• Miraculous Infant Jesus Shrine, Bangalore.
  • A devotee touches a pieta at Our Lady of Good Health, Bengaluru.
  • In a back alley in Bangalore, shrines of Christian and the Hindu deity Ganesh share the same property.

Karnataka, in southwestern India, is home to more than 60 million people. The state is an expansion of the former Kingdom of Mysore, its boundaries significantly designed to incorporate Kannada-speaking people. Kannada is the primary language of about ⅔ of the population, though residents of Karnataka also speak Telugu, Marathi, Malayalam, Tamil, and Urdu.

The articles here focus on the capital city of Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore. Home to more than 15 million people, Bengaluru is India’s third-largest city, having transformed in the last several decades into a world-class center for information technology.

Bengaluru may be leaping into the computer age with haste, but so far religiosity shows no sign of being displaced. Catholics constitute 2% or less of the population but at times, given the large number of Catholic schools and women religious, Bengaluru can seem like a little Rome. The visual aesthetic of Bangalore Catholicism is often saturated with colors, different from the palate of any other place in the Catholic world.  Streets in Catholic neighborhoods are full of small, frequently visited shrines. Muslims and Hindus also often stop by to show devotion and seek a blessing at Catholic shrines, particularly those dedicated to Mother Mary.