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The Church of Our Lady of Angels or Eglise de Notre Dame Des Anges as it is called in French, looks over the Bay of Bengal in the east facing the rising sun. It was built between 1851 and 1855 of 'Neopolitan Pink' stone and the work was overseen by the French Engineer Louis Guerre, a descendant of a family who has been in Pondicherry since the 18th century. Guerre also built the presbytery and other fine houses in the area. The original church of our Lady of Angels was built in 1707 in its current position - 3,Rue Surcouf, a small lane jostled in between the Rue Dumas and Rue Rolland, after the arrival of the first Governor General of French India (Pondicherry) Francois Martin, in 1674.
This first church eventually became too small and when it was falling into disrepair, a second church was built in its place between 1739 and 1758 during the glorious years of Governor Dupleix. In 1761 this church was razed to the ground by the English as was the rest of the French city. Another chapel was provisionally used until the completion of the existing building. Traditionally the Church has always housed a priest of French origin and today it is the residence of Tamil/French priest Father Michael John Antonysamy.
Our Lady of Angels is the only Church in Pondicherry where Mass is celebrated every Sunday in all 3 of the city's languages - French, English and Tamil. Archdiocese of Pondicherry and Cuddalore takes pains to see that this church has been entrusted to a priest who can speak these 3 languages.
The church along with the Garden of Joan of Arc were renovated largely owing to the help provided by the Friends of Pondicherry Heritage - an association for the preservation of Pondicherry and French heritage in India.
The exquisitely worked side Altar has a gold plated crucifix against the backdrop of gilt etched words - 'Sancta Maria Ora Pro Nobis' (Holy Mary Mother of God Pray for Us).
This magnificent limestone church is modelled after the Basilica of Lourdes with its hugh central dome and gilt edged altars. The front carries the Latin invocation 'Dominae Angelorum' (actually 'Lady of Angels' in English) part of 'Ave Regina Caelorum' (Hail Queen of Heaven) - Marian Hymns, a Roman Catholic tradition.
On the left side of the altar, there is a statue of the Mother of Immaculate Conception. You will find the French legend in the pedastal - "Je Suis L'immaculee Conception". Many of the life size statues of these French built churches were brought from France or Belgium.
South India Travel - Information on South India Travel
South India Tour - Grand Canyon of Asia
Karnataka Tourism - Land of exquisite architecture in Temples and History
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Bandipur National Park - Paradise for wildlife.
Bannerghatta National Park - Animals in their natural habitat.
Jog Falls - highest waterfalls in India
Qutb Shahi Tombs - Persian and Indian architectural style
Fort St Angelo Kannur - 500 year old European built Fort
Bekal Fort - Old Fort near Kasargod
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary - Jagaru Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary - Sharavathi Valley
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary - Sanctuary near Kannur
Coorg - The Scotland of the East
Kudremukh - Face of a Horse overlooking the Arabian Sea
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Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours - Tallest Church in Asia and the biggest Church in India
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Velankanni Basilica - Lady of Health Shrine near the Bay of Bengal
Our Lady of Ports Cathedral Ernakulam - Cochin boasts of 4 Basilicas
St. George Basilica Angamaly - Basilica for a Roman Soldier who slayed Dragons
St. Mary Queen of Peace Basilica Trivandrum - Syrian Malankara Church
Holy Redeemer Basilica Trichi - Mother of Perpetual Help
Poondi Madha Basilica - Lady of Lourdes
St. Mary's Basilica Bangalore - Miraculous statue of Our Lady
Basilica of Our Lady of Snows Tuticorin - Miraculous Statue of our Lady of Snow
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - Eglise De Sacre Coeur
Santhome Basilica - Houses the relic of St.Thomas
Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption - St.Mary's Church
Divine Retreat Center Chalakudy - Potta Ashram
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Basilica of Our Lady of Snows Pallippuram - 500 year old Basilica
St.Lawrence Basilica in Attur - Miracles in Attur
Maria Bambina Church - Marian Devotion
Holy Rosary Basilica Karumathampatty - New Basilica near Coimbatore
Basilica of Our Lady of Health in Harihar - Velankanni of Karnataka
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Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine - Kovalam Shrine
Divine Mercy Church - Divine Mercy
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Kodachadri Hills - Mountain Peak in Shimoga
Kabini Resort - Forest retreat a few hours from Bangalore and Mysore.
Kemmanagundi - Undulating meadows, gurgling brooks, rolling mist
Hampi - Evokes visions of poetry in stone
Mangalore - A triangular city with a summit to the South.
Mysore Palace - City basking in the glory of past Kings
Hyderabad Travel - City of Nizams
Vishakapatnam - Serene lakes, Cool beaches
Golconda Fort - Military Architecture
Charminar - Qutb Shahi Dynasty
Kodaikanal - South India's better known hill stations
Kerala Tourism - God's own Country
Alappuzha - Palm fringed canals, lazy lagoons and water locked towns.
Kumarakom Backwaters - Idllyic relaxed backwater setting
Mattanchery Palace - Palace in Kochi
Munnar - Emerald green tea estates.
Silent Valley - Sairandhrivanam, meaning forest in the valley.
Wayanad wildlife sanctuary - Holiday Resorts, Ayurvedic Rejuvenation centers and more.
Poovar Island - Holiday in Poovar
Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary - Highest peak in Karnataka
Cochin Travel - Gateway to God's own Country
Belur Hoysala Temples - Poetry in Stone
Chola Temples - Revisit the past glory of the mighty Cholas
Madurai Meenakshi Temple - One of the Biggest temples
Tirupati temple - Lord of the 7 Hills
Rameshwaram Temple - Sethu Yathra
Swamimalai Temple - The Son who taught his Father
Guruvayur Temple - Bhuloka Vaikunta
Sabarimala Temple - Makara Jyothi
Padmanabha swamy Temple - Ananthasayanam
Thiruvannamalai temple - Padal PetraSthalam
Saradamba Temple Sringeri - Sringeri Temples
Ranganatha Swami Temple - Largest Temple in the World
Udupi Krishna Temple - Kanakanakindi
Vaitheeswaran Koil - Prime center for naadi shastra
Sripuram Golden Temple - Temple of Gold
Srikalahasti Temple - Kailas of the South
Kanchipuram Temple - Ancient Pallava built Temple
Palani Temple - Temple dedicated to Tamil God
Thiruchendur Murugan Temple - Part of the 6 Abodes of Murugan