Bandel church - Basilica of Holy Rosary en.wikipedia.org
|Bandel church, WB, kolkatabengalinfo.com|
In 1579, the Portuguese built a fort as part of their small settlement. They also enlisted the services of Augustinian Friars, who then formed the largest religious body in Goa. The purpose was to spread the 'Gospel of Christ' in this part of Bengal.
The very first church having been burnt down during the sacking of Hooghly by the Moors in 1632, a new church with monastery, was built by one Gomez de Soto (also spelt John Comes de Soto) over the ruin in 1660. The keystone of the older church can still be seen on the eastern gate of the monastery, bearing the date 1599. This church is a good example of Portuguese architecture with particular reference to churches. This impressive church is being visited by people of all faiths. The striking structure, chandeliers, coloured-glass windows and the statues in the compound add beauty to this old church. In the compound, one can see a Portuguese ship's mast which is believed to have been dedicated to the church by the ship captain in 1660. Caught in a severe storm, he prayed to the lord to save their lives and, as a token of his gratitude, he would offer the ship mast to the first church sighted. The storm became weakened and the captain stuck to his word. The main altar has Mary and the small altars have Jesus and St. John Bosco. There are other statues, besides a graveyard.