St. Mary's Basilica in Bangalore
St. Mary's Basilica is the oldest church in Bangalore and is the only church in the state that has been elevated to the status of a minor basilica.
The basilica has been built in Gothic-style with arches, ornamental motifs and stained glass windows. Multiple columns and tall spires of the basilica can be seen from quite a distance. The stained glass windows were removed during World War II and were subsequently restored in 1947.
St. Mary's Feast which celebrates the birth of Mother Mary is the most important festival celebrated in the basilica and is attended by thousands of people. Held in the month of September, the festivities go on for 10 days culminating in a grand chariot procession on the last day. The festivities begin with the hoisting of a traditional flag. A Novena is held on the first nine days from August 30 to September 7. On September 8, the day on which Mother Mary was born, is celebrated as a feast. Holy mass is offered in different languages and mass marriages are conducted for the poor and needy. A thanks giving mass is also organised for couples who have completed 50 years of marriage. Eucharistic celebrations are held on the day of the feast and a decorated chariot with the image of Mother Mary is drawn by devotees along the various streets of Bangalore.