After the wonderful trip to the beautiful and enchanting Karanji Lake we went to visit another popular attraction and a place of religious significance in the city, the St Philomena Church. The church is said to be one of the oldest in the country and dates back 2 centuries. It is said that Maharaja of Mysore gave a small plot of land to the British soldiers who settled in the area during colonial rule for a church but when the Christian population increased slowly there was a need for a large church and hence the St Philomena church was erected to adjust everyone.
The architecture of the Church is brilliant and resembles a Gothic style, making it one of the largest cathedrals in the South Asian region. The church houses the relics of 3rd century Saint Philomena which is below the main altar inside the church. The foundation stone of the Church was laid by Maharaja of Mysore which signifies the religious tolerance and secularism which was prevalent in the princely states even before the idea of a Secular nation came up. The best part of the church was how the female statues were dressed in local dresses.
The church has a brilliant architecture and was designed by the Frenchman named Daly. The inspiration for the Neo Gothic style came from the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. The floor of the Church from inside resembles a cross. The long part of the cross is the congregation hall of the Church and is called as the nave while the two arms of the cross are called Transepts. There is also a beautiful statue of St Philomena. The spires of the church are quite long about 50 metres in height.
The feeling of peace and devotion could be felt inside the church complex. It was amazing to see how beautifully the city of Mysore has temples, Buddhist monasteries, mosques and a magnificent church all coexisting peacefully. This is the Secularism ideal of India for which our freedom fighters sacrificed their lives.
After the visit to St Philomena church, we then visited the famous Railway museum of Mysore.