Dec 17, 2016

Medak Cathedral

Having moved to Hyderabad almost two years back, I'd Medak in my mind for several months before actually planning a trip to check out Medak fort and Medak Cathedral.

August 14, 2016
So, the day arrived. We were three of us Akshay, Pushpa and I. We started around 5-15 AM. We went via Narsapur.. the jungle drive was interesting.. a two lane road twisting, rising and falling. These jungles are home of lot of wild animals including the short tailed monkey. There were hundreds of monkeys on the road.. they were not scared of the vehicles at all. We stopped at one point and fed some biscuits and a cucumber. In fact lot of people feed these monkeys with banana or grains. Its kind of an open zoo :)

About 15 kms before Medak we stopped for a short break; it was a cloudy morning and weather was kind of pleasant. We has stopped near some rick formation and paddy fields. Towards the west, we could see a wooded hill range with boulders sticking out from the green cover.

We entered Medak town by 8-30. Our plan was to visit the church first and then go to the fort. I suggested we should have breakfast and then start with the tour. We stopped at a small joint, next to Medak bus-stand. From the bus-stand, the church is about 1.6 kms. As we entered the church grounds, aa peaceful spot in the shade of a huge rain tree, there was a mobile eatery.. ah wish I'd not stopped earlier.

The church tower was visible clearly; it was Sunday, lot of families were arriving for the mass. So here's the great church of Medak. A lovely structure indeed.

A tree-lined avenue connects the entrance to the building.

At the church door, a small board stated its history in few sentences-

The foundation for the Cathedral was laid in 1914 and was completed in 1924. The architecture and sculpture are Gothic style. The cathedral is considered to be the best in South East Asia. Rev. C.W.Posnett was its master builder.

The main tower of the cathedral is 175 feet high with four pinnacles. The length and width of the cathedral is 200 feet and 100 feet respectively. The mosaic tiles were imported from England in six different colors. Italian masons were engaged for decorating the flooring. The cathedral can accommodate 5000 people and is one of the biggest in Asia.

The three magnificent stained glass windows depicting different phases of Lord Jesus Christ: Ascension-1927,Nativity-1947 and the Crucifixion-1958. The designing of the windows is an excellent example of the workmanship of Sir Frank O. Salisbury of England.

The church construction is said to have lasted 10 years. The church was consecrated in 1924 after which several Christian groups in Medak area united here.

I had no mind to go in because the mass was in progress and also packed. Even if I get in, it wouldn't be nice to take pictures. So we decided to go around the building. This is one of the three windows on which the stained glass paintings are. We did get a glimpse of the paintings.. vibrant colors.

We come to the rear end, another massive window here. The church gardens is decent though some maintenance work was on.

 Full view of the 175 feet tall bell tower. The cross on the left is a shrine where people light candles.

Here's a view of the church from Medak fort summit. Imposing structure indeed. It is said that during its construction, when the Nizam heard that the church's height was exceeding Charminar's height, there was an attempt to have the height reduced. So Medak church stands 15 feet taller than Charminar.

One regret that we couldn't see the inside... hope the day comes.

Secunderabad being a cantonment area itself has several ancient churches. So I have a plan to visit all the churches one of these days. While researching I found that one the churches of Secunderabad is similar to St. Andrews Church of Bangalore. Here's a link to Churches of Bangalore.
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