Spot the spire that guided ships

Published: 21 November, 2011 07:05 IST | Fiona Fernandez |

Mumbai and its long-standing love affair with the sea is legendary.

Mumbai and its long-standing love affair with the sea is legendary. The 152-year-old Afghan Church, also known as St John the Evangelist, fits the bill nicely, as its spire served as a landmark for incoming ships entering the harbour.

The Afghan Church. Pic/ Sameer Markande

The church was designed by Sir Henry Conybeare and his team, and opened in 1858 -- almost 11 years after construction began. Walking past its towering arched doors, one can almost soak in the grandeur of its stained-glass windows (shipped from England) that add to the stunning spectacle of this church.

It was India's first Neo-Gothic building, with its 210-ft spire and was built to serve the families of the British garrison, who lived in these parts. The walls near the church's altar tell a thousand tales etched in marble, displaying names of officers from different regiments who died during the First Afghan War. Also keep an eye out for martyrs from the Second Afghan War (1879-81) mentioned in another set of marble epitaphs near the entrance.

At: Navy Nagar, Colaba.
Best time to visit: Late afternoon or early evening.

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