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St. Thomas Mount
St Thomas Church on the Mount
St Thomas Church on the Mount
Parangimalai is located in Chennai
Parangimalai is located in Tamil Nadu
Coordinates: 13°0′18.2″N 80°11′35.9″E / 13.005056°N 80.193306°E / 13.005056; 80.193306Coordinates: 13°0′18.2″N 80°11′35.9″E / 13.005056°N 80.193306°E / 13.005056; 80.193306
StateTamil Nadu
 • BodySt.Thomas Mount-cum-Pallavaram
91.44 m (300.00 ft)
 • OfficialTamil
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Planning agencyCMDA

Parangimalai (known in English as St. Thomas Mount) is a small hillock in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, near the neighbourhood of Guindy and very close to Chennai International Airport.

The ancient Syrian Christian community of India trace the origin of their church to St. Thomas the Apostle. From the 17th century, this part of Chennai was populated predominantly by Anglo-Indians. The St. Thomas Garrison Church is at the foot of St. Thomas Mount.

The St. Thomas Syro Malabar Catholic Church is located east of the shrine at North Silver Street, footholds of the mountain shrine.

The neighbourhood is served by the St. Thomas Mount railway station, on the southern line of the Chennai Suburban Railway Network.[citation needed] Integration of the Metro and MRTS with the suburban station in the neighbourhood, is expected to make the suburb the city's largest transit hub after Chennai Central.[1]

In the state assembly elections of 1967 and 1971, there was a constituency known as the Parangimalai.


According to tradition, Sage Bhringi resided and meditated on the hillock in his quest to see Lord Shiva. The locality thus came to be known as Bhringi malai, or "the hill of Bhringi", which over time morphed as "Parangimalai". It is also said that this connects several other regions in the city with the origin of their names. For instance, the place where he laid his pitcher, known in Tamil as kindi while performing worship, has now come to be known as "Guindy".[2]

The place is named St. Thomas Mount in English in honour of Saint Thomas the Apostle, who lived and preached in the locality[2]

Hill shrine[edit]

A shrine dedicated to "Our Lady of Expectation" (Mother Mary) was built in 1523 on top of the Mount. The altar of this shrine was built on the spot where St. Thomas' death is traditionally believed to have been occurred. At the northern foot of the mount, is a gateway of four impressive arches surmounted by a cross bearing the inscribed date 1547. A flight of 160 steps leads up to the summit of the mount. There are 14 stations of the cross on the way to the summit.

Educational institutions[edit]

St. Thomas Mount has several schools and training institutions.


St Thomas Academy (ca. Aug '22)
  • St Dominic's Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School was founded in July 1901 Holy Apostles Convent European School for children of the British and Anglo Indian Army Personnel. In 1914 it was renamed as St Dominic's School. In 1978 Class 12 was added.[3]
  • Marian Matriculation Higher Secondary School is an English medium, co-educational senior secondary school from lower kindergarten (LKG) to class 12.[4][5]

Vocational training institutes[edit]

  • St Theresa of Child Jesus School of Nursing is located in St. Thomas Hospital. Started in 1993, by 2012 it was admitting 20 students annually.[8][9]
  • Montfort Technical Institute is a private industrial training institute (ITI). Established in Jan 1972, it is one of 326 private ITIs in the state of Tamil Nadu.[10][11][12]


The St. Thomas Mount block is a revenue block in the Chengalpattu district of Tamil Nadu, India.[13] As per the Census 2011, the St. Thomas Mount development block covered an area of 86.94 km2 (33.57 sq mi), of which 42.98 km2 (16.59 sq mi) was classified as rural and 43.96 km2 (16.97 sq mi) as urban. The block included 121,017 household with a total population of 475,995. The sex ratio was 978.7 females per 1,000 males. The number of children in the age group 0-6 years was 55,103. Scheduled castes numbered 74,322 (15.6%) and scheduled tribes were 2.544 (0.53%). The literacy rate was 77.6%, with males at 81.3% and females at 73.9%.[14]

The following 15 rural village panchayats come under St Thomas Mount Panchayat Union:[13]

  1. Agaramthen
  2. Medavakkam
  3. Kovilambakkam
  4. Cowl bazaar
  5. Mudichur
  6. Perumbakkam
  7. Nanmangalam
  8. Polichalur
  9. Trisulam
  10. Ottyambakkam
  11. Thiruvanchery
  12. Vengaivasal
  13. Madurapakkam
  14. Moovarasampattu
  15. Sithalapakkam


Exterior of the Church[edit]

Interior of the Church[edit]

Stations of the Cross[edit]

The 14 Stations of the Cross are positioned along the 160-step climb up the Mount.

Views from the Mount[edit]

A panoramic view of the city of Chennai as seen from the top of St. Thomas Mount, from northwest clockwise to southeast


  1. ^ Ayyappan, V (28 January 2013). "From Tonga Stop to Transport Hub". The Times of India. Chennai: The Times Group. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b Krupa, Lakshmi (22 August 2013). "What's in a name?". The Hindu. Chennai: Kasturi & Sons. Retrieved 8 August 2022.
  3. ^ "ABOUT ST.DOMINICS". St. Dominic's Anglo-Indian School. 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  4. ^ "Marian Matriculation Higher Secondary School, St. Thomas Mount". UrbanPro. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  5. ^ "Marian Matriculation Higher Secondary School". Facebook. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  6. ^ "Our History". St. Thomas Academy. 2022. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  7. ^ "Details OF SCHOOL AFFILIATED TO Central Board of Secondary Education". Central Board of Secondary Education. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  8. ^ "Milestones". St. Thomas Hospital, Chennai. 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  9. ^ "Nursing School". St. Thomas Hospital, Chennai. 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  10. ^ "Montfort Private Technical Institute". ITI Directory. 7 July 2022. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  11. ^ Directorate of Employment and Training (DET). "Welcome to Industrial Skill Training". Department of Labour and Employment (Tamil Nadu).
  12. ^ Directorate of Employment and Training (DET). "Name of the Private Industrial Training Institute in Tamil Nadu" (PDF). Department of Labour and Employment (Tamil Nadu).
  13. ^ a b "Local Body Ward Delimitation – 2020 – Chengalpattu District | Kancheepuram District,Government of Tamilnadu | City of Thousand Temples | India". Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  14. ^ Census of India 2011: District Census Handbook Kancheepuram Tamil Nadu Village and Town Wise Primary Census Abstract (PCA). Part XII-B, Series 34. Directorate of Census Operations, Tamil Nadu. 2014. pp. 28–29. Retrieved 31 August 2022.

External links[edit]