Velankanni Church Nagapattinam Tamilnadu History and Mass Timings

Velankanni Church Nagapattinam Tamilnadu History and Mass Timings


 Velankanni Church is affectionately called the "Lourdes of the East" because millions of pilgrims visit the Shrine every year to pray to Our Lady for different needs and express gratitude for her intercession.


Velankanni (Meaning: Virgin of Velai), the small village, also known by "Vailankanni", or "Velanganni", is located on the sandy beaches of the Bay of Bengal. It is located 350 km south of Chennai, and 12 kilometers south of Nagapattinam. Early writers called Nagapattinam "the city of Coramandel", a coastal town along the Bay of Bengal. The Vellayar river is a minor branch from the Kaveri and runs south to the village before flowing into the sea.


There is evidence that Velankanni was once an important port. This area is home to people who trade goods and services with Rome or Greece, which are the ancient western commercial centers. Historical notes confirm this.

Velankanni, the site of this important Christian Shrine was among the most severely affected by the Tsunami that occurred following the Dec 26, 2004, Indian Ocean earthquake.


History of Velankanni Church

Our Lady and her infant son came to a Hindu boy. He is carrying milk to his customer's house. The man sat down under a Banyan tree next to a pond or tank. Our Lady came into sight and asked for milk. After careful inspection, the man realized that something miraculous had occurred.

Our Lady appeared once more. The Lady appeared again to a boy with disabilities selling buttermilk. He agreed to buy buttermilk for her son, and she asked him.

Our Lady requested that the boy inform a wealthy Catholic man from the nearby Nagapattinam of her arrival. The miracle of Our Lady healing his leg was not known to him. He also saw a vision just before Our Lady asked him for a chapel.

Our Merciful Mary saved a few Portuguese merchant sailors from the destruction of a ship at sea by a severe storm. Local fishermen carried the Portuguese merchants to the straw chapel roof building on the Velankanni seashore.

On their return journey, a small chapel was built to offer thanks and to receive gifts to Our Lady. They improved it over time. To commemorate the feast of Our Lady, the traders dedicated the chapel on Sept 8.

Velankanni Church Mass Timings:

The Shrine is open daily from 5.00 AM to 9.00 PM.

Daily Services:

Every Morning:

  • 5:45 pm Holy Mass in Tamil
  • 6.45 am High Mass in Tamil
  • 9:00 am Holy Mass in Malayalam
  • 10:00 am Holy Mass in English
  • 12:15 am Holy Mass in Tamil

Every Evening:

  • 6:00 PM Novena prayers, Rosary, Evening Prayers
  • 6:30pm Holy Mass in Tamil

Weekly Services

Thursday Evenings

  • 6:30pm Holy Mass in Tamil


  • 7:00 am Holy Mass at Our Lady's Tank
  • 5:45 PM Car Procession around Shrine Basilica, Rosary, and Novena Prayers Blessing with Statue of Our Lady.
  • 6:30pm Holy Mass in Tamil

Sunday Morning:

  • 5:45 pm Holy Mass in Tamil
  • 7:30am High Mass in Tamil
  • 10:00 am Holy Mass in English
  • 12:15 am Holy Mass in Tamil

Sunday Evening:

  • Novena Prayers, Rosary at 5:30 PM
  • 5:00pm Holy Mass in Tamil

Monthly Services

First Friday:

  • 6:00 PM Eucharistic Procession Around the Shrine

First Saturday:

  • 6:15 PM Blessing of Sick with Blessed Sacrament

Annual Feast Day in Velankanni Church:

Each year, the Velankanni Church organizes this ten-day feast. Participants come from all over the world. This feast is a way to honor the Mother of Good Health, to who the deity is dedicated. Every year, the feast begins with a flag raising. The flag is raised for nine more days until the close of the annual day.

Best Time To Visit Velankanni:

You can make a pilgrimage all year to Velankanni Church. As the weather is mild and cool, it's best to plan your trip between October and March.

Hotels near Velankanni Church:

These are the hotels near Velankanni Church

  • Hotel Seagate
  • Hotel golden sand
  • Hotel picnic
  • Suriya lodge
  • Inn at the hotel orchard
  • MGM velankanni
  • Sri Gnana Vedha Beach Residency
  • Hotel Vpn Residency
  • Hotel Mary Land Velankanni
  • Hotel church park
  • Residency at a Registered Retirement Institution
  • Hotel Annai Bay
  • Clinton Park Inn
  • Hotel Queens Inn Velankanni

Velankanni Church room booking:

Cottages and rooms are also available. There are 1,620 rooms in the Church and 11 halls where 50 to 100 people can sleep. The daily tariffs are between Rs 40 and Rs 100. People also rent their homes out during festivals. Contact the Rooms Booking Office.

  • 04365-264890
  • 04365-263421


The Shrine canteen serves all dietary needs, including those of the poor and helpless. It offers a variety of veg and non-veg foods at moderate prices and has a zero-profit, no-loss mission to serve pilgrims. It is open every day from 6 AM to 10 PM.

Places to Visit in Velankanni:

Velankanni Beach A large beach is located close to the church. It is a dangerous place to swim in, so be cautious. This beach is very popular.

Velankanni Parish Museum - Visit the museum that tells the story of the Church and its development over the past few centuries.

Tsunami memorial:  Nagapattinam suffered the most severe damage during the 2004 Tsunami. This memorial serves as a sad reminder of the loss of life and the destruction that occurred in December 2004.

Sikkal Singaravelar Temple This temple is located in Sikkal. The presiding deity of this temple, Singaravelar (Lord Muruga), is a popular one. This temple is home to Lord Navaneetheswarar, a form of Lord Shiva, and his consort Nedum Kani Amman (Goddess Parvathi).

Silk and handicrafts: Velankanni Beach is an unexpected destination for shoppers. It is one of the few beaches where silk, handicrafts, and other items are available for pilgrims visiting Velankanni Mata.

Places within the Velankanni Church to Visit:

  • Our Lady's Tank
  • Priests' Residence
  • Offering Center
  • Stations of the Cross
  • Stations of the Rosary
  • Shrine Mega Mahal

Tourist spots around Velankanni are:

  • Nagore dargah 18 km
  • 35 kms Saniswaran temple Thirunallar
  • Wildlife and bird sanctuary 50 km
  • Tanjore temple 90 kms
  • Poondi church (shrine basilica) 100 km

How do I reach Velankanni Church?

By Fly: Tiruchirapalli is the nearest airport, located 165km from Velankanni. To reach Velankanni, you can book a taxi there.

Rail: Nagapattinam is the nearest station. It's about 12km away from where taxis and buses are available. Velankanni can be connected by rail to Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu. Velankanni-Chennai Egmore Link Express runs every day between Velankanni and Chennai Egmore.

By Road Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation and State Express Transport Corporation Tamil Nadu (SETC) operate luxury express buses like Volvos and Mercedes from Chennai and Coimbatore.

Velankanni Church Contact Address:

Very Rev. Fr. P. Xavier Rector
Shrine Basilica
Vailankanni 611111
Nagapattinam District
Tamilnadu (INDIA)

Official Website:

Velankanni Church Contact Number:

  • 04365-263423(Shrine Number)
  • 04365-263584
  • 04365-263530 (Father's personal)
  • 04365-263517 (Father's Fax)


What is Velankanni famous for?

Picturesque scenery. Religious significance.

What's the local cuisine in Velankanni

Fresh fish fries are available at the beach.

How can I reach the Church most effectively?

Velankanni Church can be reached by road transport.

Where's Velankanni Church?

Velankanni, a small village in Nagapattinam (D), Tamil Nadu (S), India
Telephone code: 04365

What is the nearest airport to the Velankanni Church's Velankanni Church?

Trichy or Tiruchirapalli is the nearest airport, located 153 km from Velankanni.

Who was the architect of the Velankanni Church

Velankanni Church was constructed in the 16th century CE, with some modifications by the Portuguese.

How do I get from Nagapattinam church to Velankanni?

Taxi is the fastest and most convenient way to travel from Nagapattinam, India to Velankanni. It costs 280 RS – 340 RS and takes approximately 11 minutes.

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