Saturday, 8 April 2017

La Saleth Church, Kodaikanal, India - second one next to France

La Saleth Church, Kodaikanal,Tamil Nadu. Pinterest

La Saleth Church, Kodaikanal Tamilnadu Tourism - bloggeer

Kodaikanal is a small town in Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu and a popular summer resort nestled on a serene lush, wooded  plateau above the southern escarpment of the upper Palani Hills at 2,133 meters (6,998 ft). The hills form the  eastward spur of the Western Ghats on the Western side of South India. Its name in the Tamil language means "The Gift of the Forest". Referred to as the "Princess of Hill stations", Kodaikanal Hill station owes its origin to  American Christian missionaries and British bureaucrats  of mid 1800s. They found the tall and cool mountains as a nice place  to escape from  the scorching summer heat  and tropical diseases of the plains. They founded many schools and churches here and the earliest residents were the Palaiyar tribal people. The preachers used to move around the poorly developed wooded areas on horse back to preach the Christian faith. This enchanting hill resort is popular across India and has countless places to visit.  Among the old churches here,  La Saleth church is worthy of brief discussion. Here, the natural, enchanting beauty of the cloud covered hills and greenery mingles with the spiritual grace of the churches and the resultant blissful experience gives the worshipers  enough strength to face challenges in life. Intense prayers give you mental strength and peace of mind.

Kodaikanal, tamil Nadu, location map. www.trekkr.in


La Saleth, one of the oldest churches of the state of Tamil Nadu is located just two kilo meters from the famous hill station Kodaikanal. Considered as one of the two churches dedicated to the memory of Lady of La Saleth in the whole world, the other  being in France (Lady of Lasalette), La Saleth is the only church in India that commemorates the memory of ‘Lady of La Saleth’ and also the first one built in the memory of Mother Saleth. The entrance to the church is accessed by a flight of steps and the church interior has a pleasing color theme - brilliant blue and white color. 
 
La Saleth church, Kodaikanal. /tamilnadu-favtourism.blogspot.in


La Saleth Church that is more than 150 years old  is a popular place of worship in this hilly area and was built by Father Louis Santsceer in 1866 after an interesting experience in his personal life.  Fr. Santsceer came to this place in 1852 with his father Fr. Rettary, who bought the Bayens Bungalow and converted it into a rest house for the association of Christ Church and his personal contribution was Rs. 20,000.00. Fr. Louis continued to suffer from persistent illness accompanied by fever in 1858. With all kinds of medication not giving the desired cure and relief,  he, ultimately, turned to faith-healing.  Placing strong credence in the mystical power of god, he intensely prayed to Lady of La Saleth. His faith in payer did not fail  him and, rather, it helped the father miraculously recover from the prolonged illness. This inexplicable cure led him to have a church built  in memory of Mother Saleth. 

La Saleth Church, Kodaikanal, Tamil nadu.  indiaeng.com

From 1851 on wards the fame of La Saleth had begun to spread across Kodikanal. The foundation for the church was laid in 1865. The church work was completed in  1866 with  donations from a cross section of  individuals and institutions. Fr. Louis Santsceer himself became the  the first priest of the church and under his care the church saw some developments. The main entrance  work was done in 1883, followed by additions of sides  in 1885, besides construction of a bell tower during the same time. Fr. Santsceer  died in 1887, his holy body was buried at the entrance of the church.  The church is dedicated to support the needs of the poor and the deprived.

Cloud-covered Kodai-palani hills, Tamil Nadu. www.panoramio.com

As mentioned before, the main Church for Our Lady of La salette is in France. The world's second church dedicated to Lady La Saleth
 is a popular destination during the festival season, particularly in August - 14th and 15th every year. The feast of Our Lady is celebrated on August 15th of every year. The nine-day vibrant festival attracts devotees  from all over the country but mostly from southern states.  At the end of the festival, there will be a grand and colorful carnival. The pilgrim hall was built as part of the centenary celebration of the church in 1947.

La Saleth Church is just two kilometers from Kodaikanal bus stop.
The nearest railway station is Kodaikanal Railway Station between Trichy and Madurai Junctions on the Chennai - Kanyakumari train route. The nearest airport is Madurai, about 120 km from Kodaikanal.

Ref:
 http://houseboats.keralahouseboat.org/la-saleth-church