Afghan Church


Afghan Church, Mumbai, India

Afghan Church is also known as the Afghan Memorial Church of St. John the Baptist and is located in South Mumbai, Colaba. This church was established in the year 1847 A.D. This church is dedicated to St. John Evangelist. It was built in the honor of the soldiers who lost their lives in the first war of Afghan in the 19th century.

History of Afghan Church

Afghan Church was first a small thatched chapel located just one kilometer away from the "Sick Bungalows". There were no chairs to seat and devotee had to get their own. Later the government arranged a new area for setting new church, but they had a condition that the spire must be visible from miles and should serve as a landmark for the ships that would come on the harbor.

Afghan Church has a grand basalt structure along with a towering limestone spire. This church is very beautiful and attractive because of its wide Gothic arches and amazing stained-glass windows. This church is designed by Henry Conbeare who was one of the city engineers of that time. Afghan Church was sanctified in the year 1858 on 7th January by the hands of Bishop Harding. The chapel has an aisle with a chancel and there is altar at the end. This altar is 50ft in length and 27ft in width. The towers and the spire in this church are about 198 ft high. The flooring and the stained-glass are of the best qualities, which are specially imported from England. The west and east side windows are designed by the James Wailles. The main attraction of this church is that its significant bell tower, where are pearls of 8 bells and this bells remains unrivalled in the western side.

This church not only commemorates to British soldiers, but also to the Mumbai army, Ranjit Singh's army from Lahore and the Madras army. It is believed that there were altogether 16000 men who had gone for the war and out of them only one reached exhausted. There is a memorial stones with inscription on the stone in the chancel. Most of the tourists get attracted towards it because of its architecture and decoration.

Christians visit this place every Friday and Sunday for their Sunday and Friday masses that are held in this church. It is also believed that all their wishes are granted by lord here. People light candles in the altar as a token of love for the Lord.

Travel route

Airways: Mumbai is a metro city; there is domestic as well as international airport. There are regular fights that are operated from here to all the major cities of India.

Railways: Mumbai is connected will all the major states and cities via center rail lines. There are many trains that are operated from here to all the major cities of India.

Road ways: There are state transport and luxury bus services available from Mumbai to all the cities of India. There is local bus transport and taxi services that are available from bus station to Afghan Church.

Best time to visit

Ideal time to visit this church is from November to January as during this period the annual festival of Christians, Christmas is being celebrated with great fervor and joy. Thousands of people visit this church on the eve of Christmas.