St Thomas Mount

Chennai (Madras)

The reputed site of St Thomas’ martyrdom in AD 72 rises in the southwest of Chennai, 2.5km north of St Thomas Mount train station. The Church of Our Lady of Expectation, built atop the 'mount' by the Portuguese in 1523, contains what are supposedly a fragment of Thomas’ finger bone and the 'Bleeding Cross' he carved. The city and airport views are wonderful. Take the metro to the Nanganullar Rd stop and catch an autorickshaw there.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Chennai (Madras) attractions

1. Little Mount Church

2.41 MILES

For part of his South Indian sojourn, St Thomas supposedly lived in hiding in a cave just south of the Adyar River. This grottolike space can be entered…

2. AMM Screens

4.25 MILES

The printing workshop of Tara Books, where you can watch pages being silk-screened and hand-bound into books.

3. Theosophical Society


Between the Adyar River and the coast, the 100-hectare grounds of the Theosophical Society provide a peaceful, green, vehicle-free retreat from the city…

4. Valluvar Kottam

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This 1976 memorial honours the Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar and his classic work, the 133-chapter Thirukural. Its most striking element is a 31m-high stone…

5. Kalakshetra Foundation

4.82 MILES

Founded in 1936, Kalakshetra is a leading serious school of Tamil classical dance and music (sponsoring many students from disadvantaged backgrounds), set…

6. Tara Books

4.93 MILES

Producers of beautiful hand-printed books, this publishing company is based in southern Chennai. Visit its Book Building showroom, where you can browse,…

7. Book Building

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Within this mural-covered space, Tara Books stages free exhibitions, author talks and workshops with visiting artists, and displays its own highly…

8. Luz Church

5.21 MILES

Styled with blue-and-white baroque elegance, pretty little palm-fringed Luz Church is Chennai's oldest European building, dating to 1516 – which also…