Jesus Christ Cross

Deep in the untamed Indian province of Andhra Pradesh, on Jeypore-Vizianagaram road to be exact, stands Jesus Christ Cross. This is not your ordinary cross, it’s ‘the’ cross, well according to Dr Raghunathan Rengassawamy, professor of Christian-Hebraic studies at the University of Poo,  Himachal Pradesh. Using the very latest in carbon testing, delving into ancient lore and legend and receiving an anonymous cryptic note from a passing Catholic priest, he has proven beyond all shadow of doubt that the holy cross was uprooted from Holy Land and transported to India.

BS Travel Director Negas Aky visited the newly-renovated visitors’ center. The building was a gift from the Vatican bank on very good terms. Thomas reported that the interest on $5m building will be repaid by 2072. The building includes modern toilets with running water on alternate days, some very nice photocopied sheets tacked to the walls explaining the whole story, an exhibit of ancient Roman coins displayed in full color pictures and a cafeteria serving hot and cold water, Mrs Jasvinder Pradeshe’s homemade samosas and spicy rice.  

The gardens surrounding the visitors’ center are due to be developed in the rainy season. For now astroturf and very realistic plastic orchids decorate the exterior of the building. The building itself will be painted when the nearby hospital has finished with their green paint.

So how did the true cross end up in India?  In the year 2AD Joseph of Aramathea was still mourning his dead protege, Jesus H Christ, and wondering what he could do to perpetuate his memory. Building a whole cult around him seemed ridiculous at the time. Then he had an olive-oil-lamp moment. His friend’s dried blood was still on the cross. He would take the cross and keep it as a momento.

First, he planned on erecting it in his garden, but after a failure in his planning application, then  decided he would head to his holiday home in Glastonbury, UK, and take the cross with him. A year before, he had taken a cup that Jesus had used on a night out ‘with the lads, and hidden it also in Glastonbury. Now he took the cross. Telling customs officials it was a  large clothes’ horse, he brought the cross to England and finally erected it in his English garden. In order not to arouse suspicion he hung a bird feeder and squirrel box, turning the emblem of death into a mini wildlife sanctuary. Living off the income from school and private visitors wanting to see squirrels and birds (and a hamster) he lived out the rest of his days.

Fast forward to the late 18th Century and the British Empire was in full swing. Wood was needed for ships to transfer British people to India.  A big piece of useful wood was found in an ancient abandoned garden and found its way into the hull of a ship. This ship, the HMS Clungernaught, was wrecked and the pieces of the giant hull floated ashore. A local missionary found the cross and notices the blood stained nail holes and guessed correctly at what he had found.

He dragged the cross to his home in Andhra Pradesh, applied for planning permission, and erected the cross for all to see. The rest is history.

While visiting the cross make sure you try Nina Patel’s stationary shop, Jagdesh Supermarket and the Royal Elephant Indian Restaurant & Peacock Park

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