Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Colonial Churches of Agra !! India

The city of Agra near Delhi is home to the world famous Taj Mahal and other Muslim monuments. The city is dominated by Muslim monuments as Delhi was under the Muslim rulers for centuries in the past. If you wander around certain areas, you will run into several churches built centuries ago! Numerous churches in a Muslim dominated area? Does it not sound strange? Amazing some of the buildings were built during the Muslim rule. Among the Moguls, Akbar was a kind hearted ruler and respected other faiths and  he permitted the Catholics - mostly Armenians to build churches and preach Christianity. But,  after Akbar, many of the Muslim rulers were not cooperative in the matter of religious preaching, conversion, etc. 

 St Paul’s Church:

  St. paul church. Agra sarsonkekhet.in
The historic St Paul’s Church, a colonial structure, was built in 
1855  displaying both English and Gothic style. During the early days the church was a famous one and was  the main place of christian worship. An interesting fact about its history is it was built on a site which was once a Dutch factory. The most impressive part of this church is it's design and the inspiring unending spire that marks out this church from others.

This historical church was in lime light last year in December 2015. A woman got the calling to serve the people under the shadow of the 'Cross'. St. Paul church has  a new woman priest - one Rev Jyoti Singh, 30 years of age, is the new head  priest at St Paul's Church Agra.  A mechanical engineer by profession she is the first woman to run conduct  congregation and the third in the Agra diocese - a male bastion of the  priesthood.

Once this church and the surrounding places were quiet, but now, St Paul’s Church (1855), is surrounded by modern academic buildings and play grounds 

The St George’s Cathedral:

st. George cathedral. Agra. sarsonkekhet.in
 The St George’s Cathedral located in the Cantonment area of Agra was designed by Colonel J. T. Boileau, the Garrison Engineer of the cantonment in 1826. Though simple, the building is attractive with its  yellow ocher stucco and white dressings. The interior has a central nave and side aisles with six ionic columns carrying a slightly vaulted roof. The chancel at the east end  shows elements of Gothic style and altar is adorned  with the marble inlay work.

 St. Mary’s Church:

St. Mary's church. Agra sarsonkekhet.in
  St. Mary’s Church, a Catholic church commissioned by the John family is near the Post Office, Agra  This church is a wonderful building and the Johns, who were defendants of  a Greek diamond merchant named Joanides, took so much pain to build this church on their own. They were well known industrialists in Agra and owned the John Mills along the bank of the river Yamuna.   With distinctly Italianate facade (topped by a crucifix and a six-pointed Star of David), in pale yellow, St. Mary's church is an important landmark here.
 Ref:
 http://roadlesstravelledindia.blogspot.in/2010/01/churches-in-mughal-city.html