkai Madha. It was built by a few Christians who came from Tamil Nadu. They found out that the land was fertile and it was ideal to sow white rice, for the same, they settled down there. To practice their religion, they built the chapel.
The chapel was then expanded into a church building which was shaped like a cross along with aisles and halls. This church was pulled down in 1832 due to communal riots in the area. The building of the existing church then began in 1875.
Due to the historic significance of the church, the British authorities paid a donation for the upkeep of the church till the year 1948. Due to increasing devotees visiting the shrine, the place was then expanded to provide enough space to sit and stand. In 2007, the church was declared as a Basilica.
Architecture of St. Mary’s Basilica, Bangalore
The architecture of St. Mary’s Basilica is Gothic in style, with stained windows, arches, and ornamental motifs. There are multiple columns and tall spires which can be seen from a distance.
St. Mary’s Feast
A feast is held every year at the St. Mary’s Basilica. It is held for 10 days in September which attracts thousands of devotees from across the city. It celebrates the birth of Mother Mary. During the feast, the Holy Mass is offered in various different languages and mass marriages are organized for the needy and the poor. There is a grand chariot procession on the last day. On this day devotees imprint the streets of Bangalore with Mother Mary’s image