Immaculate Conception Cathedral

  • 4.5

    Location: 204, Mission St, MG Road Area, Puducherry, 605001, India.

    Estimated Visiting Time: 2-3 hours.

    Website not available

    Immaculate Conception Cathedral is the cathedral’s mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore. In the Union Territory of Puducherry, it is located. It is also named Samba Kovil, a phonetic corruption of “St. Paul’s Kovil “where”kovil” means church. In Puducherry, The Immaculate Conception Cathedral is a 300-year-old mother church for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Pondicherry. Its beautiful white and blue color scheme with golden accents and mix of Herrian, French, and Portuguese styles of architecture make it a site worth at least one visit 



    The main attraction of the church is the bell tower, on the support of which hangs a huge imposing bell, and the various statues and altars are beautifully constructed and maintained. There is also an esplanade in front of the church where visitors can participate in various events organized by the church. The architecture has evolved, making it more beautiful than its original construction style. The magnificent central corridor is replete with golden pillars and blue-painted ceilings with snippets from the life of Jesus Christ. There are wooden benches for you to sit and pray and you can also join the prayer service if you wish. The church has a choir loft, a bell tower, an intricately redesigned esplanade (open space), and a magnificent display of color. The colors inside the church make you fall in love with it again and again. The church feast is celebrated on 8th December every year which attracts a large number of devotees during this time. The magnificent structure is brightly lit in the evening which makes the church look very beautiful. 


    The first church was built by French priests in 1689 and destroyed by Dutch invaders in 1690. The church is known as Samba Kovil to the locals. From 1728 to 1736 a large church was built on the site of the present cathedral. This third church was destroyed by the British in 1761 during the Seven Years’ War. In 1765 temporarily (fourth in sequence) a functioning irregularly shaped shed which now houses the Mission Press (the official press depot of the Archdiocese) since 1770 the Fathers have been earnest in building the present cathedral on the foundations of 3. On 20 June 1791, the original work was completed, and the church was consecrated by Bishop Champenois. The bell tower was built later. The choir loft was added in 1905. The sanctuary was rebuilt in 1970. The esplanade in front of the cathedral was rebuilt in 1987, allowing people to attend liturgical services and special events held outside. The feast of this church, namely, the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary falls on December 8. The church which has now stood for nearly 300 years is also the site where the Bishop’s House is located. In Tamil and English, Mass services are conducted. It is one of the oldest tourist places in Puducherry. and was visited by Mother Teresa during her visit to Puducherry. 

    Inside/Outside Views

    Although not much is mentioned about the cathedral’s architecture, you must visit it to see it. The Church has undergone tremendous changes and reorganizations over a period of time. But unfortunately, it has been destroyed three times in the last 350 years, and what you see today is the church built on the foundation damaged for the 3rd time. 

    Opening Hours

    Monday-Saturday: 7:00 AM – 6:30 PM,

    Sunday: 8:00 AM – 6:30 PM 

    Entry & Others Fees

    No fee for visiting this place. 

    How to Reach

    By Air: Puducherry has regular flights from all major Indian metros and cities. SpiceJet, GoAir, Air India, etc. offer competitive fares, making it easy for you to reach Puducherry from anywhere. You can take a flight to Chennai, travel to this gorgeous city by road, and enjoy the scenery throughout the journey.

    By Rail: The nearest railway station to Puducherry is Villupuram, about 35 to 40 km from the city center. From Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, etc. regular trains are running. 

    By Road: You can enjoy a wonderful road trip to Puducherry along NH 45 from anywhere in India. There are also regular buses from Chidambaram, Mahabalipuram, Trichy, and Thanjavur. If you travel by road, you will pass a few small towns and cities like Tindivanam, Tambaram, Melmaruvathur, etc.

    Tips for Travellers

    Make sure your behavior does not disturb anyone. You can carry some snacks with you. 


    Que-01: Is this place safe to visit?

    Ans: Yes, the place is safe to visit.

    Que-02: Is photography allowed in this place?

    Ans: Photography and video recording are permitted for personal non-commercial use only in Basilica spaces dedicated to tours.

    Que-03: What is the best time to visit the place?

    Ans: Winter is the best season to visit, and many tourists visit here every winter. Puducherry is a coastal city and experiences tropical weather throughout the year.

    We wish you all the best for your journey. Happy Travel!!!

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