With the growth of the Kalol Mission, the need for a pilgrimage centre for the new community of Catholics was felt. In June 1969, Fr. Manuel Diaz Garriz, SJ the pioneer missionary bought a large elevated property in Budasan village, near Kadi town. Soon this became the ideal spot to fulfil the traditional religious feeling of the first converts and to act as a focus of Faith and Unity.
First a small ‘deri’ (grotto) was built in honour of Mother Mary and it was named Unteshwari Mata deri in 1969. Thus began the Unteshwari Mata Maria Melo. Later in 1982 the present incarnational Unteshwari Mata Mandir (more of Gujarati and classical Solanki style) was blessed and dedicated to Mata Maria by the visionary and missionary Bishop of Ahmedabad Rt. Rev. Charles Gomes, SJ. Since 1986 Unteshwari is a separate Parish with its resident priest, who is actually the Mahant of the Mandir. Since then it aims at fulfilling the vision of the North Gujarat Mission.
Today, the Unteshwari Parish has nineteen villages with a few Catholic families in each. The Catholics are known as Isupanthis, i.e. they remain in their own Samaj (community) and accept Jesus as their Guru. Under Fr. Girish Santiago, SJ as Parish Priest, a Central Government programme catering to the special educational needs of the school going disabled children (Inclusive Education for Disabled Children) of the entire 119 villages of Kadi Taluka has been undertaken. The Kulmata (ancestral Mother) of Isupanthis (followers of Jesus) of this area is Unteshwari Mata Maria.
Unteshwari Thirthadhaam is used for: Retreats, Spiritual and Integral Formation camps for various faith-groups. There is a celebration with prayer and recollection on every Punam and Amas day. The parish has 843 members.
To learn more about the Integral Developmental Activities of the Parish, click here.
Unteshwari Mata Mandir
Post Box No. 9, Irana Road
Kadi, Mehsana Dt. 382 715
Parish Priest : Fr. Prasad Gonsalves, SJ
Fr. Alex Thannipara, SJ (Asst.PP)
Fr. Girish Santiago, SJ (Asst.PP & Director : IEDC)
1. Residential School for Differently Abled Persons
2. Home for the Aged
3. Sammilitalayam: Centre for Inclusive Education of Disabled Children