March 22, 2010 | |

A look at: The Afghan Church Colaba Mumbai

Mumbai's oldest church! In the quieter lanes of Mumbai, just a kilometre before the southern most part of the city, a quiet, unassuming yet dignified structure stands in all its magnificence, peeping from behind a curtain of greens – St. John the Evangelist. The church is more popularly called The Afghan Church and is one of the oldest churches in Mumbai. This quintessential symbol of English architecture, with wide Gothic arches and beautiful stained glass windows, is actually a memorial to commemorate the death of officers and private soldiers in the first Afghan War in 1838. The bloodbath in the war spared just one soldier amongst the 1600 men who were sent to fight the war. The church had its humble beginnings as a small thatched chapel close to ‘Sick Bungalows’ where the Indian Naval Hospital ‘INS Ashwini’ now stands. The infrastructure was so basic that patrons actually had to bring their own chairs for mass and other gatherings! Later, the church was given land at its current location by the British government. After construction, the church was duly consecrated on January 7, 1858, by Bishop Harding. It may be interesting to note that the only condition imposed by the British government on the architects was that the spire of the church should be so high that it could be seen by all ships coming into the Bombay Harbour Read More.

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