Lourdes of the East
Velankanni is located in the coast of Bay of Bengal, at the state of Tamil Nadu. It is a small quaint little peaceful town, famous as a Roman Catholic pilgrimage place. Millions of devotees from India and abroad every year come here to get the blessing of “Mother Mary” on the shrine of ‘Our Lady of Good health’. The splendid church is an example of French Architecture in Gothic Style and said to be an inspiration from the Lourdes in France. The beautiful town is an experience of colonial time with art and culture scattered in every expect of its architecture. The town has beaches and museum that one can visit and have a relaxing day out. Velankanni has been chosen as the heritage cities by the HRIDAY scheme of the Government of India. The best time to visit the place will be during winter from October to March.
The colonial styled town has an aura of religion, culture, and faith. The village town every year gets a horde of devotees from around the world that come seeking the blessing of ‘Mother Mary’ for whom they have faith that they will be cured of every sickness and diseases. The devotees and locals, as per custom believe that if a sick person places a wax replica of the deceased body parts in the church, they will be blessed with recovery. The village also celebrates an annual festival ‘Arokkaiyamatha’ for ten days from 29th August to 8th September. The last day is celebrated as the ‘Feast of Nativity of Mary’ followed by grand processions and parades, it concludes with lowering of the flag.
How to reach
A small but very famous pilgrimage site of Tamil Nadu, Velankanni is well connected by every transport facilities.
How to Reach by Flight
There are two airports located conveniently near Velankanni. The Madurai Airport is 214 km away and is well connected with important cities of India. Also, the Tiruchirapalli International Airport is 165 km away from the village town of Velankanni and is another option for tourist to take.
How to Reach by Train
The Velankanni Railway Station is well connected with the capital state of Chennai, with daily expressways. The nearest Junction is Nagapattinam, around 12 km away, also has Passenger trains that operate regularly for the convenience of tourist.
How to Reach by Bus
The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation and State Express Transport Corporation are few reasonable and comfortable options to travel by bus to Velankanni. Also, Volvos and Mercedes are available from Bangalore, Coimbatore, Trivandrum, Chennai and other major cities around that are easily accessible for traveling to the tourist place.
How to Reach by Road
Traveling via road in your personal or private car is always an adventurous option that we partake. Whereas Velankanni is very well connected by transports, we can take the option of traveling there by car from Chennai, which has a distance of 314 km and will take us roughly around 8 hrs. to reach. The NH32 connects every other close city to Velankanni and can be used for short traveling also.
How to travel within
The city has a number of buses and auto rickshaws to travel around and visiting the sites of our choices. Traveling and roaming around in foot at the town area is also an experience to take.
The small town offers every South Indian cuisine along with a variety of other dishes from other major regions that include vegetarian and non-vegetarian platters. Due to its location near the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal, it serves an array of seafood. The fry fishes sold in the local restaurants are delicacies, worthy of our taste.
- Maria Restaurant
- Thiruvallur Restaurant
- Arafa Restaurant
- Fish land multicuisine Restaurant
Day 1: Starting our trip by getting the flight to Madurai and take a drive back to Velankanni will be a nice option to start our pious and relaxing journey for the town, getting settled and starting the 1st day by visiting and exploring ‘Morning Star Church for Our Lady of Velankanni will leave us with a serene peace of mind. We can move towards the temples of Goddess Abhirame and travel to Sikkal Singaravelar Temple. Finish the day with eating the fresh seafood and sleeping under the bliss of the pious town.
Day 2: Spending a day in the beach is always exciting, the Velankanni Beach is a serene and peaceful seaside that has a lovely view and cool air that freshen ups and clean your mind from the hassle of city life. Moving towards a quick visit to the Velankanni Church Museum we can see artifacts dating from the British and Portuguese Colonial Life. Wrap up the day quickly, to travel back home.