St. Mary's Basilica Bangalore

Weather :

Timings : 6:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

St. Mary's Basilica, Bangalore Overview

Built in 1882, St. Mary's Basilica is the oldest church in Bangalore and is the only church in the state that has been elevated to the status of a minor basilica. It is famous for the festivities it holds during the St. Mary's Feast, in September each year, an event which attracts a large number of devotees from in and around Bangalore. It is a marvellous sight to behold with its towering façade, glass windows and the loving statues of Mother Mary. It is a generous throwback to the colonial era of Indian history and restores the traditional faith of Christianity till date with elaborate feasts, masses done in different languages and the annual celebration of Mother Mary's nativity day.

St. Mary's Basilica is a spacious gothic-style Church built in the form of a cross, designed by a French architect. It is 172 feet long and 50 feet broad. The imposing and magnificent tower forming the facade of the Church is 160 feet in height. A beautiful statue of Mother Mary holding Child Jesus in her arms, 6 feet in height, is set up in an attractive shrine just outside the Church building. 

Every day, Our Mother Mary is draped in a saree, which is the typical dress of an Indian lady. It is said that when the new Church was built, people tried to remove this statue to install it on a prominent altar inside the Church, but they failed in their effort since the statue remained immovable. This strange happening is considered to date a sign of Our Lady's miraculous power. The Main Feast of the Church is celebrated with all grandeur on the 8th of September, the Feast day of the Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary, every year. This feast is considered one of utmost importance by the people, in the whole of the Archdiocese and the state of Karnataka.

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Legend of St. Mary's Church

In the 1800s, a deadly plague spread throughout the parish, and the local people sought the help of Mother Mary to save them from the grasp of the terrible pandemic. It is said that the Holy Virgin Mother heard the people's plea and soon the plague disappeared from the village. Since the people and the town were saved by the blessings of Mother Mary and ushered in good health, she was also called 'Annai Arokiamarie' which translates to Our Lady of Good health.

There is another legend about St Mary's Basilica that the small statue of Mother Mary in the shrine near the main entrance was attacked when some mobs of miscreants tried to destroy and rummage the Church, but the statue remained unharmed and unaffected in all the fire. Not just that, when the attackers tried to pull it down, they were said to be struck blind.

History of St. Mary's Basilica

The church has had a very developmental history through the passage of time. It was set up by Fr. Jean Dubois, a Catholic priest, in the year 1811 as a small chapel in the town then known as "Bili Akki Palli". The chapel was then known as the 'Chapel of Kanikkai Madha' or 'Kaanike Mathe Devalaya'. The church was then enlarged in the year 1813 but had to be built again from the year 1856-1882 as it was destroyed in the communal riots during the 1830s. The new structure of St. Mary's Basilica was then planned by Bishop Jean-Yves-Marie Coadou in the years to follow, to be finally given the title of "Minor Basilica" in the year 1973.

Architecture of St. Mary's Basilica

The architecture of St Mary's Basilica is inspired by the Gothic Style, as the church stand 160 feet tall with its stained glass windows, ornamental motifs and beautiful arches adorning the walls. There is a bigger statue of Mother Mary with baby Jesus just at the porch of the church, who is draped with the traditional Indian women's attire of sari every day. This statue earned the name of being immovable as the builders could not shift it during the construction of the new church.

St. Mary's Annual Feast

Apart from the beautiful infrastructure of the church, the St. Mary's feast, which happens for 10 days in September every year, is also something which draws a large number of tourists to the Basilica. The birth of Lady Mary is celebrated with a grand feast, which involves feeding the poor and the needy, performing social services for the underprivileged and also, hosting of the Traditional Flag. For the first 9 days, Novena is held, and on the 10th, that is the 8th of September - the birthday of Mother Mary, a holy feast - the Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary is arranged and the image of Mother Mary is carried around the local streets in a beautifully adorned chariot.

St Mary's Basilica Mass Timings

Masses are offered in different languages on different times, keeping in mind the many languages of India and that there are members from every language-speaking ethnicity who are members of this parish and visit the church for mass.

Sundays:
English: 6:00 AM
Tamil: 7:00 AM
Tamil: 8:00 AM
Kannada: 9:15 AM
Tamil: 11:00 AM
English: 6:00 PM

Saturdays:
English: 6:00 AM
Tamil: 6:45 AM
Kannada: 9:00 AM
English: 10:00 AM
Tamil: 11:30 AM                                                                                                                      
Tamil: 5:45 AM

Weekdays:
English: 6:00 AM
Tamil: 6:45 AM
Tamil: 11:00 AM
Tamil: Monday, Tuesday, Friday - 6:30 PM
Kannada: Wednesday - 6:30 PM
English: Thursday - 6:30 PM

Tips For Visiting St. Mary's Basilica

You should try and visit the place in September to witness the feast which is widely known amongst all the people.

How To Reach St. Mary's Basilica Bangalore

The St Mary's Basilica is located very near to the Shivajinagar Bus Terminus which is well connected with the rest of the city. Bangalore is a very well-maintained city with buses, cabs and autos available from anywhere. The nearest Metro Station to the place is Cubbon Park. You might get down there and then take a private taxi to reach the Basilica or can even undertake the bus route.

The basilica being a site of attraction is well-known, and you just have to mention the name to reach there. You can also hire private cars if you are new to the city.

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