We invite you to explore India - the Land with infinite beauty ! Whether you soar high into Himalayas or peer under the ruins of the Ancient monuments dotting the landscape of India, you will cherish the experience long after your visit ! This India Travel Guide on Poondi Madha Basilica is free from any commercial interest! This site is dedicated to promote India - the vast subcontinent, its glorious past, magnificent landscape and its infinite variety.
Our Lady of Lourdes Basilica, Poondi, is a Catholic pilgrimage centre located in Tamil Nadu, South India. It is popularly referred to as Poodi Madha Basilica. Located in the pastoral settings of Poondi village, this church was raised to a minor basilica on 3rd August 1999. Situated between the rivers Cauvery and Colleroon in Thiruvaiyaru taluk of Thanjavur district, Poondi can be reached by road from Trichy.
Origin of the Basilica
A great Italian Jesuit missionary Rev. Fr. Constantine Joseph Beschi S.J. popularly known as 'Veeramamunivar' built a church and named it as the church of 'Mary Queen of Immaculate Conception' in the beginning of the eighteenth century (1714-1718). Father Constantine Joseph Beschi - mastered the Tamil language and wrote many literary work in Tamil, composed poetry and compiled Tamil-Latin dictionary. He was influenced by Hindu traditions and borrowed heavily from the Hindu temples when he built the churches in Tamil Nadu.
The statue of the miraculous Lady of Poondi is placed in this dome in the church. This miraculous statue is one among the three statues that were made in France.
The legend goes that a bright fire was seen burning within the church at night. The priest and some villagers opened the doors but did not find any source for the miraculous glow, which remained for years. News of this Divine Presence spread and thousands began to visit the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Rev. Fr. Lourdes Xavier, Parish Priest of the church in 1955 noticed the dilapidated state of the central roof and consulted an engineer. The engineer said that except for the central roof, the rest of the structure was quite strong. He recommended demolishing only the roof. The Father prayed to the Mother and he got a vision of the Mother. The roof of the church collapsed on its own on a rainy day however it left behind every other structure intact thus saving the demolishing cost.
Gradually this shrine of the Mother gained in popularity as the Poondi Matha shrine, matha being mother in Tamil. This shrine was declared as Minor Basilica by Pope John Paul II and became the fourth basilica in Tamil Nadu.
Poondi Madha basilica
The imposing structure of the shrine is a blend of Gothic and French architecture. The key aspect of the structure is the row of statues of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. Apart from this, the relic of the original cross/true cross (the one on which Christ was crucified) is also kept at the Poondi Madha Basilica.
Poondi Madha Basilica,
GPS Coordinates: 10.86439,78.941821
On the feast of the Holy Cross, there is a process of the relic followed by a mass. This is held on the 5th Friday of Lent. The annual fest is celebrated between May 6 and 15. The feast of Mother Mary is celebrated on September 8.
The Mass timings on regular days:
6 am, 11.15 am and 5.15 pm
On Sundays and feast days:
6 am Tamil
8.30 am Tamil
11.15 am Tamil
12.30 pm English
5.15 pm Tamil
There is a special Novena at 9.30 am on the first Saturdays of the month. Another novena mass is held at 5 pm after the car procession.
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
Pattadakal - Ceremonial site of the early Western Chalukyan kings
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
Santa Cruz Basilica Cochin - 500 year old Basilica near the Arabian sea
Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours - Tallest Church in Asia and the biggest Church in India
St. Andrews Basilica Allepey - Fair skinned Father of Miracles
Basilica of Our Lady of Vallarpadam - Basilica in an Island
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
Church of Our Lady of Angels - 400 year old Church
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
Basilica of St. Anthony - Basilica of St.Anthony of Padua
Lady of Mount Carmel Shrine - Kovalam Shrine
Infant Jesus Shrine - Roman Catholic Shrine in India
Chikmagalur Trekking - Heady mix of Coffee and Waterfalls
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