Thursday Doors – St. Andrew’s Church, Bangalore, India.



Today I did something I haven’t done in at least five years. I went somewhere with the specific purpose of photographing something.

For Thursday Doors, which is “a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world”, I visited St. Andrew’s Church, something I have been wanting to do for years! There is something about human nature that makes us put off doing things that are so easily accessible to us. I have lived in Bangalore for many years, yet have only made the time to do this today. I really hope this is a sign of things to come. I guess I owe a big thank you to Norm’s Thursday Doors!

It was a rainy, dull day, so I didn’t have the sunlight to help me in my photographic endeavours and I also realised that I perhaps need to consider buying a new camera to replace my seven year old one! Nevertheless, I was so happy to have dedicated some time to a hobby of mine that mostly lies dormant these days and also to have visited a beautiful church that is a part of our country’s rich heritage.





Inside, the design of the church is simple and quaint, contrasting well with the vibrancy of the beautiful stained glass and the magnificence of the pipe organ, which was installed in 1881.

I was astounded to learn that the church was built in just two years, between 1864 and 1866!

Several plaques and tablets adorn the walls, alluding to the rich history of this originally Presbyterian Scottish church, named after the patron saint of Scotland.

One plaque was dedicated to the N.C.O’s and men of the 2nd Battalion, Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, who died between 1910 and 1913, while stationed at Bangalore.

Another is dedicated to The Reverend James Jollie, Senior Chaplain Church of Scotland, who served as the minister of St. Andrew’s Church for eight years. He was born in Leslie, Fifeshire, Scotland in 1844 and died in Madras, India in 1889.


I have borrowed excerpts from the church’s website, which says that, the foundation stone for this magnificent structure was laid on Nov. 22, 1864 by Lady Grant, wife of Lieutenant-General, Sir Hope Grant, the then Quartermaster-General of Her Majesty’s Forces and the building was completed and opened for Divine worship on Nov. 18,1866 within a period of two years at an overall cost of Rs. 45000/- including the land. The dedication sermon was preached by the Rev. Stewart Wright, one of the then chaplains of the Church of Scotland in the Madras Presidency, and pastor in charge of the newly formed congregation.”

In 1866, The Illustrated London News reported that The church building is purely Gothic, measuring 105 ft in length by 57 ft in breadth with a height of 43 ft. The height of the tower is exactly 90 feet. The interior of the building is extremely beautiful. The windows including a very large gable one are filled with stained glass. The pulpit is of teak wood richly carved and in keeping with the style of the building. The pulpit, velvet cushion and hangings along with a very fine harmonium were the gifts of the ladies of the congregation to their pastor. The whole cost of the building including the ground on which it is erected amounted to 4500 pounds Sterling, which was partly defrayed by Government and by private subscriptions. Altogether it is one of the handsomest churches in India doing great credit to Major Sankey, chief Engineer and to Mr. R. C. Dobbs, the Executive Engineer of Mysore”


16 thoughts on “Thursday Doors – St. Andrew’s Church, Bangalore, India.

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  1. That is a very British-looking church indeed – not the sort of thing that initially comes to mind when thinking of India. Very nice though – thanks for sharing it.
    You’re right about one thing, it is the things we have close by that we tend to take for granted. There are all kinds of wonderful places I’ve driven or walked past dozens of time without ever noticing before; I’m trying to fix that and it’s lots of fun 🙂

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    1. True, one doesn’t normally associate something like this with India, but when you actually start looking around, especially in cities like Bangalore, Madras (Chennai) and Kolkata, there are so many reminders of the legacy that the British left behind – the monuments, buildings and even many traditions and practices that are followed till today. I am always fascinated by this and plan to do some more posts on the same. (If you have the time, do check out my post Remnants of The Raj at a Christmas Lunch – it even has a couple of doors! 🙂 )
      Like you, I am also trying to do the “put off till later” things now and hopefully it shall lead me to many more doors! 🙂


    1. Yes, it is an unusual colour for a church, now that you mention it. Don’t think I have seen another with this colour. The stained glass is gorgeous isn’t it! The sides of the church also have small round stained glass windows situated above the bigger main windows, but unfortunately I didn’t photograph those.

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  2. A very interesting post and what a handsome church. When I was last in India I remember visiting a white church in Panjim, Goa built by the Portuguese many moons ago. The history of the Portuguese in Goa is very interesting. Have you read The Age Of Kali by William Dalrymple? It’s an excellent book

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    1. The church you are referring to in Panjim must be the Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception Church….the one with the many criss-crossing white stairs leading up to the church, right? 🙂 Did you also visit the church in Old Goa, where the body of St. Francis is kept?
      Yes, it is a very interesting history indeed. In fact, my maternal grandmother was Portuguese! And I have a ton of family in Portugal. I have only read Dalrymple’s Nine Lives, which I enjoyed, but several of his other books, including White Mughals and From The Holy Mountain have been on my To-Read list for a while. I shall add your recommendation to the list as well now and I think I had better get cracking on some Dalrymple reading soon! 🙂

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      1. That’s the one. I also remember visiting the church in Old Goa. I have to admit I was quite young at the time and not really very knowledgable about India’s history. It was also so hot and humid and I was literally melting – hahaha – I wanted to get back to Arjuna and just chill on a beach drinking coconuts ;). But having since read more about India’s epic history and even looked into Hinduism and Buddhism, I am very excited about my subsequent trip to India. My last trip was more of an ‘on the road’ experience as a young backpacker, yet it was an amazing (if at times challenging) experience. The Age Of Kali for me really enriched my understanding of the many complex facets of India – even though it was written almost 20 years ago and I realise how much and how fast India is changing. I’ve got a copy of Nine Lives on my kindle which is one of his more recent books on India which I am really looking forward to reading. Happy reading 🙂

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      2. Haha yes, it’s funny how our travelling ‘needs’ change at different stages in our lives! 🙂 I have been to Goa as a child, then a teenager, then a partying, carefree, youngster and nowadays it’s family holidays with kids!! 🙂 I must read The Age of Kali. Did you know that in India it was published as At The Court of The Fish-Eyed Goddess? My father has almost all Dalrymple’s books, so at least I don’t have to look very far to get my hands on them 🙂

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  3. What a beautiful building and I love the unique white design around all the windows and doors. It reminds me of frosting on gingerbread! Your photos are great – especially the 3rd one with its vibrant colours.

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  4. Dear Ms Gitanjali, I saw & photographed the church this month. It was beautiful. Your photos too are very clear. Do you still read & write in this web log? I would like to read more of your writing & photos. You wrote that you are partly Portuguese. I searched hard for the old Portuguese church, Bombay, & found only a new one in its place. May I know where you are & what else you write about? Are you partly Tamil too? Your surname makes me think that you may be. I want to buy a house in Bangalore & settle there. In my search for a house I saw the church. If you give me your email id, I can send you all photos I took inside it. You may use them as you like.


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