|Just a random place next to a secluded beach|
Not all places you see need to be elaborate or have a very defining appeal to it. Sometimes a small story, just calm, and the sense of something new can be a wanderlust thing and that is exactly what happens to me, a lot of time.
|The View, the Cross from Gorai|
I live in Mumbai, in Mira Road – a place very close to Global Vipasana Pagoda and Essel World (yes now you got the location right) and love going out on weekends, if not far, atleast to the close by areas. So on days when weekends are short and I am too bored or just feel like going out for an hour or two I usually resort to spending time at Vipasana Pagoda, Sanjay Gandhi National Park or Gorai Beach. Been doing this ritual for almost 5 years now. But every time I visited Gorai, a big cross on a small hill used to catch my attention. So one day recently, after 5 years of wondering, I finally decided to trace the location of the cross – and the quest led me to Velankanni Church and Uttan Velankanni Beach.
Velankanni Church is a thirty year old church, about 30 minutes away from Mira Bhayandar Area. And though it may seem just like a random church out of nowhere, this church apparently holds a lot of meaning for the locals. Like a lot of areas in the outskirts and western suburbs of Mumbai, Uttan was also a Portuguese area till the end of 19th century. The locals of the area say that the church was initially a small missionary spot where a lot of locals were tortured and converted but soon after the Portuguese left the converted locals preached peace and stopped conversion but decided to dedicate more area and set up a small church for those who were willing to embrace their faith.
|The Cross up close, finally!|
About 30 years back Monsieur Francis Correa decided to make the church bigger to accommodate people from nearby areas like Gorai and Madh and now the current structure, remodeled in 2000, stands peacefully next to the sea, in a locality that comprises of Christians, Hindus and Muslims alike.
|The ornate interiors and detailed fresco|
The church, the place have definitely left their missionary past behind and welcome all who visit. Huge green grounds, ornate details inside the church and the peaceful and beautiful location make it a delightful place to be on a lazy Sunday evening. For me finding out a local offbeat place and experiencing a stunning sunset made the whole quest worth it. The Church is right at the base of the small hillock with the Big Cross that I used to see from Gorai, and the Cross also has a name – Cross of Brother Herman.
|A view from the promenade|
There is a rocky promenade in front of the church and a small (maybe one kilometer long) beach right next to it. Being secluded and almost unknown to a lot of people, this place is a silent getaway for a couple of hours and would definitely not disappoint you, at all!
|Some sunset to remember|
But like I said this was just a photo walk of Velankanni, Uttan – hope you liked it.
|Just couldn't get enough of that beautiful sunset.|
P.S. - There is a small lighthouse nearby also worth visiting.