Notre Dame des Anges Church

  • 4.6

    Location: White Town, Puducherry, 605001, India

    Estimated Visiting Time: 2-3 hours

    Our Lady of Angels Church (also known as Église Notre-Dame des Anges, White Chapel, Kaps Koil) is the fourth oldest church in the Union Territory of Puducherry, South India. The original structure was built in Graeco Roman architecture by Napoleon III in 1855, with the architect Louis Guerre. In Pondicherry city, Notre Dame des Anges Church is the only church that offers mass in three languages namely French, Tamil, and English. It is a functioning church with hourly prayers and daily services and follows the Roman Catholic denomination of Christianity. The chapel was controlled by Capuchin priests, later the Holy Spirit Fathers, and finally changed hands in 1887 to the Fathers of Foreign Missions from Paris. It is one of the most prominent landmarks in Puducherry and faces the Bay of Bengal. The church is locally called Dumas Church because it is located on Dumas Street in White Town. 



    Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges known as the Church of Our Lady of Angels is one of the best attractions in Pondicherry. Facing the Bay of Bengal, the church is located on the corner of Dumas Street and Surcoof Street. One of the old-world attractions, the church is visited by tourists and locals alike. Experience the divine and wondrous bliss in the marvelous architecture. The Church of Our Lady of Angels is the only church in Pondicherry where mass is celebrated every Sunday in the city’s three languages: French, English, and Tamil. Join the holy congregation and experience the divine connection. 


    The first arrival of the Franciscan Capuchins in India was in Pondicherry in 1632. The Capuchins were the first missionaries in Pondicherry. The first mission was completed in 1634 within two years. When Francois Martin founded the town of Pondicherry in 1673, he invited French Capuchins from Madras for the spiritual animation of the French and the evangelization of the Tamils. In 1674, the French Capuchin missionary Cosmos de Guen established the first Christian mission in Pondicherry. The Church of the Capuchins serves as the seat of the Capuchin Prefect. The Capuchin Mission was handed over to the Holy Spirit Fathers in 1828 after 154 years of zealous missionary activity. This Capuchin mission ended due to the lack of missionaries in France. Based on records in the National Archives of Pondicherry from 1777, historian Jaysheela Stephen argues that the Capuchins, the original monks, wanted the church to be 40 feet high (12 m) in 1746 and planned to build it near the fort. According to the rules of the Governor of Pondicherry, no buildings can be constructed near the fort more than 200 meters (660 ft) and 50 feet (15 m) in height. The proposal was rejected, citing the risks, and the monks withdrew the idea. In 1855 Napoleon III (c. 1852-70) built the main structure in Greco-Roman architecture, designed by Louis Guerre. It is believed to be based on Notre Dame and Lourdes Basilica in Paris. Napoleon III visited the chapel as the first place on his visit to Pondicherry. It is understood that there were four churches on the campus and the British demolished the church and converted it into two orphanages. It is believed that Napoleon III donated an oil painting of Our Lady of the Assumption to the church. 

    Inside/Outside Views

    The church is built in Greco-Roman architecture with the main chapel flanked by two columns. The two pillars were originally used to house clocks, which are no longer functional in modern times. Originally, they went on strike every two hours by singing Ave Maria. The shrine faces east towards the Bay of Bengal and faces the sea. The altar is believed to have originally contained a statue of Our Lady of the Angels, but in modern times contains a Holy Cross. There is a statue of Joan of Arc which was donated to the church in 1919 by the then-mayor of Puducherry, Francois Gaudart. The twin towers have stained glass windows that playoff red, blue, and yellow. The original chapel was painted white both inside and out, hence the name White Chapel. A special mixture of paint, egg, and limestone was used to paint the walls. The exterior color was changed in the 1900s and the interior color in the 2000s. The temple bells are believed to have been brought from France. The bell had a complex mechanism where pulleys and ropes were attached to a rope at the bottom. In 2012, following the renovation of the chapel, the operation of the bell was suspended due to vibrational effects causing disturbance to neighbor structures. The temple is locally called Dumas Church as it is located on Dumas Street in White Town. 

    Opening Hours


    • 5.30 AM – 12 PM
    • 4 PM – 8 PM

    Entry & Others Fees

    The entry fee is Rs. 10 per head.  

    How to Reach

    By Air: Chennai International Airport is the nearest airport. It is 135 km away. Chennai is well connected to many cities in India some of them are Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Pune, Hyderabad, etc. One can hire a taxi from the airport to reach the Notre Dame des Anges Church. 

    By Rail: Villupuram, Central Railway It, 35 km. Villupuram is with Tiruchirappalli, Madurai, and Chennai by State Railway. The hospital is available from Villupuram to Puducherry. One can hire a taxi from the airport to reach the Notre Dame des Anges Church.

    By Road: Pondicherry is best accessible by road, bus, or taxi. Private tourist buses from Chennai, Madurai, and Bangalore ply to Pondicherry. Buses connect Pondicherry with Thanjavur, Trichy, Chidambaram, and Coimbatore. There are frequent buses from Koyambedu in Chennai about every 15 minutes. One can hire taxis from the bus stand to reach his desired place. 

    Tips for Travellers

    Carry a water bottle and snacks with you. 


    Que-01: Is this place safe to visit?

    Ans: Yes, this place is safe to visit.

    Que-02: Is photography allowed in this place?

    Ans: Yes, photography is allowed in this place.

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

    Ans: It is best to visit the place in the afternoon.

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

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