With magnificent architectural design and high sacred significance, it’s no surprise that Sacred Heart of Cathedral Church is itself a highly revered tourist landmark in Delhi. Sprawling in an area of 14 acres, Sacred Heart of Cathedral Church is located near the Gole Dak Khana at the intersection of Baba Kharak Singh Marg and Ashoka Road in Connaught Place. This beautiful built Christian shrine is touted as one of the largest and the oldest church in Delhi. The history of this church states that the foundation stone of Sacred Heart of Cathedral Church was laid in 1929. It was Father Luke - an associate of the Franciscan first order, who took interest in building this church. However, later in 1930, the construction work of Sacred Heart of Cathedral began. The pristine white Altar of the church, which is made up of sheer marble is donated by the sir Anthony de Mello. Whereas, the altar furniture, bell, and vestments are given by Archbishop of Agra, who also laid the foundation stone of the church. Being the oldest of its kind in the capital city, the Sacred Heart of Cathedral Church boasts a distinct importance in the hearts of devotees. Irrespective of region, the cathedral welcomes every visitor, and thus, on your visit on a normal you can find a few people inside the church.
On normal days, the church mostly remains vacant except at the time of the mass. However, during the time of Christmas, the church thronged with hundreds of visitors, both locals and tourists who come here to be a part of this grand celebration. The festival of Christmas at Sacred Heart of Cathedral brings the two most important celebrations of the church - The Feast of Holy Family of Nazareth and The Christmas Vigil Service. The celebration of Christmas at this popular church in Delhi is not only observed by the prayers and other rituals but, a number of cultural and social programs are also organized by the church. Besides, a number of annual events are also organized at this church that witnesses a significant footfall of devotees. Not just the devotees, locals and tourists also flock to this place during the annual events to be a part of the famous gala feast of spirit and mind in Holy communion with divinity. Along with Christmas, Easter is another important event at Sacred Heart of Cathedral Church.
It was Father Luke who took the initiative to build the church, but, it is designed by Henry Medd - a renowned British architect. The Sacred Heart of Cathedral is built in an Italian architectural style. An important feature of the church’s building are the white pillars that are holding up the canopy along with the entrance porch located on each side of the church. Moreover, the architecture of the church also includes circular arcaded turrets ascending above the roof. Besides, the interior of the church is also as striking as the exterior. It includes a towering curved roof along with the broad arches and polished stone floors. Coming onto the Altar, it is purely made up of white marble. Behind the Altar, there is a huge fresco representing the Last Supper - the last meal that Jesus Christ shared with their disciple before the crucifixion. Moreover, there is a large crucifixion placed on the left side of the chapel; next to crucifixion is the effigy of the Virgin Mary.
Sacred Heart Cathedral, Ashok Place Near Gole Dak Khana, New Delhi - 110001, India
How to Reach?
There are two ways to reach Sacred Heart of Cathedral. The first one is through Delhi Airport Express Line; for that, the nearest station is ONGC Shivaji Stadium. The distance between Shivaji Stadium station and the church is around 750 m. However, the Airport Express Line is a bit costly as compared to other Delhi metro lines.
In case if you want to save some penny, board a metro to Rajiv Chowk and from there the Sacred Heart of Cathedral is located at distance of some odd 1.6 km. You can either take an auto from the station or can also choose to walk to the destination. Rajiv Chowk is the busiest metro station which lies on Yellow Line Metro.
Opens daily. The church services begin from 6 in the morning and operate till 6:30 in the evening.
Best Time to Visit
The church remains open all days, and hence, you can visit at any time during the year. Despite this, winter is the best time to visit Sacred Heart of Cathedral as it marks the biggest celebration of the church, which is Christmas. However, you can you can prefer to visit in the month of April, during the time of Easter which is another major festival of this Christian shrine in Delhi.
Nearby Tourist Attractions:
There are a number of tourist attractions around Sacred Heart of Cathedral where you visit after exploring the church. These are:
- Gurudwara Bangla Sahib
- Jantar Mantar Observatory
- Talkatora Stadium
- Talkatora Garden
- India Gate
- Rashtrapati Bhavan
- Connaught Place Market
- Shivaji Stadium
- Palika Bazar
- Janpath Market
- Central Park
- National Zoological Park