Udhagamandalam, Ootacamund, Udhagai or Ooty, call it by whatever name you may, but there is no denying that it is one of the most scenic places in the Western Ghats. Pleasant climatic conditions, exotic natural splendor, age-old historical monuments, placid lakes, and other sightseeing options along a good range of hotels in Ooty make sure that you enjoy a delightful holiday experience here. The picturesque hill station, which was once the summer capital of the British, also boasts of several fascinating churches that are rich in history and architectural splendor.
Want to add an element of spirituality to your holidays in the Nilgiris? Make sure to keep aside some time to visit these beautiful churches in Ooty.
1. Stephen’s Church
A fabulous colonial structure with high-arched stained-glass windows, located in the midst of verdant woodland surroundings – that’s St. Stephen’s Church for you. One of the oldest churches in the Nilgiris region, it is known for its magnificent Victorian-era architecture while the tranquil vibes and spiritual aura of the edifice make it one of the must-visit places in Ooty on a 3-day trip. A huge painting depicting the Last Supper adorns the walls of this church. An interesting thing to note about this 19th-century structure is that the gigantic main beam and other timber used for its construction were taken from the palace of Tipu Sultan located on the island town of Srirangapatna.
- Location: Club Road
2. Holy Trinity Church
A majestic building boasting of the Tudor style of architecture and tarnished stained glass windows, the Holy Trinity Church counts among the most popular churches to visit in Ooty. This iconic Protestant church has been functioning since 1858. Serene setting, elegantly carved pews, decorated interiors, and a peaceful cemetery enhance the allure of this place by many notches.
Two of the most popular temples in Ooty, namely the Vasupujya Swami Shwetambar Jain Temple and the Mariamman Temple are located close to the church. Plan your itinerary such that you can cover all these religious places to visit in Ooty in one shot.
- Location: Summer House Road, Upper Bazaar
3. Thomas Church
St. Thomas Church has been adorning the landscape of Ooty for about one and a half centuries for now. Built in 1870, the grand church overlooks the Ooty Lake and offers stunning views of the picturesque water body. This Protestant Church houses the Memorial of St. Thomas, which is the tallest structure in town. The beautiful and serene interiors of the church present the perfect place to indulge in some moments of self-introspection. A huge pillar marked with a cross stands within the church premises. It is the grave of William Patrick Adam, who once served as the governor of Madras. The church served as one of the shooting locations for the famous Hollywood film A Passage to India.
You can combine your trip to the church with a boating session at the Ooty Lake, one of the most spectacular lakes in Ooty.
- Location: Fern Hill
4. Sacred Heart Cathedral
Built during the turn of the 19th-century, the Sacred Heart Church is a breathtakingly gorgeous structure that adds to the quaint charm of Ooty. Among the first things that draw your attention to this church are its lofty bell towers. Interestingly, these towers weren’t a part of the main church structure when it was built in 1897 by Rev. Foubert. Much later, after the First World War got over, the bell towers were constructed. Since then, they have become an intrinsic part of the church premises. Whether you are religiously inclined or not, make sure to include this magnificent edifice in your list of places to visit in Ooty.
- Location: Havelock Road, Pudumund
5. Mary’s Church
Perched atop a hill, St. Mary’s Church is a lovely edifice with attractive facades and decorated interiors. The church boasts of a huge dome, which stands above the altar. Large glass windows adorn the walls of the building and allow sunlight to stream in. If you are seeking a moment of solace, away from the crowded locales, this church is the perfect place to be. Built just a shy of two centuries ago, during the 1830s, it is one of the first Catholic churches in Ooty.
- Location: St. Mary’s Hill
6. Joseph’s Church
St. Joseph’s Church is another place of worship that holds much religious significance to the Catholic believers in Ooty. What draws tourists to this edifice is its lovely architecture, which is a treat to the eyes. Bathed in white, the church looks ethereal when decorated with lights on religious festive days. You can also attend the Holy Mass conducted here on Sunday morning and evening.
- Location: Woodcock Road
7. Teresa Church
Nestled in a scenic setting, surrounded by lush green rolling hills, St. Teresa Church traces its origins to the 1960s. The church, which is under the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ooty, is a splendid display of history, culture, and art, all rolled into one. Thanks to its enticing structure and religious significance, the place is frequented by tourists and worshippers with equal enthusiasm. The Sunday Mass at this church is a heavily attended affair.
- Location: Brick Field Road, Fingerpost
8. The Church of the Ascension
Unlike the other Ooty churches, the Ascension Church is located inside the campus of the Lawrence School, one of the top educational institutions in the country. This century-old Protestant church is one of those few places of worship where parades in ceremonial uniforms were held every Sunday. Though the practice stopped way back in 1949, the structure stands in all its glory even today. The church draws visitors due to its remarkable heritage and Gothic style of architecture. The stained glass altar panel of the church portrays the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven. The large pipe organ installed inside the church is another key attraction.
- Location: Lovedale
A trip to these lovely churches in Ooty will surely keep your mind and soul energized. And as far as your body is concerned, you can head over to the restaurants in Ooty for a sumptuous meal after some hectic sightseeing. So, go ahead and enjoy a spiritual trail through the land of Blue Mountains.