St. Stephen’s Church

St. Stephen’s Church is one of the oldest churches in the Nilgiris district  in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. St Stephen’s was built by the British in the 1820s. It is a wonderful example of the days of the British era.


St. Stephen’s Church is the only Church that has tube bells. Instead of the usual bell in the tower, 4 hammer like structures are tied on inverted-V shaped wooden planks using wires, which when pulled from the floor, produce a musical sound.


The massive main beam and other timber in the church was taken from Tipu Sultan’s palace on the island of Srirangapatna. The material was transported up the Sigur ghat.


The Governor of Madras, Stephen Rumbold Lushington, who keenly felt the need for a church in Ooty for the British, laid the foundation for the church on April 23, 1829, to coincide with the birthday of King George IV.


St. Stephen’s Church was consecrated by John Matthias Turner, Bishop of Calcutta, on November 5, 1830. It was opened to the public communion on Easter Sunday April 3, 1831. It came under the Church of South India in 1947. The architect was Captain J. J. Underwood and the construction cost about Rs 24000 at the time. The foundation stone was laid in April 1829.


The church also features many stained glass windows depicting, Jesus holding lamb and Mary holding baby Jesus in her arms.


This Church still has regular services for church goers and has a very calming effect as soon as one steps in. You also do feel that you are walking through history reading all the beautiful plaques placed all over the inside of the church. The stained glass windows are spectacular! A must see at Ooty.


And the most important is that the founder of Ooty Lord John Sullivan’s wife and son is buried there. The grave yard also an attraction apart from the old British graves the metal that’s around the graves has been in the soil for more than 120 years and with out any preservation still stands.



  • Address: Club Road, Ooty, Tamil Nadu – 643001
  • Entry Fee : No entry fee
  • Timings : Visiting Hours – 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Days When Closed : Sunday
  • Phone No (Official) +91-423-2442121
  • Photography: Allowed
  • Nearest railway station : Udagamandalam Railway Station




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