St. John The Baptist Armenian Church of Chinsurah
The Armenian church at Chinsurah, the second oldest Christian church in Bengal, was erected in 1695, the foundation stone was laid by Khojah Johannes Margar of Julfa. The church was completed in 1697 by his brother Joseph/Hovsep and dedicated to St. John the Baptist, in memory of the deceased brother Johannes. Khojah Johannes Margar died suddenly on November 27, 1697 and his mortal remains are interred inside the church he had built.
When the church was built, it had no steeple. The present spire, which serves as a belfry, was erected in 1822 through the munificence of Mrs. Sophia Bagram, a pious Armenian lady of Kolkata, in memory of her husband Simon Phanoos Bagram.
Although Armenians flourished at Chinsurah between 1695 and 1868, there are no more than hundred graves within the church, twenty-eight of them being inside the church.
The town of Chinsurah is just 35 miles from Kolkata. No Armenians reside there now. In March 1, 2007, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, visited the church.
JOHN THE BAPTIST ARMENIAN CHURCH OF CHINSURAH (1695)
4/4 Armanitola, Chinsurah
Dist. Hooghly, WB, INDIA