Velankanni is one of the heritage cities in Tamil Nadu. It is a home to the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health, one of the Roman Catholic Shrines. Velankanni Beach is a beautiful beach, this being a pilgrim center, the beach is mostly crowded. As it is mostly crowded, one cannot expect the beach to be very clean. This beach very famous for watching and sunrise and sunset. There are also several local vendors set shop in the beach. So, here you can shop for some local stuff.
Velankanni Church History
The history says that the Virgin Mary has visited the place twice between the 16th and 17th century. When she appread for the first time Virgin Mary asked some milk for the baby (known to be Lord Jesus). This location is then marked for the construction of a chapel. Again Virgin Mary has reappeared with the baby in hand and asked butter milk to a boy resting under the banyan tree. She told the boy to go to Nagapatinam and inform a important person to build a church in her name in Velankanni and this is how the church was built.
The town is greatly affected by a natural disaster Tsunami, happened in 26 December 2004. It has swept away hundreds of shops, homes, pilgrims and pilgrimage centres.
Velankanni Festival and Feast
Velankanni feast and festival happens between August 29th to September 8th every year. Each year more than 3 million people visit the church during the velankanni feast. The 11 day festival will end on September 8th with the celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of Mary. During the final day the prayers are offered in several languages including Tamil, English, Malayalam, Hindi, Marathi and other major languages.
Best Time to Visit Velankanni
The best time to visit Velankanni beach is in the months of August – September. The temperature will be 24°C to 29°C. Velankanni Church Feast will start at the end of august and lasts till September first week. On 8th September the feast ends with a holy mass. There will be more crowds during these days.
Places to visit in Velankanni
Velankanni Church – Our Lady of Good Health
Velankanni Church is one of the important religious place in Tamil Nadu. As it is declared as the holy city by the Pope, the church holds an important place all over the world. Around 20 million pilgrims visit the church every year.
The church was constructed in the name of Our lady of Health, but the church is also called as Arogya Madha Church and Madonna of Velankanni.
The church has three chapels with an admiring gothic style of architecture. The mass timings of the church will vary to main shrine and the lower Basilica.
Velankanni Church Mass Timings
The Mass timings differ in Main shirne and the Lower and Upper Basilica. The morning prayer starts at 5.40 AM and the mass starts at 6.00 AM in main shrine on Weekdays.
The Sunday mass in velankanni church starts at 7.30 AM.
Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health
The church building was constructed in 23rd in 1962. It is also called “Lourdes of the East” and it is the first hall which has the name of Basilica that existed in Athens. The word ‘Basilica’ is derived from the Greek word ‘Basilike’ and it originally represented a Royal Hall. But now, the word means a large and beautiful hall. Generally in olden days, the kings from all over the world particularly in Rome have constructed large halls for administrative purposes.
The three miracles of Our Lady of Good Health:
- Appearance of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ to the sleeping Shepherd Boy
- Curing the weak buttermilk vendor
- Rescuing the Portuguese sailors from heavy sea storm(the ship was sailing from Macao in China to Colombo)
During the start of the festival season, the holy flag will be hoisted and lowered during the end. There will also be special trains during the festival season.
Morning Star Church for Our Lady of Velankanni
The morning star church is the new attraction built near to the church (Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health), which is 500 ft long, 150 ft wide and 40 ft high. You will get blessings and feel satisfied by visiting the lady God. The church has accommodation for around 10,000 devotees. There will be beautiful arches inside and outside the church. This place is well known for its cleanliness. There will be entry and exit points in all the four directions. Now there are many churches in surroundings of the velankanni church like Infant Jesus church, church of confession and much more.
The museum is dedicated to the miracle happened in the 16th century (the appearance of Virgin Mary). It is located at the Basilica and it is a treat for the eyes. The museum has some of the greatest collection of the exhibits, where you can gain some valuable knowledge about the churches. The pets are not allowed inside the museum. Inside the museum, there is one book stall, where you can buy a complete guide and book of velankanni. You can see various shops selling other small items and there is a special counter to buy “Blessed Oil”. There are also some handicraft shops in the ground floor, which is operated by women who’s life’s are affected by tsunami.
Pets: Not Allowed
Food: Available (Paid)
Holy Path and Lady’s Tank Church
Lady’s Tank Church is the first place where the Mother Mary appeared before the milk vendor in the 16th century. Here you can get the holy water and on the left side of the church, you can see lots of cloth cradles. It is believed that when couple ties the cradles with complete faith in God and asks for a child in return, they will definitely receive the blessings of Mother Mary.
Holy Path is nothing but a sand road, which connects the Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health and Lady’s Tank Church. You can see lots of devotees give their offerings by crawling on their knees from Basilica to Lady’s Tank Church.
Tsunami Victims Memorial Tower
The tower is located just near to the road. This tower is built in memorial of the lives lost the devastation caused to the town by the Tsunami in 2004. It is one of the “must to see” places list during the visit to velankanni.
Sikkal Navaneetheswarar Temple
The temple is located at a distance of 13 Km from Velankanni . This temple has 80 feet high Rajagopuram. It is the main temple and the Singaravelan temple is found inside the temple. The main deity is lord Shiva. Lord Murugan, Hanuman, and Perumal also present here and offer blessings to the devotees. A saint poet Arunagirinathar, the creator of Thirupugazh sung here celebrating Lord Murugan of this place. In addition to this, there are also other Hindu religious temples such as Ayyanar Kovil, Chinnathumbur Kaliamman Kovil, Veeran Kovil, Sri Muthumariamman Temple and others, where you can get divine and peace.
Things to do in Velankanni
Recharge your spiritual energy
Visiting the shrines like Church for Our Lady, Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health and much more will recharge you spiritual energy. You will feel serene and peaceful when you visit the church. It is believed that if you have faith in God, irrespective of the religion, you will receive what you ask. You can also confess and be pure when you leave.
You can enjoy the boating near Vellaiyar River. It is located just 100 meters from the velankanni beach and you can reach there by walking itself. As the river joins directly into the Bay of Bengal, it will give you a unique and amazing boating experience.
Enjoy the scenery
There will be shining waters, golden sand shores and palm trees around the beach. This tempts the tourists and pilgrims to capture them in their cameras. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery along the beach by either sitting on the sand or in the nearby playground.
Take a walk and taste the local seafood
A walk in the beach makes you feel fresh and energised. In addition to that, there will be many food shops near the beach. You can watch the sun set across the coast while tasting the special foods and spend your vacation with utmost satisfaction. There are also some handicrafts and textile shops, where you can buy things to remember the journey.
How to reach Velankanni?
The nearest airport to Velankanni is Tiruchirappalli International Airport. The distance between Tiruchirappalli International Airport and velankanni is 156 Km. From there, you can hire a taxi or cab to reach here directly.
The nearest railway station to Velankanni beach is the Velankanni railway station. It is a terminal railway station belongs to Tiruchirappalli railway division of the Southern Railway zone. There are numerous trains operating from Velankanni to Chennai and other major cities. There will also be special trains operating from major cities of India during special occasions.
Reaching Velankanni by road transport is the best option. There are several regular TNSTC and private buses ply from Velankanni to Bengaluru (484 Km), Chennai (326 Km), Coimbatore (367 Km), Madurai (242 Km), Nagercoil (454 Km), Thoothukudi (337 Km), and Tirunelveli (374 Km). You can also see short distance buses operating to Tiruchirappalli, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Karaikudi, Tiruvarur, Kumbakonam, Pondicherry, Karaikal and Nagappattinam from Velankanni.
From Chennai: Rs. 340 – Rs. 440.
From Bangalore: Rs. 460 – Rs. 550.
Use Goibibo.com to check for discounts on tickets
Hotels To Stay in Velankanni
Velankanni being a small town has a very limited option to stay. But still it has options for all set of travellers ranging from budget to luxury traveler. Here you can book a double sharing room for as low as Rs 500 per night to Upto Rs 4000 per night. Here some of our recommended hotels to stay in velankanni.
velankanni STD Code: 04365
Velankanni Pin Code: 611111
Planning for your next trip? Check out the following services
- Booking.com – To find best deals on hotels
- OYOrooms.com – For budget stays
- Tripadvisor – To compare hotel prices across platforms
- Goibibo.com – To get cheap air tickets
- Viator.com – For discounted day tours, activities and things to do
- Zoomcar.com – To book self driving cars
- Amazon.com – For travel shopping
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