A princely state, and an important controlling centre for Malabar coast trade, Mysuru has long been a destination frequented by visitors and traders from around the world. The influences from this glorious past of Mysuru make for amazing tourist attractions, especially if you’re a history buff.
While the Wadiyar Dynasty’s nearly century-long rule gave us beautiful structures like the Mysore Palace, it also gave us underrated gems like Mysore’s Saint Philomena Church, which was built by the Maharaja of Mysuru Mummudi Krishnaraja Wadiyar in 1843, as a gift to the massive European population that lived in the kingdom back then.
This stunning church near Mysore Palace isn’t the only one however, and if you’re visiting this beautiful city, make sure you check out these churches in Mysore that are sure to delight you.
Here are 6 churches in Mysore to add to your itinerary
1. St Philomena’s Church
Built in 1843, when it was called St Joseph Cathedral Mysore, this beautiful church near Mysore Palace is dedicated to St Philomena. It is said that the remnants of the St Philomena are still preserved in the Mysore church. Born to a Greek monarch, and executed for refusing to marry the Emperor Diocletian of Rome, St Philomena is the patron saint of babies, children, youth, and sterility.
This is also reflected in the beautiful altar in Mysore’s Saint Philomena Church, where she’s depicted wearing a flower crown of both red and white roses, and a Martyr’s Palm signifying victory of spirit over flesh.
This stunning church near Mysore Palace is built in a Neo-Gothic, or Victorian style of architecture, and is said to have taken inspiration from the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. St Joseph Cathedral Mysore as it was called back then, was constructed by the French architect Daly, and is a Mysore church you must visit at least once. Fun fact, a sequence of Amitabh Bachhan’s Amar Akbar Anthony was also shot at the Mysore’s Saint Philomena Church.
Where: Lourdes Nagar, Ashoka Rd, Lashkar Mohalla, Mysuru, Karnataka 570001
2. St Bartholomew Church
Another Mysore church that you must visit simply for how beautiful it is, is St Bartholomew Church. This Mysore church is the oldest cathedral in the city and built in 1830, it is dedicated to St Bartholomew, who is believed to be one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.
Post Tipu Sultan’s rule, the then King of Mysore, Krishnaraja Wodeyar III, gave the European settlers in the kingdom land to make this church, which not only did its service in English, this Mysore church also served as the education centre for the kids of the European officers in the kingdom.
With beautiful stained glass windows, and a church bell that was made in France, this Mysore church is a must-visit when in the city.
Where: Bangalore Nilgiri Rd, Lashkar Mohalla, Mandi Mohalla, Mysuru, Karnataka 570001
3. St Theresa’s Church
This Mysore church is dedicated to St Theresa of Calcutta and is one of the most popular churches in the city. Since it is a relatively newer church, not only does it reflect in the architecture, but this Mysore church holds service in local languages too. You can visit each second Sunday of the month for mass in Kannada and Tamil.
This is also a church you must visit around the holiday of Christmas. Decorated beautifully, the old-world charm of this Mysore church just comes alive in the festive time.
Where: Silk Factory Circle, Mananthavadi Rd, Ashokapuram, Mysuru, Karnataka 570008
4. Infant Jesus Church
Designed in an octagonal shape to represent the 8 directions in the world and that blends with local architectural inspirations, this Mysore church is beautiful and a must-visit when you’re in the city.
It also has an open courtyard that hosts a variety of festivals and events, and the spectacular lighting just makes this Mysore church stand out beautifully.
Where: 2nd Stage, R.S.Naidu Nagar, Hale Kesare, Mysuru, Karnataka 570007
5. St Anthony’s Shrine
There are two parts to this Mysore church, the shrine, and the cathedral that came thereafter. The shrine was established in 1920 in reverence to St Anthony of Padua, whose statue was found in a local field and was frequented by devotees. Thereafter, in 1964, as the number of visitors grew, a spacious and beautiful church was constructed which was recently in 2019, granted the status of a ‘Minor Basilica’.
One of the most esteemed shrines, this Mysore church absolutely deserves to be on your itinerary.
Where: Dornahalli, Basavapatna, Taluk, Krishnarajanagara, Karnataka 571602
6. Wesley Cathedral
One of the oldest in the city, this Mysore church took a long time to be completed. Its construction started in 1868 on land granted by the Maharaja of Mysore and was completed by 1906. This Protestant Mysore church is built with tall bell towers, a red slanting roof, and a serene garden, giving it a very colonial look.
It is one of the very few Protestant churches in the region, as Catholicism is believed to be more dominant in Southern India, and Protestantism in the Northern and Northeastern parts of the country.
Where: 34/A, Bangalore Nilgiri Rd, Doora, Mysuru, Karnataka 570001