Sir Sayajirao Gaekwad Honors Red Church in Vadodara with 25-Gun Salute and Unique Elephant-Crane Bell Hoisting

In Vadodara, the Christmas celebration kicks off with enthusiasm by the historic Lal Church, where both the Catholic and Methodist Christian communities reside. The city hosts discussions between these two sects, including the Rosary Church, White Church, and the famous Lal Church, the latter featuring a historic bell weighing one ton. The sound of this bell could be heard up to Laxmi Vilas Palace. The renowned singer Sir Sayajirao Gaekwad expressed his joy by firing 25 cannons in response.

Unique Dual Surgery for Placing the Bell in the Lal Church

According to Father Reva Evans, the priest of the Fatehganj Church, in 1903, the Lal Church initiated efforts to bring and install a bell, weighing one ton, from abroad. The unique challenge was to place the bell in the Lal Church with the help of elephants and cranes, a task successfully accomplished after much discussion and planning.

Sound Reaches Laxmi Vilas Palace

At that time, the area was sparsely populated, so the sound of the bell resonated over a vast distance. To preserve the historic bell, it was hung at a considerable height in the Narhari Hospital. The sound of the bell, placed 3 meters away from the clock tower, reached Laxmi Vilas Palace. To express his amazement, Sir Sayajirao Gaekwad fired 25 cannons.

Adoption of the Christian Faith

How did the Lal Church come into existence? In the context of English history, William Taylor, an American missionary, visited Vadodara in 1872 when many Gujarati locals adopted the Christian faith. Maharaja Sir Sayajirao Gaekwad, from the Gaikwad family near Fatehgunj, donated land in 1880 to establish a Lal Church where the mission work began.

Maharaja’s Assistance

The city’s residential area expanded to Fatheganj in the 1880s. A new church was built in 1902, and its expansion was undertaken in 1903. The Maharaja, Sir Sayajirao Gaekwad, donated 500 silver coins he received from the Third Pass for the construction of the historic Lal Church building.

Virtual Architectural Elements to Enhance Appeal

The Lal Church incorporates elements of Gothic architecture. Small cross-shaped designs, elements resembling an archer’s bow, and virtual structural elements enhance the exterior of the church. The entire structure of the church is made from bricks, lime, and wood.

Niyati Rao

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