San Thome Cathedral Basilica

  • 4.7

    Location: 38, Santhome High Rd, Dummingkuppam, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600004, India.

    Visiting time: 1-2 hours.

    Phone number not available

    Santhome Cathedral Basilica, also recognized as Santhome Cathedral Basilica and International Shrine of Saint Thomas Cathedral Basilica, is a church in Chennai that was built over the tomb of one of Jesus Christ’s twelve Apostles. Saint Thomas came to India around 52 A.D., was martyred in 72 A.D. and was buried at Mylapore. Saint Thomas is the origin of the name “San Thome.”


    At the San Thome Church in Chennai, tourists may see a plethora of magnificent sights. Some of the main features of San Thome Church are as follows: Witnessing the Almighty Jesus’ gorgeous altar would be a great approach to show your genuine respect to God. This altar’s magnificent background is enhanced by dazzling décor, making the sight even more enticing. The hallowed grave of Saint Thomas is located in the San Thome Church, and it is magnificently decorated with flowers and candles. As a result, seeking the heavenly benefits of the sacred soul within the chapel is a must-do. One of the biggest attractions within the Santhome Church is the antiquities museum Tamil Nadu in india. The museum has a vast collection of Saint Thomas artifacts and antiques, including his fingerprints. Wall paintings and missionary works are also on show in the museum.


    Santhome Cathedral Basilica and Little Mount, Chennai, India. Cathedral of St. Thomas the Apostle, burial place.

    Santhome Church is a significant religious landmark since it is one of only three churches built on the apostles’ tombs in the world. St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Spain are the other two cathedrals built on the tombs of Saint Peter and Saint James. Didymus is another name for St. Thomas. He is thought to have arrived in Kerala around 52 A.D. and preached Christianity there till he was murdered in AD 72. On St. Thomas Mount, he was murdered by a lance driven through his back. Around 1500 A.D., Portuguese settlers in India excavated St. Thomas’ grave and built the church on top of it. In 1893, Britishers restored the church, which was dedicated in 1896 by da Silva, the first Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of India. The church was raised to the level of Basilica Minor by Pope Pius XII in 1956. Muslims thereafter revered and preserved St. Thomas’ tomb, which they dubbed “Bothuma” (House of Thomas). Despite the fact that numerous pilgrims traveled from the East and Kerala to see the tomb, it became an abandoned edifice centuries later.

    Inside/Outside Views

    Inside view of Santhome Cathedral Basilica and Little Mount.

    Santhome Church is a magnificent structure with a completely white outside and a rich brown interior ceiling. With its naturally lighted interiors, rows of oak benches, and stunning windows with colorful panes, this extraordinary neo-Gothic church amazes every visitor. The nave, the church’s main space, is 112 feet long and 33 feet wide, with awe-inspiring chandeliers. The lives of St. Thomas and other apostles of Jesus Christ are shown in stained glass windows behind the main altar. It has been beautifully restored to include two chapels. The burial chapel is built beneath the earth, while the main chapel is erected above it. The tale of St. Thomas is told by stained glass windows in the magnificent complex, and the story of Christ’s final days is told through wooden plaques. Every visitor’s attention is drawn to the church’s tall spires. The inspirational statue of Jesus Christ may be found on the main altar.

    Opening Hours

    All days of the week and 6.00 am to 9.00 pm

    Entry & Others Fees

    There is no entry fee or other fees in this place.

    How to Reach

    By Air: There is no way to get to Santhome Church by air, however Chennai International Airport is 16 kilometres (about 30 minutes) away. You may either take a cab or a bus from the airport.

    By Rail: The Thirumayilai Arts Station station is the closest to Mylapore Tiruvallikk’s San Thome Cathedral.

    By Road: Santhome is located in Chennai and is well-connected by road; it is located south of Marine Drive and is easily accessible by road through Santhome High Road.

    Tips for Travellers

    • Turn off your phone as you enter the prayer halls
    • Try to keep away from sacred memorials and altars, since they may have severe repercussions.
    • When going out, use sunscreen to protect your skin from the searing heat of Chennai.
    • Dress modestly in accordance with the Church’s modesty code.


    Que: Is this place safe to visit?

    Ans: Yes, this place is safe to visit.

    Que: Is photography allowed in this place?

    Ans: Yes, photography is allowed in this place.

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

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