Church of the Holy Name in Pune, India

Pune’s skyline is dotted with a variety of tall spires from across centuries. There are iconic temples, churches, synagogues, forts and mansions with their turrets and towers standing tall and proud next to modern day buildings. The variety in the architecture across the ages has given Pune a distinct flavor.


In the area of Guruwar Peth, there stands a huge 19th century tower made of red bricks. This tower is a part of The Church of The Holy Name which stands here.


The church is also known as Panch Howd Mission Church. Panch Howd translates to Five Water Tanks. The church gets this name because it has been built on five water tanks in the surrounding area. The foundation stone of this Gothic style church was laid in 1883 and the construction was completed in 1885. It is also called Pavitra Naam Devalay in Marathi (which translates to the Church of the Holy Name).


The most iconic feature of this church is its 130 feet tall bell tower. Housed within the tower are eight bells, cast by Taylor and Sons from Longborough. The tower was built between 1893-1898. It is believed that it is perhaps the only tower in South Asia with eight bells.


The church also witnessed a significant historic event in 1890. On 14 October 1890, the sisters of the Panch Howd Mission served tea and biscuits to Indian revolutionaries Lokmanya Tilak, Mahadev Govind Ranade and Gopal Krishna Gokhale. The mission still preserves the table on which the tea and biscuits had been served.

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