Chennai has one of the most beautiful Georgian buildings in the world!

The St Andrews Church, also commonly referred to as ‘The Kirk’ (the ‘church’ in Scottish) is said to be one of the ten most beautiful Georgian buildings in the world, and has a close to 200 year history as a living church. This is where I worship, and it’s always a joy to be in this unique sanctuary on Sundays.

The Kirk is unique in many ways. It was built on marshland as that was the only land the builders could afford at that time. So the foundations had to be especially engineered to ensure the building didn’t sink unevenly and fall apart! So the foundations consist of a series of circular masonry wells that draw the moisture down and provide a stable foundation for the building. Read more about this here:

Another unusual feature of the Kirk is that the sanctuary is round, with a great dome fifty one and a half feet forming the roof! The dome is held up by breathtaking fluted ‘Corinthian columns’, and painted like the night sky! The floor consists of checquered marble slabs, giving it a gracious, spacious look. The giant doors let in the cool sea breeze, and stained glass windows high up on the circular walls, as well as above the doors, let in the light.


The Kirk also has one of the oldest ‘pipe’ organs in the city, recently restored to much of its original splendour. Its rich resonance uplifts the music ministry, and powerfully augments the singing of the gifted choir, as well as the songs of praise and hymns by the congregation. The church has CDs of instrumental music of songs of praise & worship played on the pipe organ available for those who are interested. Read more about the Kirk here:

One of the most breathtaking aspects of the church is the stained glass windows behind the choir, with pictures of St Peter and St Andrew. These were executed in Scotland and transported and reassembled here before the church was consecrated in 1821! The challenge today is to maintain the stained glass and the pipe organ in such a way generations of worshippers to come will continue to be inspired by their beauty and sound.




Visitors from all over the world come to experience the Kirk, located near Egmore station on Poonamallee High Road, opposite the old RTO, and diagonally opposite the Dina Thanthi’s offices. Many architects, practicing and students, also visit to marvel at the beauty of its Georgian design, and the design and engineering skills that raised it up nearly two hundred years ago to dominate the North Madras skyline of that time. The Kirk continues to serve the city, with an active congregation with many projects serving the city and it’s under privileged.

5 Comments so far

  1. randramble (unregistered) on April 16th, 2006 @ 8:25 pm

    The stained glass windows are superb!

  2. sln (unregistered) on April 17th, 2006 @ 2:26 am


    That was informative and illustrative. It is a matter of pride for us that such heritage architecture exists in Chennai. It is supposed to have been modelled on this church in London

  3. Nandhu (unregistered) on April 17th, 2006 @ 2:38 am

    hey, both the korean write up and this one are very good. perhaps u wuld be kind enough to mention what food for two would cost? and where is st.andrew’s churcch?

  4. WA (unregistered) on April 17th, 2006 @ 4:23 am

    Will look out for the place during the next chennai trip, looks wonderful.

  5. RAvi (unregistered) on April 17th, 2006 @ 5:48 pm

    Hi David,
    Do mention where exactly is this church!
    I could google too but would appreciate your revert.

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