st. paul’s cathedral is one of the oldest churches in Kolkata. It is the largest cathedral in Kolkata; and the fastest Apispal church in Asia. For the growing development of Europeans in 1800, European communities felt the necessity of a church in Kolkata. Church of North India (CNI) maintained and operate this church. It is a topmost suggested place in Kolkata. or history seeking persons this place is perfect to dip into the eighteenth century’s history. The present priest of this church is Reverend Abir Adhikari ( February 2018- present), and the assistant priest is Revd. Nirod Stephen Nag.
History of st. paul’s cathedral
Initially the purpose of st. paul’s cathedral was a substitute for st. Johns church. St. John’s church was not so capable to manage huge European devotees at a moment. In the 18th century, the growing European community in Kolkata played a major role in building this iconic structure.
With the active Initiative of then governor-general of Bengal, the church construction process started. Popular Bengali architect William Nairn Forbes designed the basic structure of st. paul’s cathedral. But anyhow, that plan was not accepted by the higher authority for a more expensive contraction cost. Fobes was a versatile genius about architecture.
Then, by request of Bishop Daniel Willan Forbes modified that plan with the help of C. K Robinson. C. K. Robinson was the Magistrates of Calcutta.
And finally, the foundation stone of the st. paul’s cathedral was laid in 1839. Bishop Daniel Willison Founded a committee for the church. They divided the perfect land for the construction. They decided a seven acres land, nowadays this place situated near the chowringhee of Kolkata.
The construction process ended in 1847. It takes almost eight years to complete the full church. Then the sitting capacity of this church was 800, however, it reached up to 1000 people.
Special European dignitaries representatives of Queen Victoria were present at the opening ceremony of the church. The opening ceremony held in the year 1848, after completing the church.Queen Victoria gifted ” ten pieces of the silver gilt plate ” to the church trust. The victoria memorial hall situated adjoining the church premessies.
The present church has witnessed two great earthquakes in Calcutta. In 1897, the first time an earthquake hit this church. Some parts of the cathedral were destroyed due to this hit. Although, authorities quickly recovered the affected part of the cathedral.
Architecture of the Church
The church reflects the signature design of indo-Gothic. This unique architectural style is only designed to overcome the challenging climates of Indian subcontinents. The height of the cathedral( along with the tower) is 247 feet, and the width of the church is 81 feet. The interior portion is fully decorated using wood. well crafted wooden pews and chairs installed on both sides of the cathedral.
Colorful and designed glass are used for the selling and wall decoration. Morris and Co. Designed the western window of the cathedral. The colorful streaks of the glass represent the incident of Andaman island in 1880. Historical floraintain Renecus style can be noticeable in some places in the church.
There was five o’clock in the tower of the church. The weight of each clock was about 3 tons.
The mainly used material for the construction was a special type of lightweight bricks, compressive strength material, and chunar stone. Lime plaster used to plaster the external and internal surfaces. Engineers designed a bent roof for the cathedral.
Featchers in cathedral
There is a library room on the western side of the cathedral. The height of this room is 35 feet and the distinctions are 61 feet and 22 feet respectively. Bishop Wilson built this section with his own initiative. He donated more than 4000 books and lots of manuscripts from his own collection. Thereafter, Oxford University and Kolkata Bybel trust donate books several times. There is a marvel statue of Bishop Willson inside the library room.
Churchyrd of st. paul’s cathedral
Church complex also have a charchyard. Bishop willson wished to grave in the charch ground before his last breath. However, many popular government figure during british raj wad laid in the brudial ground of st. Pauls chatidral. Sir john paxton Norman, who assigned as a chief justies officer, was murddered; and after his death he was graved in this charch year. There after, another popular british engineer, arthur william Garnett, who died in 1861 ; had burailed here.
Best time to visit st. paul’s cathedral
st. paul’s cathedral can be visited any time in the year . especially due to some occasion large number of visitor gathered here.popuar occation like Good friday and christmas mainly celebrate in the chathidral. On the festival time , chathidral and the surround place get bathed with illuminate colorful bulbs. Whole city of joy come together on this festival times.
Chathidral opens everyday in a week. From Monday to Saturday chathidral open between 09:00 am to 12:00 pm at morning; and afternoon church open in 03: 00 pm and closed at 06:00 pm.
On Sunday and government holidays church open at 07:30 am and closed at 06:00 pm. No entry fees required for the church. However, You can donate in the church charrity if you want.
Location and how to reach st. paul’s cathedral
As a public transportation system; indian railway is the very effective and chepest way to travel. Two mejor railway sation near the church is sealdha railway station and howrah railway statin.
If you want to reach from sealdah then you must choose a train for dumdum ju. There are lots of local train avalable for dumdum ju. From sealdah. The train fare is 5 INR. after reaching dumdum you have to run for metro . From the dumdum metro statom you have to reach maidan metro staion. It just 2 min walking distance from maidan metro stayon.
Route map: Sealdah Railway Station ➡ Dumdum railway station (via Railway) ➡ Dumdum metro station ( Walking) ➡ maidan Metro Station (via metro ) ➡ st. Pauls chaitdral.
The nearest airport of st. Pauls chathidral is netaji subhas chandra bose international airport. The code name of this airport is CCU. domestic and international both type of flight land here. From the airport you can easily book online app cab. It can easily reach you at church. The approximate distance is about 17 kilometers from airport to chathidral. And it take almost 35 min depends on road traffic.
Otherwise you can reach esplanade Metro Station via bus and then maidan metro station via metro. It just take 2 min from maidan Metro Station to st. Pauls chithidral by foot.
Route map: Kolkata airport (CCU) ➡ Esplanade (via bus) ➡ esplanade metro station ➡ Maidan Metro Station ➡ st. Pauls cathedral
The address of the st. paul’s cathedral is Cathedral Rd, Maidan, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071. You can easily reach the cathedral by following this adddress.or you can book an ola or uber anywhere in the city and can easily access this place.