Bandel Basilica

West Bengal

The chief reminder of the Portuguese presence on the Hooghly River is the Bandel Basilica, Bengal's oldest and perhaps most loved church, built in 1599 and often reconstructed since. There are good views from the balcony above its portico, with its statue of Our Lady of Happy Voyage.

The ship's mast in a glass-sided shed was gifted to the church by a 17th-century Portuguese sea captain in thanks for surviving a storm in the Bay of Bengal (it stood upright in the grounds until broken in a 1910 storm).