With an area of 30, 664 square kilometers, the diocese covers Bijnor district in Uttar Pradesh and districts of Pauri, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Tehri, Uttarkashi and part of Haridwar in Uttarakhand. Bijnor and Haridwar are the biggest towns in the diocese.
The total population in the diocese is 3,071,000.
Hindi, Garhwalee and Urdu are the main languages used.
Pope Paul VI created Bijnor as an apostolic exarchate on March 23, 1972, from Meerut diocese. It was entrusted to the Sacred Heart province of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, and Father Gratian Mundadan, CMI, was appointed apostolic exarch. Its territory lie within Uttar Pradesh state until the new state of Uttarakhand was created in 2000.
Pope Paul VI raised the apostolic exarchate of Bijnor to an eparchy on Feb. 26, 1977, making Exarch Mundadan its first bishop.
On Aug. 14, 2009, Father John Vadakel, CMI, was appointed second bishop of Bijnor. He was installed on Oct. 22, 2009. Bishop John Vadakel retired onAug. 30, 2019 and Bishop Vincent Nellaiparambil took the office on Aug. 30, 2019.
Cities are managed by corporations. Villages and small towns are administered by panchayats and municipalities, respectively. These local bodies are elected.
The diocesan area is well connected in terms of transportation infrastructure by roads and railways. The nearest airport is in New Delhi.
Per capita income is Rs 56,000 ($1,852) as of March 2011. Farming dominates with wheat, rice, sugarcane and vegetables as main crops.
Government and private operators provide extensive telecommunication facilities in the diocesan area. The diocese is well served by local cable TV networks.
71.62 percent literacy rate.
On every first Friday of the month thousands of Catholics flock to Holy Cross Church of Cherpunkal in Kerala, India to revere Infant Jesus and St. Thomas, the founder of the church. The church stands on the southern bank of Meenachil River. This fabled church, also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross)Church, belongs to Catholic Diocese of Palai of the Eastern-rite Syro-Malabar Church.
St. Mary’s Cathedral Church in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand state, is the mother church in the tribal belt of eastern India, where Belgian Jesuits laid the foundation of Catholicism in 19th century. This brownish Church, dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mary, stands on Dr. Camil Bulcke Path and nestles between St. Xavier’s College and St. Albert Major Seminary.
Basilica of Our Lady of Graces in Sardhana is a historic church that lives the memory of love and benevolence of the sole female Roman Catholic ruler in India. Our Lady of Graces Church of Sardhana stands at Meerut district in Uttar Pradesh of northern India. Consecrated in 1822, this 200-feet long church with a high central dome over the main altar, is one of the largest churches in northern India.
Saint Thomas Cathedral Basilica at Mylapore is a monumental declaration on ancient root of Christianity in India. The church was built over the tomb of St. Thomas, the Apostle who is believed to have preached Christianity in India. The cathedral preserves 2000-year-old bones of the saint and the lance that pierced him to death. Popularly known as Santhome Church, the cathedral at Chennai (formerly Madras) in Tamil Nadu state was constructed during the Portuguese era in the 16th century. “San Thome” assumes its name from St. Thomas.
St. Joseph’s Church in Lahore is the oldest Catholic Church in Pakistan that has flourished since the 19th century despite deadly sectarian violence in recent years. The church at Sarfaraz Rafiqui Road in Lahore was established as a wooden structure during the British colonial era, on Oct. 31, 1842, to provide pastoral care to the British soldiers. It completed 180 years this year.
Mokama Marian shrine on the southern bank of Ganges River bears the legacy persecuted Nepali Catholics banished from their homeland to India for refusing to renounce their faith. Our Lady of Divine Grace Church at Mokama stands about 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of eastern Indian state of Bihar. Mother Mary is popularly known as Mokama Mata (Mother of Mokama). The church was built to honor Mary in 1947.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a landmark in Kerala state of southern India. Santa Cruz Church blends Indo-European and Gothic architectural style that draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The cathedral is a great place of devotion and historic significance that survived colonial conquests and invasions to the city.
The Cathedral of Good Shepherd in Singapore is a historic National Monument, but it also holds first-class relics of a French saint who brought Catholicism on the shores of city-state two centuries ago. Built in 1847, the Good Shepherd Cathedral is the oldest Catholic Church and mother church of all Catholic churches in Singapore.