St Thomas is said to have sought refuge from persecution in the Little Mount Caves, 8km south of the city centre. Entrance to the caves is beside steps leading to a statue of Our Lady of Good Health. Inside, next to a small natural window in the rock, are impressions of what are believed to be St Thomas’ handprints, created when he made his escape through this tiny opening. Behind the new circular church of Our Lady of Good Health is a natural spring. Tradition has it that this was created when Thomas struck the rock, so the crowds that came to hear him preach could quench their thirst; samples of its holy water are on sale.

It’s said that St Thomas was speared to death while praying before a stone cross on St Thomas Mount, 11km south of the city centre. Our Lady of Expectation Church (1523), at the summit of the Mount, can be reached by 134 granite steps marked with the fourteen stations of the Cross, or by a road which curls its way to the top, where a huge old banyan tree provides shade.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

India features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

A first-timer's guide to India's Golden Triangle

A first-timer's guide to India's Golden Triangle

From busy bazaars and hurtling tuk-tuks to tranquil temples and majestic mosques, the Golden Triangle is a fantastically varied introduction to the sights and s…

02 Jan 2017 • Freya Godfrey insert_drive_file Article
Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
The most beautiful places in India

The most beautiful places in India

We asked the Rough Guides team in Delhi to vote for the most beautiful places in India. After much deliberation, here are the results... 10. Chilika Lake, …

16 Dec 2016 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month