North Indian churches built in Gothic/Gothic-Revival style - 02

The following colonial churches in North India were constructed in Neo-Gothic architecture. 

01Afghan Church, Colaba, Mumbai:  

Afghan Church, Colaba, Mumbai, MH.

 tall tower. Afghan Church, Colaba, Mumbai.

Afghan Church, Colaba, Mumbai. 

Main entrance  door Afghan Church

The Afghan Church,Mumbai; the Guild of the Holy Standard.

The Afghan Church  on Duxbury Lane, Colaba of Mumbai, India  was built in honor of the soldiers slain in the First Anglo Afghan War (1838-1842; the Battle of Maiwand near Kandahar)  during the East India company rule.  It was designed  in Gothic- Revival style by Henry Conybeare. Architect William Butterfield was responsible for the reredos, tiles, pews and screen. The Stained Glass Windows were designed by William Wales. Lots of quality marble and Basaltic rocks were used for the construction.  The architects  carefully used Kurla stone in the walls and Porbunder stone in the arches and pillars for better look. These  stained glass panels are in the chancel arch which is at a height of about 50 ft. Perhaps the first structure to have been built first in Mumbai - a sort of forerunner to other Gothic-Revival buildings, quite amazing are the soaring   Gothic arches  that support the high ceiling. The roof is made of quality teak wood that was  varnished periodically. In the prayer hall  there are  rows of wooden benches  made in the  mid nineteenth century. 

There are memorials to the slain soldiers in the Afghan war (first war) on  walls on both sides. There are memorials for the victims of second Afghan war right above the entrance. This  famous church in Mumbai Navy Nagar is  a great monument -  simply  personification of poignant stories of  slain soldiers in stone.

Flooring was done with special  tiles  imported from England.  The 60-metre tall bell tower has been around since   The work on the church began in 1847 and the consecration was done on  7 January1858 by Bishop Harding. EIC bore the construction cost and the major contributor was  Viceroy James Bruce Elgin, a Scotsman...............


 02. St. Patrick Cathedral of Pune,  Maharashtra:

St. Patrick cathedral, Pune, MH

Above image:  St. Patrick Cathedral, Pune,  Maharashtra stands as a silent spectator of the sectarian divide that lasted more than 166 years between European protestants and Roman Catholics.  In the 1800s, the British Isles were divided on religion - England, Wales, Scotland and the northern part of Ireland. Under the  British Crown administration, they were all affiliated to the Protestant institution - Church of England.  Rest of Ireland followed Roman  Catholic tradition. This division caused revelry among them wherever they had travelled.  Under the  the East India company rule in India, the Irish soldiers  were settled in the Cantonment area of Pune. They had no place of worship nearby and had to move out of the garrison limits. The first garrison church St. Mary's  served the Protestant community and after long persuasion, a small room was set aside for the Catholics  in Wanowrie. It was the Archdiocese of Bombay, one of the leaders of the Catholics in India in 1849 made a bold decision to change this disparity;  rest is history, First service  for Irish Catholics was held on  8 December 1850  in Pune............  (

 St. Patrick's Cathedral next to  the 'Empress Garden' in Pune,  was built in the mid 19th century and the architecture followed here is Neo-gothic. It became a cathedral in 1886-87 when Pune  was made diocese (1886).  Jesuit missionary Bernard Beider Linden was  the first bishop.  Being an old one, it has the  also has the highest number of parishioners of the Pune diocese.

rebuilt St. Patrick cathedral, Pune.

The cathedral camp up in 1850   with a view to serving mainly the Irish  Catholic community living then here. Most of them were in the East India company's army.  The cathedral had a humble beginning in a small room in Wanowrie; a single - room Chapel.  Bishop Anastasius Hartmann  the Apostolic Vicar of Bombay and Poona,  was keen to have a place of worship for Irish Christians with good facilities. He sought the help of   Fr. James Carry, an Irish diocesan priest from the Madras Mission. He was the first  chaplain in Poona in 1849  and felt the need to have a Chapel built soon. The first mass in the chapel was held  on 8 December  1850 on an allotted plot by the government and the  cost of construction was borne through public subscription. In the same year it became a cathedral called St. Patrick's Cathedral. Both Fr, Carry and   Fr. Esseiva, S.J saw the completion of south and north side  walls with buttresses respectively  for better stability of the structure, an important gothic feature.  

After the collapse of the roof of the cathedral on 15 July 1984 services were stopped for a few years. Later  it was rebuilt with a new curved vault roof designed by famous Indian  architect Charles Correa in place of the old pointed roof. The expenses  on the new structure   were  met with donations from the public. The re-dedication of St. Patrick's Cathedral was held on 22 October 1987.  Again major repair work and  renovation  of the cathedral was done from 2009 to 2010; additions included 16 unique stained glass panels depicting various episodes from the life of Christ  and a special skylight above the altar highlighting the Holy Spirit in stained glass. The concrete roof is dotted with sculptures containing glass panels to let in  daylight.

Located  near Bhairobha Nala junction on the Prince of Wales Drive, the newly built cathedral has not lost its old charm. First place of worship built in the middle of the 19th century for the Irish Catholic community in this part of Pune.


03. Sacred Heart Church, Asansol, West Bengal:

 Sacred Heart  church, Asansol, WB

Sacred Heart  church, Asansol, WB

Built in 1875  in Neo-Gothic revival style Sacred Heart Church in   , in Asansol, West Bengal is a major tourist destination. Earlier a chapel was built in 1870  to conduct prayer, etc. It is believed to have been  built for the  the British Railway Company  that was in-charge of the main Howrah Delhi Railway line. The land was donated by Raja of Burdwan,  Raja Bijoy Chand Mahatab  who also erected a marble altar in the same Chapel in 1904,   

Made of imported British bricks  visitors to the church will never fail to admire the well-designed grotto of 'Our Lady of Lourdes'. The exterior is painted in dull red imparting a colonial look.  The largest one in this city it was built to serve the Catholics living in this area. After India's freedom this church came under the control of Kolkata Archdiocese.

This church owes its origin to Fr. Jaques, S. J.  who had settled  in Asansol in 1873  and later realized the need for a spacious church to conduct services and mass. and subsequently acquired the land for the church. The church was opened to public on  the Christmas night of 1876. Sacred Heart Church became the Cathedral of the Diocese of Asansol when His Holiness Pope John Paul II established Asansol as the diocese bifurcating it from the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Calcutta. Several institutions are being run by the church and the Archdiocese.  The management started St. Maria Goretti School for Hindi speaking girls  in 1949 as English medium schools had been operating for English speaking people.