Historical | Pilgrimage
At a distance of 3 km from Hooghly Railway Station, Basilica of the Holy Rosary is a historical church situated at Bandel, Hooghly. Popularly known as Bandel Church, it is one of the oldest churches in West Bengal and among the most visited places in Hooghly.
Founded in 1599, the Basilica of the Holy Rosary is dedicated to Nossa Senhora do Rosario, also known as Our Lady of the Rosary. It stands as a memorial to the Portuguese settlement in Bengal. It is a part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta and one of the 23 Basilica Churches in India. The present church and the monastery are said to be built in 1660 by Gomez de Soto after the old church was destroyed by the army of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The keystone of the older church can still be seen on the eastern gate of the monastery, bearing the date 1599.
Prettily stands on the banks of Hooghly River, the church has been refurbished over the years and now includes three altars, several tombstones, an organ and a shrine to Mary. The main altar of the church is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. In front of the church is an old mast, presented by the captain of a passing Portuguese ship that had encountered a storm in the Bay of Bengal and save by the grace of Virgin. Also, the fountain beside the Hooghly river at Bandel Church offers some beautiful scenic view of the place.
An annual festival is celebrated at the church, and a huge number of believers gather there for the occasion.
Timings: 6 AM - 6 PM