The #gounesco journey started with the blessings of Basilica, lady of graces, in this ancient church- ” The Church of Basilica of Our Lady of Graces”, which is situated in the small town of Sardhana, around 18 kms from Meerut City.
Since my father has a transferable job, I have traveled and changed various cities, until I came to Meerut, the city with the mixed emotions, city with diversity in religion, city of scissors and the list can go on endless. This city changed my life. I have seen myself grow to an adult from a sweet little child here. As I grew, my love towards travelling was no more hidden and I used to travel the places around the city. But I never had an opportunity to travel to this church, instead it was so close to my city. I was aware of its existence. Sometimes the city schools (other than mine) use to conduct day trips to this church, and my colony friends would tell me the stories of this church that how huge and beautiful it was. GoUnesco selfie challenge gave me an opportunity to live up to my dreams.
As expected, the church is huge and beautiful. The Church is dedicated to Virgin Mary. The Church was built by Begum Samru, a Muslim lady who married a European mercenary soldier Walter Reinhardt Sombre.Samru converted to Roman Catholicism in 1781 and adopted the name Joanna Nobilis. She is regarded as the only Catholic ruler in India, and ruled the Principality of Sardhana in 18th and 19th century. The Church is the largest in North India.
The architecture of the church is exceptionally good and one can spot the famous European middle era ceiling designs and domes. The architect of the Church was Antonio Reghellini, an Italian from the city of Vicenza. The Church is based upon St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome with touch of Palladio and some Indian architectural influence. The altar and its surrounds are of marble set with coloured stones. Much of the rest of the interior is also in marble, and everything is of the very highest craftsmanship. It is illuminated from an octagon set in the dome, from which the sun streams in.
Overall, my experience of taking a 36 kms ride to this Church was worth it. I got to know more about Christianity, the sacrifises made by Lord Jesus and its teachings which took me more closer to humanity.
Must watch place for a travel freak.