A Visit to Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians

Perched on the steep high grounds of Laitumkhrah town in Shillong is an eye-catching grand structure. Its powder blue paint merges effortlessly with the clear skies of Shillong and contrasts perfectly with the lush greenery of its immediate surroundings, heightening its overall beauty and charm. Yes, we are describing one of the most iconic attractions in Shillong - The Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians.

Initially built in 1913 by the Salvatorians from Germany - the first Catholic missionaries in these parts of India, the original cathedral church was a wooden construction that got burned down in a fire in 1936. In the same year, the cathedral was restored with a Gothic style of architecture. An interesting fact about this new construction was that it was built to resist the earthquakes that plagued the hill station of Shillong from time to time. The elastic sand on which the building rests and the half-filled sand trenches (cut from rocks) proved to be a great method to absorb the tremors and shocks created during earthquakes.

stained glass art of Lady Mary

The church was designed with two levels. The lower level comprises the chapel with a prayer hall, usually lit with candles and stacked with prayer books. The upper level is an immense cathedral with ample seating. This cathedral in Shillong is accentuated by high arches, stained glass windows and terracotta stands, reflecting the Gothic style.

The interiors are decked with terracotta structures of the 14 Stations of the Cross and various other artworks related to the church. The exterior has a verdant garden for visitors, which is dotted with pine trees. The snow-filled mountain peaks in the backdrop add to the mystical experience, making for a heart-fluttering sight. Patrons are also enchanted with an eagle's-eye view of the Brahmaputra river, which gently snakes through the terrain below.

When you are visiting the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians, Shillong, you need an equally mesmerising stay to complete your visit. This is where Hotel Polo Towers, Shillong and Polo Orchid Resort, Cherrapunji come into the picture. With unforgettable views and stellar amenities, these are unrivalled accommodations in Shillong.

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