Located on the sandy shores of Bay of Bengal, Velankanni Church is considered as one of the holiest Christian pilgrimage destinations in India n and is situated on the Coromandel Coast, 350 km south of Chennai and 12 km south of Nagapattinam. It is said that Virgin Mary appeared here along with Baby Jesus around the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century, after which Velankanni became a revered site for the Christian community. Declared as the holy city by the Pope, it draws devotees in large number from all over the world.
Officially spelt as Vailankanni, this small hamlet is renowned for its Roman Catholic shrine, Basilica of Our Lady of Good health which is also known as the Velankanni Church. Also fondly known as ‘Lourdes of the East’, the shrine represents a melting pot of many cultures, international and religious harmony. The church is completely dedicated to Virgin Mary and the Heavenly Mother. It is believed by the devotees of the church that Lady of Health or Madonna of Velankanni possesses miraculous powers. People of every religion, caste and creed visit the church to pay their respect to the great lady.