St. Thomas' Cathedral, the city's first Anglican Church is situated in the heart of the commercial fort area, in Mumbai . The foundation was laid in 1672 during the governorship of Gerald Aungier, and was opened to public on the Chris Ãtmas Day in 1718, and subject to a number of later additions. Though simple in structure, the interior of the Church has some exquisite art adorati on. A marble plaque at the front entrance reads: "Let all who enter this church remember Richard Cobbe, chaplain to the Honorable East India Company 1715 to 1719, this church had risen to 15 feet when the building ceased and the site lay desolate for 33 years. It was consecrated in 1816 and became a cathedra l in 1837 .
Freshly painted in a creamy yellow hue, it stands in sharp
relief to the surrounding brownstones. Its airy whitewashed interior is
full of poignant colonial memorials, including one to Henry Robertson
Bower, Lieutenant of the Royal Indian Marine, who lost his life returning
from the South Pole with Scott and one to Jonathan Duncan who used the
'full force of the law' to halt infanticide in Varanasi.
Plaque on the entrance wall to the west recounts the history of the Cathedral, which is a mixture of successive architectural styles culminating with a Gothic tower added in 1838 and a Gothic chancel added in 1860. The lovely Gothic fountain at the entrance was designed in England by the eminent British architect, Sir Gilbert Scott, who also designed the Bombay University Library and Convocation Hall. The engraved words on the fountain read, "Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst." Unfortunately, the beautif t now quite dry.
The interior architecture of the Cathedral is a surviving relic of the class distinction, which prevailed during the days of the British Raj, when the high box pews (now replaced by ordinary ones) were allotted to the commoners in order of social rank, with the front row reserved for the Governor and the rear ones for the general public.
Mumbai being the capital city is well connected by air, rail and road with all the important places within and beyond the state. The nearest station is Church gate. To reach the church tourists can take a taxi or go by the city buses.
Being a major metropolis of India, Mumbai offers tourist a wide range of accommodation that vary from posh five star hotels to tourist lodges and cottages. There are many budget hotels also available in the city at reasonable prices.