Located near the Gol Dak Khana, New Delhi, a landmark post office on the roundabout where Ashoka Road meets Baba Kharak Singh Marg, the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is one of the most important Catholic Churches of the capital. Henry Medd designed the church, though initially eight architects were invited to submit plans for the new cathedral. The members of the panel of judges included Sir Edwin Lutyens and Father Luke, the driving force behind the construction of this beautiful cathedral. He was from the Franciscan First Order founded by St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) to lead a life based completely on the idea of brotherhood living in simplicity. The 14 acres of land, which form the cathedral grounds, were acquired in 1920 for just Rs 7000, upon a perpetual lease with a yearly rental of Rs 365. Today the cathedral stands between two schools, Saint Columba’s and Convent of Jesus and Mary.
It is built on the 14 acres of sprawling campus that was bought on the annual lease amount of Rs. 365 in the year 1920. This is known as Catholic cathedral lawn today a remains brimming with tourists and pilgrims. It is located between two catholic convent schools, Saint Columbus and Convent of Jesus and Mary. Rev Dr. E. Vanni, Archbishop of Agra, laid the foundation stone of the cathedral, in the year 1929. The construction began the same year and got completed 4 years. Sir Anthony de Mello donated the main altar of the church. This huge alter that is made of pure marble looks massive. Archbishop of Agra presented the bell, vestments and altar furniture. The rich colonial officers of the British Empire financed other things.
The walls and domes of the sacred Heart Cathedral rise above two centres of learning, enfolding them in a spiritual wrap. And there are many who go to the cathedral to offer prayers prior to taking an examination. The major ceremonies held at the cathedral ever since its inception has been Easter and Christmas, while the teachings of Jesus are preached for the rest of the year. Easter includes the deeply sombre ceremony of the death of Jesus which is followed by the joyous celebration of his resurrection. In most Catholic churches the major part of the celebration is the creche or crib, the realistic tableau in miniature of the nativity, a custom introduced by St Francis of Assisi, in his efforts to bring Christmas to the people.
Special Event / Annual Event :
The Cathedral organizes functions on certain days of the year. Prayers are held in the morning and evening every day. The major ceremonies held at the cathedral are Easter and Christmas, while normal church services are held during the rest of the year. The most important of the festivities during Christmas is the Feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth and the Christmas vigil service, an hour before midnight on Christmas Eve. Various cultural and social programmes are also organized round the year. For details contact the local authority in Miriam Bhavan .
Nearby Tourist Attractions :
Rashtrapati Bhawan, India Gate, Jantar Mantar, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib and Hanuman Mandir
Location and Transport :
0.5 Kilometers from Connaught Place, near Gol Dak Khana, New Delhi on the roundabout where Ashoka Road meets Baba Kharak Singh Marg
Famous as : Main Catholic Church
Time to Visit : Open on all days
Preferred timings : During the morning and evening during prayer services.
Admission : Free and open to all.
Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach this sacred monument, which is located near the Connaught Place (CP), the heart of the city, or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or metro. From CP one can take a stroll to this sacred site.