Velankanni Church of Virgin Mary

On a warm summer morning of Tamil Nadu, a group of young girls decided to visit a church nearby.

Map was arranged. Calls were made. Cab was hired.

Since it was only 3 years later I started penning down this trip – blame my poor memory- I used excerpts from Richard Clarke’s Blog to introduce Velankanni Church.

“Our Lady of Velankanni (alternately spelled Vailankanni) Church, called “The Lourdes of the East” and also “Our Lady of Good Health.” It carries these names because of three miracles that happened associated with the Mother Mary. It was built in the late 16th century. Later, modifications were made by the Portuguese.

Velankanni Church is a colossal structure, built in the Gothic style of architecture.

Velankanni receives many visitors. The largest crowd is up to 500,000 on September 8 of each year, for the nativity of the Virgin Mary.

The local tradition talks of the apparitions of Virgin Mary at Velankanni, at least three times. It is seen as a place of healing, and attracts many thousands of visitors, mainly Indians.”

Since our day began early, and hostel mess food was pathetic, we stopped to eat roadside.

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Well what we ate wasn’t top class food, but it was better than what we left behind in hostel.

Soon enough we reached the beautiful church.

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Parts of it was getting renovated.

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We took the entrance from the left…..

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If you stand on this church, you see 3 churches – one on your left, one on your right, and one straight ahead.

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A peaceful place to worship.

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And a special area designated to sell franchised products of Velankanni Church.

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Oh, and one of the 3 churches I mentioned about – the one straight opposite – many people come here and go to that church crawling or barefoot. It is a belief if you pray for something – this is the hardship you need to get through.

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We spotted a woman going there- on her knees. There is a tree inside the church; childless women tie a handkerchief in the shape of a pram here. Apparently they get blessed with children after that.

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Not sure about the myths and beliefs related with the churches, but it was a beautiful architectural site too.

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Some Links :

Velankanni Town – Wikipedia

Velankanni Church Website

I.Love.India Website talks about the church.