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Oldest churches in India

Mumbai Bombay India Church

Oldest churches in Mumbai(Bombay), India

Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) is the commercial capital of India. It is one of the largest and most densely populated cities of the world. Bombay or Mumbai came under rule of many colonial empires such as Portuguese and British.

Christianity thrived and grew during these times. Many churches were built in Bombay by the Portuguese and British. The below mentioned churches are among the oldest churches in not only Bombay but India as well.

1. Church: Mount Mary’s Basilica

Location: Bandra (a western suburb in Bombay)

Year: 1570

About the church:

The first avatar of the church was built in 1570. There is a dispute about whether it stood on the same site as it does now as little farther off. It remains one of the most popular basilicas. It has been pulled down and rebuilt a number of times. One instance when it was pulled down was after the 1896 plague. The present building came up in 1904. The basilica is illumined by thousands of bulbs during Christmas Eve. And, with the onset of the season, sermons start stressing on the importance of overcoming ones’ pride and ego, spreading kindness and love and mending one’s ways. People go for a special confession to cleanse their souls.

2. Church: St. Michael’s Church

Location: Mahim (a western suburb of Bombay)

Year: 1565

About the church:

Traveler’s accounts say the church was built in the early sixteen century but document reports say the church was in existence since 1565. In 1854, when Bishop Hartmann lost control of the church, he raised funds and built Our Lady of Victory Church near St Michael’s. Both churches are still in existence. The current structure of St Michael’s Church was rebuilt in 1973.

The youth of parish organize a dinner and dance programme along with an orchestra on December 29. The social service of the church organizes a party for domestic workers in order to celebrate Christmas.



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Author: Gunwant Agarwal
Address: B-405/406, Hira Dham, Sundervan Complex, Link road, Andheri West, Mumbai, India
Phone: 91-22-26348179,
Cell no: 09819369613
Email: gunwantagarwal@yahoo.com; sailog@vsnl.com

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Published: 2006-12-30
Author: Gunwant Agarwal

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