Friday, 3 April 2015

C for Churches in HP

This post is written as a part of April 2015 A to Z challenge. On the third day the word is C and I would talk of Churches in HP.

Churches in HP

Yes – that’s true. HP not only has temples, Shakti peeths, Gurudwaras, Pagodas, Monasteries, but also some of the beautiful Churches too. Though, Christianity made a late appearance in Himachal Pradesh, after the arrival of the British, only around 150 years back, it dawns tall churches as the relics of the British era especially found in the small hill stations that they created as summer retreats for their leisure. It also holds the second oldest church of Northern India, i.e. Christ Church, Shimla.

Main churches in Himachal Pradesh are Christ Church, Kasauli, Christ Church, Shimla, St. Johns Church and St. Patrick's Church, Dalhousie & Church of St. John in the Wilderness, McLeod Ganj. 

Churches have always fascinated me especially because of the solitude it gives with solidarity. It truly is the place to introspect. The vast Prayer halls, the pin drop silence, the serene remnants, the tall towers – all speak aloud. 

Christ Church – Shimla, is situated on the Ridge in Shimla. Its well maintained and has a very majestic appearance. There are stained glass windows inside the hall which adds to its beauty. It truly represents faith, hope, charity, fortitude, patience and humility. 

Christ Church Shimla
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Christ Church – Kasauli: Unlike Shimla which has overgrown and got crowded with ongoing commercialization, Kasauli is still unspoilt and very much same as the British left it. A much serene and quite retreat – that which you want when going to a hill station. Just over an hour drive from Chandigarh this offers a better weekend retreat. And the Christ Church here is a must visit. It is a typically angular structure with well proportioned, spires, buttresses and gothic arches framed against the stately deodars.

Christ Church Kasauli

St. John's Church - Dalhousie: Dalhousie has two Churches. St. John’s is situated at the Central Gandhi Chowk, hardly 2 kms. from the main bus stand of Dalhousie and truly seconds the fact that it was the first edifice to be built after the town of Dalhousie was found by the British. The church building stands in a good condition but its surroundings demand much better care. There is a library situated just at the left side of the entrance gate where one can relax research on Dalhousie.
St. John's Church, Dalhousie

Photo Courtesy :

St. Patrick's Church on the other hand is situated in Baloon, Dalhousie Cantt., on Military Hospital road. St. Patrick's Church is the largest church in Dalhousie having a seating capacity of 300 persons in its main hall. It is in a better condition.

St. Patrick's Church, Dalhousie
Photo Courtesy :

Church of St. John in the Wilderness, Mc Load Ganj. : It stands just on the main road to McLeod Ganj, hardly half a km before the main city center. This too has stained-glass windows and is one of the few remaining traces of McLeod's days as a British hill station. It’s open on Sunday mornings for a weekly 10am service. The cemetery contains the graves of many victims of the 1905 earthquake, as well as the rocket-like tomb of the Earl of Elgin, 23rd Viceroy of India.

St. John Church in the Wilderness, McLoed Ganj

Chamba Church - situated in the main Chamba market, this beautiful Church unlike other church is not built by Britishers. It was erected by Raja Sham Singh and gifted to the church of Scotland mission for the use of the christian community in Chamba in the end of 19th Century. It is called Scotland Church.

Chumba Church of Scotland

That's for today. Tomorrow would be D. Do visit again to know more.

For other posts on Himachal written as part of Ato Z Challenge : List of post on Himachal Pradesh written as part of A to Z challenge.

Aditya Sinha

For other participants in the challenge visit : A to Z Challenge

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