One of the most popular attractions of Ooty, St. Stephen’s Church is placed on the road leading to Mysore. It is famed for being one of the oldest churches in the Nilgiri district.
Location: Club Road
- 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
- 8.00 am to 11:00 am (service on every Sunday)
Founded on: 23rd April, 1829
The history of the St. Stephen’s church can be traced back to the 19th century. The then Governor of Madras, Stephen Rumbold Lushington, founded this church in Ooty, exclusively for the British. On 23rd April, 1829, the foundation of the church was laid, to match the birthday of King George IV. The church was consecrated on 5th November, 1830 by John Matthias Turner, Bishop of Calcutta. The church was opened to the public communion on Easter Sunday on 3rd April 3, in the year 1831. This church came under the Church of South India in the year 1947. The in-charge architect was John James Underwood, Captain, and The Madras Regiment.
While the enormous main beam and other timber used in the church was taken from Palace of Tipu Sultan at Srirangapatna, the material was brought till the Sigur ghat. At that time, the construction cost was around INR 24000. The church’s foundation was laid in the month of April 1829. The wall on the west side of the church has a painting of the Last Supper, above paneled doors.
One of the highlights of the architecture of St. Stephen’s church of Ooty is its stained glass windows displaying several events including Mother Mary holding baby Jesus in her arms and the crucifixion of Christ. The tower of the church does not has the traditional ball but hammer-like objects, 4 in number have been tied together with wires on inverted V shape wooden planks. They produce a musical sound when are pulled. There is also a podium in the church that has a flight of steps towards the left of the chancel.