Sprawling Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours,Thrissur,Kerala, one of the tallest churches in Asia

Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours(Puthan Pally),Thrissur,Kerala, India.www.hotelpooram.com 
 Among the Indian states, Kerala not only has historical churches of great antiquity, but also numerous beautiful churches with remarkable Indo - Gothic style architecture.

Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours (Puthan Pally) has a dual distinction. It is the biggest church in India and is  the 3rd tallest church in Asia. Situated in Thrissur town in southern state of  of Kerala, this church was built on the model of European churches, in particular the ones in Rome, as conceived by Mar Francis Vazhappilly, the Late Bishop of Thrissur. He himself laid the foundation stone of the Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours on 21 December, 1929 and consecrated the Church on 24th November 1940.  The church construction was done under the auspices of the then Maharajah of Cochin  Sri  Rama Varma who gave whole-hearted support and guidance. However, the entire construction work went on in phases and took a long time.
Interior,Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours(Puthan Pally),Thrissur,Kerala, India.wikimapia.org
 The church, known for its strikingly beautiful Indo-Gothic style of architecture, was built on an area of 25000 sq ft, and has three huge  towers, two being in the front - 145 feet tall and the third one - central tower in the rear with the height of 260 ft.  
Festival lights.Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours(Puthan Pally),Thrissur,Kerala, India.www.flickr.com
The Bible tower  inaugurated in January, 2007 houses the Christian art gallery and it depicts the various phases of Jesus Christ's life and there are mural paintings and brass etched images of miracles of Christ, etc. From the Bible tower one can have a bird's eye view of the city of Thrissur. 

The entrance to the church looks magnificent with towering belfries. Inside the church, the sight of double storied aisle all along the nave and transepts and 11 alters, five on either side with main alter in the center is just breath-taking.
The main altar -100 feet high  houses the statue of Our Lady of Dolours along with two beautiful statues of the Holy angels Raphael and Michael. There is a gigantic dome with four spectacular pillars just above the main altar and beneath this altar lies the tombs of mortal remains of the bishops. The ten altars on either side of the main altar have the statues of St. Francis Xavier, St Thomas and other saints. There are eight German bells in the adjoining belfry that produce the musical notes.The  church ceiling is adorned with astonishing mural paintings, images of saints and scenes from the scriptures.

Prayers are offered at Perpetual Adoration Center every day. The main feast of the church, celebrated on the last Sunday of November every year, is the second biggest festival of Thrissur. The colorful light  illumination of the Basilica of our Lady of Dolours at this time attracts lots of visitors..

His Holiness Pope John Paul II on  25th April,1992 raised  the church to the status of Minor Basilica. Hence, it is called the Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours or Puttanpalli.