A peaceful and serene spiritual destination located along the Coromadel coast of Bay of Bengal is a panchayat town in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. Once a port that traded with Rome and Greece lost its importance to larger city like Nagapattinam. This is situated to the south of Chennai at the distance of 350 km.
Velankanni has a long history that dates back to 1560, when Virgin Mary is said to have visited this place. According to the tale, Mary asked for milk from the shepherd in order to quench thirst of the baby, the baby she had was known to be Lord Jesus. This site was then marked with the construction of a thatched chapel.
The most significant place at Velankanni is the Shrine of Virgin Mary which is dedicated to the Madonna of Velankanni often called Our Lady of Health.The shrine here is commonly known as the Sacred Arogya Matha Church. The Virgin Mary is alleged to possess magical healing powers which attract many pilgrims from different religion coming here to what is called the Lourdes of East.Housing a 97 feet Belfry, the church was started in 1971 and was opened in 1972. Offerings are made to God in the form of different shapes of candles, such as in case of jaundice, a liver shaped candle is offered. The preservation centre at the church exhibits small golden or silver replicas of the organs that have been presented to God after the disease has been cured.Representing a Gothic style of architecture, the building of the church is painted white, while the roof is covered with red tiles. The church organises Holy masses in eight languages namely, English, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi, Konkani and Marathi.
Velankanni Basilica - Extension - Front View
Veilankanni Church Pond
September 8, the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, is also commemorated as the feast of Our Lady of Good Health. The celebration starts on 29th August and ends on the day of the feast. Hundreds of people flock to the place during this time with their prayers and pettitions.
Church At the Dusk Hours
Velankanni Beach, one of the prominent attractions of the region, is located in the Nagapattinam District. The beach is popularly known as Lourdes of the East. It is oft visited as Church of Our Lady of Health is located in the vicinity of the beach. A beautiful atmosphere to spend your tired and tedious day of travelling and soothe your inner-self. there are quite a lot shop in and around to buy ethnic items and articles.