The Church is considered as a sacred place to visit in Pondicherry and is situated 2.5 km away in the south of Pondicherry. It was established by the French missionaries in 1908 and is considered as one of the most beautiful Catholic Churches locally. It was in 2011, that the church was given the status of Basilica. It also sees the celebration of many occasions like New Year, Christmas Eve along with Easter Day as well.
The best time to visit Puducherry is from October to March and the overall temperature during this time here ranges between 15-30 degree Celsius. For visiting the church the timings are Mon-Sat 5.30 a.m., 12.00 noon & 6.00 p.m; and Sunday Morning - 5.30 a.m. & 7.30 a.m.
History of Basilica of Sacred Heart of Jesus
It was 1895 when Archbishop Mgr. Gandy successfully consecrated the Archdiocese of Pondicherry to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was done so as he wanted to build a new church in his devotion to Sacred Heart of Jesus. Taking this into account, the Rev. Fr. Telesphore Welter who was the parish priest of Nellithope church started preparing the building plan and parish priest of Cathedral Rev. Fr. Fourcaud initiated the construction of the new church in 1902. The blessing of this church and also the first mass was held at the western wing.
Major Attractions in and Around Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
1. Sunday Market. This is one of the best places to visit around Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The charming aura of this market along with the hustle is something to look forward to.
2. Vedapureeswarar Temple. Situated on Mahatma Gandhi Road, this temple is quite an exceptional place to visit. And especially the people who have a spiritual inclination will definitely like to travel here. The spiritual aura and charm of this temple is something to cherish.
3. Ganesh Garden. The Garden is situated on Ramarajda Street. It is quite a quaint looking place which you would be quite liking to visit again and again due to its beautiful ambience.
4. Sita Cultural Center. The Sita Cultural Center is yet another destination which is known for providing various services such as Yoga and Dance, Indian style cooking and so much more to the locals. The teachers over there are quite fluent in both English and French thus are able to provide classes in whichever language that suits you best.
5. Pondy Cycle Tour. The Pondy Cycle Tour is fundamentally a 2-hour long trip which can be done every morning from 7 am - 9 am. The purpose of this tour is to discover this city in an original way. There are around 5 customed cycles which are used for this purpose. The most exciting part of this trip is the fact that it ends up with an Indian or French breakfast which is held at Sita Cultural Center.
How to Reach Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Being considered a sacred place, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus church of Puducherry witnesses millions of visitors every year due to its magnificence. To visit this Church, one needs to travel a distance of about 1303.1 km, 2355 km, 302 km and 153.6 km from Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai respectively.
By Air. Those who seek to travel there by air do not need to bother much regarding the availability of nearby airports or flights as Pondicherry has its airport with a huge network spread across the whole country. Once you deboard the flight, you get to cover the whole distance with the help of cabs or taxis to reach the main door of the Church.
From Bengaluru- Board SpiceJet flights from Bengaluru Airport. The flight fares can be anywhere near INR 3556 to INR 6043
From Delhi - Board IndiGo, Vistara and Air India flights from Ahmedabad Airport. The flight fares can cost you INR 6544 or more
By Train. The awe-inspiring Basilica Church lies in proximity to Puducherry railway station, therefore, you can effortlessly book a train to reach there. However, the rest of the distance can only be covered with the help of public transports like cabs or taxis after de-boarding at the railway station.
From Chengalpattu - Board MS TPJ EXPRESS SPL train from Chengalpattu Railway station and deboard at Tirupadripulyur railway station
From Kolkata- Board PDY SRC EXPRESS train from Kolkata Railway station and deboard at Puducherry railway station
By Road. Opting for a private or public bus can be a great idea as Puducherry shares a good connection with the road network of the country. Also, you can book a cab or drive your car to make your visit highly comfortable.