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Santa Cruz Basilica in Kochi, Kerala
The Santa Cruz Basilica is a cathedral in Kochi of Kerala and is one of the heritage destinations in the state. This church is visited by tourists from all over the world due to its impressive structure and positive vibration. The church displays a gothic style beatified with artistic magnificence and eye-catching architecture. Lots of devotees and tourists are seen every day visiting there. It occupies a great historical significance. It has been built in the year 1558 and later on was sanctified by Pope John Paul II in the year 1984.
The church is situated in Fort Kochi at K.B Jacob Road. It is a Roman Catholic Church and is regarded as the capital church of Cochin diocese. There are total 8 basilicas in India and Santa Cruz is one of them making it a notable tourist destination in all around the world. Visiting hours starts from 9 in the morning till 1 at noon and then again from 3 to 5 in the afternoon. You need to maintain proper discipline and silence inside the Basilica being a religious place. There are wonderful hotels to stay in Kochi for national and international tourist. Hotel Malabar House, Hotel Holiday Inn, Courtyard Marriott, Hotel Trident and many more luxurious as well as standard hotels are available in Cochin.
The Portuguese fleet is responsible for the development of Christian missionaries in Kerala. The king of Cochin welcomed them with great vigor. Eventually in the year 1503, the Portuguese helped the king to win against his enemy. Since then, it was decided to construct a fort in Kochi. Basically, the first stone for the church was laid in the year 1505 by taking permission from the king. As there was no grant to build such a fort in the society of Cochin and as it was only place for temples, they took permission from the king for building the basilica. As they helped him, he could not refuse. Gradually the holy cross named Santa Cruz was invented and was placed in the basilica near Children’s Park in Cochin.
Interior of Santa Cruz Basilica
In the month of August, 1984 the church was modified into Basilica. The interior is very impressive with lofty spires colored in pastel. The exterior is white washed with intensive looks. Gothic and Indo European style of decoration is displayed in murals and paintings. The seven beautiful paintings on canvas are large enough in size and is large attraction for the visitors. The ceiling above is also depicted with huge images signifying the Christian society and their establishment in India. The images have been painted by Italian painters. Decorated arches and alter ads up to the beauty. The images have been painted to showcase the theme of ‘East Supper’ and ‘passion and death’ on the cross. The pulpit and wooden panels are another major attractions displaying incredible beauty.
The closest railway hub is Enarkulam located at a distance of 12 km from the basilica and the nearest airport which is located at a distance of 45 km is Kochi International Airport. Private as well as public transport system is available from Enarkulam to the church. You can also access boats to reach Fort Basilica of Kochi. KSRTC is a well connected travel transport that helps tourist by connecting Kochi to other cities in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Volvo buses are there from the nearby major cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore. October to March is the best time to visit there.
You must include this grand Santa Cruz Basilica in your tour list while you are planning to visit Kochi. Its unmatched beauty mingles with historical significance is truly something that you must get into to enjoy the great work of artisans. The church holds a special place in the southern part of India as it signifies the rise of Christianity in spiritual and incredible India. Being the most ancient church in the country, say 500 years, the residents of Cochin celebrated grand religious programs and exchanged love and sympathy with each other on 500th anniversary of the Basilica. Although it suffered many bruises on its survival journey till 20th century, but its charm and splendor never faded.