St. Andrew's Church, which also called `The Queen of
Scottish Churches in the East' is located on Poonamallee High Road in
Chennai. This church
is considered to be the most beautiful neo-classical church in India. St.
Andrew's Church is a magnificent building lying almost in the middle of a
large, spacious compound - which provides a backdrop of trees and greenery
- presents a lovely profile of Georgian architecture in the midst of
mundane business life.
Nearly one hundred and seventy five years ago, the Kirk steeple rose up majestically, providing spiritual solace for the early Scottish community in Madras, Tamil Nadu, India. Conceived and executed by Major Thomas Fort de Havilland and Colonel James Caldwell, the Kirk is modelled along the lines of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. The church was consecrated in 1821 and since then, has been in the care of a long line of devoted pastors.
A Captivating Architectural Structure
The architectural details of the church are exquisite and fascinating. An arching dome coloured with Lapis Lazuli crowns the remarkable circular interior. The dome represents a blue night-sky studded with golden stars. Adding to the splendour are sixteen fluted Corinthian columns that preserve its beauty and balance. An annular arch around it also supports the complex construction of the dome.
The superb artistry of exquisite mahogany woodwork is one of the Kirk's many charms and glories. The warm, rich and quiet hues of treasured stained glass at the altar are another. The colonnaded portico gives an impression of great strength and power, lending to the whole an awesome grandeur, reminiscent of Solomon's Temple.
The Traditional Music
Another brilliant manifestation of the continuing vitality of the church is its great tradition of music. This has enormously enhanced the character and atmosphere, preparing people's hearts to listen to God's message. Enshrined in the memory of the congregation are the maestro's, the Late Victor Paranjothi and the Late Padma Shri Handel Manuel.
St. Andrew's Church a creation of the British Raj in India, which is now a part of India's National Heritage. Though the structure has been described as "the Noblest Christian Edifice in Hindustan (India)", it means so much more to the people who worship in it, and to various others who derive comfort and relief from it.
Activities At The Church
St Andrew's has also been a hub of activity that has entered a decisive phase of reaching out to the poor and deprived of society, considering community development as a vital part of Christian worship and transforming lives in many households.
Various projects have undertaken by the authorities of the Church like the Riber Memorial Day Care Centre and Community Development, the Asha Project among the developmentally disabled, the work among Leprosy patients, the Kosapur Tamil Church and Clinic, the work of Evangelism and the village project at Thirupalaivanam - have sought to help disadvantaged brethren.
Chennai has an
airport with national and international terminals. Regular flights connect
Chennai with the
major cities within the country and countries like Singapore, America,
Rail: Chennai is well connected by rail with all the major places within and beyond the state.
Road: State transport buses and private buses connect Chennai with the major towns and cities within the state and country. For local transportation local trains, city buses and auto rickshaws are available.
Being the capital city of the state Chennai is well equipped with luxury as well as budget and economy class hotels for accommodation.