On the south boulevard of the city, Pondicherry, Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is renowned as one of the 21 basilicas of India. The church is counted amongst the most revered holy places in Pondicherry. With the magnificent neo-Gothic style of architecture, the Church is the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a prominent tourists attraction in Pondicherry that attracts the eyes of numerous passersby. A sacred place for all the Roman Catholic Christians of the region, the church dates back to some hundred years ago. It was the year 1902 when the foundation of this beautiful church started. The first mass of the church held on 17 December 1907. Later in the year 1908, the new parish that surrounds the church was established. Since its inception, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus has been a popular Christian shrine in Pondicherry and still is.
The calm, composed and beautiful ambiance of this stunning church in Pondicherry takes visitors altogether to a magical world. Inside the church complex, there is a holy glass picture of 28 saints who were linked to fidelity to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The church also includes the image of four evangelists. Beneath these statues, there lie four lamps posts that depict their lives along with inviting Jesus and his twelve apostles on the front of the church’s building. Along with that, the church boasts an elegant interior with installed benches for pilgrims. In total, the church can accommodate 100-200 pilgrims at a time. On a whole, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of those tourist places in Pondicherry that are worthy of tourists’ time.
The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Pondicherry with over 100 years of age. The dimensions of the church’s building are 50 m in length, 48 m in width, and 18 m in height. The entire church is built in Gothic style of architecture which attracts the eyes of almost every passerby. At the entrance of the church, there written b 2nd Chronicles 7:16 biblical verse in Latin as “sanctificavi locum istum, ut sit nomen ibi”. Along with that, the also includes The Grotto for Sacred Heart of Jesus that faces the railway station. From inside and out, the entire shrine is adorned with chandeliers, flood lights and focus.
The exact history of this beautiful church dates back to the late 19th century. In the year 1895, the Archdiocese of Pondicherry was sanctified to the Sacred of Heart of Jesus by the Archbishop of that time - Mgr. Gandy. It was his wish to build a new church which is sacred to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. However, the construction work of the church began in 1902 by the priest of Cathedral - Rev. Fr. Fourcaud and the building plan was prepared by the parish priest of Nellithope - Rev. Fr. Telesphore Welter. The year 2008 - 2009 marked the centenary celebration of the church. In the similar year, after the celebration of the centenary in June 2009, the president of CBCI - Telesphore Toppo sent a request to Holy See to promote the Basilica. On 24 June 2011, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus finally promoted to a Basilica status. Salvatore Pennacchio visited the church to officially declare it as a Basilica in the name of Holy See on 2 September 2011.
Door No, 132, South Boulevard, Near Railway Station, MG Road Area, Puducherry - 605001.
The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Pondicherry remains open all days throughout the year. However, the mass timings differ on weekdays and weekend. From Monday to Saturday, the masses start from 5:30 AM, 12:30 PM, and 6:00 PM. Whereas, on Sundays, the church organizes four masses at 5:30 AM, 7:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 5:00 PM, respectively.
On Sundays, the church also hosts a Tamil mass at 6:15 in the evening.
Best Time to Visit
The months of winter are considered the best time to visit Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus because of the cool and pleasant weather conditions the city enjoys during this time. The season starts in the month of October and continues until March.