Explore the Oldest Dioceses in South Asia

Cardinal Cheong

The cathedral of the first diocese in India.

It is believed that Christianity was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle,
who is said to have reached the Malabar Coast of Kerala in 52 AD.

Christian communities developed and expanded further when
Portuguese missionaries arrived in the 13th and 14th centuries.

History of a few oldest dioceses in India as the cradle of Indian Christianity
can be dated back to the 15th century.

Find out which is the first diocese in India here.

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Diocese of Rajkot

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Diocese of Rajkot
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The diocese is spread over 109,950 square kilometers and is located in the heart of the Saurashtra region. It covers a vast majority of the area, including the Rann of Kutchch (Kutchch Desert) bordering Pakistan.

 People in Rajkot are well known for their afternoon siesta when they close their shops and offices and leave for home for a nap after an early lunch. The resilience of the people here is also well-known. After the area was devastated by one of the biggest earthquakes in January 2001, causing death to thousands and injuring many, the area managed to resume normal activity within a year. Christianity is relatively alien to the people in the region.

The Rajkot cathedral is named Prem Mandir (temple of love). It features architectural designs of various religions.


Officially, Gujarati is the language but Hindi is also used. The diocesan area does not have an English-speaking population except those who have come from other regions.


The climate of Rajkot is generally pleasant. The summer season extends from March to June with daytime temperatures reaching a high of around 45 degrees Celsius. But the desert of Kutchch has severe extremes in climate. The temperature in Kutchch ranges from 0 degrees Celsius in the winter to 49 degrees in the summer. Traditionally, the region is drought-prone and the crops that are grown are those which require less water.


The diocese comprises the civil districts of Amreli, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Porbandar, Rajkot, Surendranagar and Kutchch.

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