the sacred heart church

fr. romulus arrival at tajpur in 1897

Father Romulus was in Charge of the radical reorganizing of the area: building or repairing churches as well as the direction of the capuchin order at the end of the 19th and early 20th century. In 1897 young Fr. Romulus arrived in Tehri full of his apostolic fervor with the firm intension of converting souls and building great monuments for this new God he wanted to impose on the local population. He covered the 50 miles by foot which took him just two days, the hope of the meet Raja Shiam Singh to obtain the authorization of opening a new mission, which he refused initially.

conversion of the raja and his younger brother in 1900

However, the Father befriended his younger brother and was able to convince him to convert to Christianity. Fr. Romulus in September 1899 received Kunwar Shiva Nath Singh into the catholic church and baptized him in Mussoorie. He changed his name to Kunwar Sylvester Norbert Shiva Nath Rikh. His elder brother Raja Shiam Singh followed and was baptized and received into the Catholic Church in April 1900 and he changed his name to Raja Francis Xavier Shiam Rikh.

starting of mission in tajpur state in 1903

With this conversion Fr Romulus was now able to open a mission and this was done in 1903. A Kothi on the outskirts made by the Raja was provided which had the providential name of Kothi “Sat Nivas’ The Abode of Truth” were the Chapels were held in a big hall. Father Romulus, O.F.M.CAP inspired them to build a church in keeping with their status. The first stone was laid in 1907 which met with great opposition from the local population and a letter of protest was sent Fr. Romulus. Nevertheless, the construction continued as an exact replica of the Mangalore church which by then had become an obsession with the Raja.

inauguration of the sacred heart church on 18 november 1913.

Hence a magnificent “Sacred Heart Church” was built on the bank of Karula river, which was blessed and opened by his Grace Dr. Charles Gentile, Archbishop of Agra, amidst a distinguished gathering and scenes of great enthusiasm and splendor. The huge Church houses a Convent School, a home for the children of Leprosy patients, a Seminary, a dispensary and other buildings. The Sacred Heart Church was made on 18 November 1913. Six years later on January 8th, 1919, the two princely brothers” were made “Knights of the Grand Cross of St. Gregory the Great” – a very rare papal decoration – in recognition of their meritorious services to the catholic religion. the Church, which was nurtured by his adopted son, Fr. P S Sinha. He also recorded and maintained the history of the Church. Fr. P S Sinha died in 1959.

mortal remains of raja fx shiam rikh and rani margarete mary brought to the sacred heart church from bangalore cemetery

Rajkumari Nalini D Bellaigue, granddaughter of Raja Francis Xavier Shiam Rikh and Rani Margarete Mary, is now a French citizen, and who was born much after her grandparents had died, did something unique. She had the mortal remains of her grandparents exhumed from the Bangalore's Catholic Cemetery on Berlie Street, Shanthi Nagar, to be shifted to Raja Ka Tajpur for burial in the premises of the Sacred Heart Church of Raja Ka Tajpur, built by Raja Francis Xavier Shiam Rikh, after converting to Christianity.

centenary celebrations on 07 november 2013

The Sacred Heart Church of Raja Ka Tajpur celebrated its 100th anniversary on 07 November 2013. Rajkumari Nalini D Bellaigue along with other family members brought the ashes of her grandparents and buried them with all religious rites within the church's premises. The members of Line -1 at Tajpur extended full support and were present during the ceremony.

line – 1 tajpur family

The members of Line – 1 of the Tajpur Royal family are at present residing at Raja – Ka -Tajpur, District Bijnor, UP. The present Raja Shailendrajit Singh Sahib (Chote Raja) and Rajkumar Inderjit Singh (Raja Bhaiya) are staying in Bijai Niwas Palace and Mahal Sarai Palace in Raja – ka – Tajpur. They are the only link with at present with the Sacred Heart Church, as the other members have left Tajpur in 1960’s. The present family members visit the Church Regularly and share a very cordial relations with The Father and other priests and Sisters at Church.