Velankanni

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 Trip-enticer Christian Tours welcomes you...                                                  VELAKANNI

Velankanni  is well-known as a tourist destination and is given the nickname of 'Lourdes of the East' because like Lourdes in France, there is also a great arrival of pilgrims in to the place. Velankanni is also termed as the "Mecca of South Asian Christianity". Velankanni is situated at a distance of 12 km south of Nagapattinam on the Coromandel Coast, in Tamil Nadu. This shrine Basilica is dedicated to 'Lady of health' and is popularly known as 'Sacred Arogya Matha Church'. The Shrine Basilica comprises three Churches, Our Lady's Tank, Church Museum, Priests' Residence, Offering Center, Stations of the Cross, Stations of the Rosary, Shrine Mega Mahal and Vailankanni Beach.

  The unique characteristic of the church is its Gothic architecture. Mother Mary is believed to have miraculous healing powers. The shrine draws pilgrims from all faiths and from across the world. The atmosphere around the shrine is spick and span, radiating rays of hope and holiness. There is also a shrine of 'lady of sorrow' where in the sorrowing Mother is portrayed carrying infant Jesus in her hand.

http://www.mantraholidays.com/clear.gif

http://www.mantraholidays.com/clear.gif

The high altar was decorated with rare porcelain plates that showed scenes from the Bible brought by the Portuguese from China. A path strewn with sand, lead the pilgrims from the main shrine to the place where the Mother first appeared before a shepherd boy, called the "Holy Path".  

 The devotees of all ages and ailments walk on their knees on this path from the church to the chapel. The place where the Mother appeared is symbolized with a lotus shaped tank known as the "Ladies Tank". A home for the Aged, an orphanage, the Mercy Home for the Handicapped and a hospital are all situated in that compound.

 The devotees in Velankanni offer candles in various forms in days of ailments. The tradition is that a heart size candle is offered in case of cardiac complications, liver shaped candles for in case of jaundice and many others.  

 After being cured of the disease devotees bring as offering small golden or silver replica of the organ that has been cured. The annual festival is celebrated here with all pomp and gaiety every year from August 29th to September 10 and draws more than a million and a half pilgrims.

 Velankanni Beach

 Pilgrims from different parts of India and even abroad throng to the site, bathe religiously in the sea and tonsuring their heads, walk on their knees or roll up to the shrine as rituals. 


          

 
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