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Christ Church Of Shimla

Shimla, the capital town of Himachal Pradesh is a quintessence of Victorian era romanticism with realism of the rituals of northern Indian culture and the Christ Church is the embodiment of truth in it. Centrally situated in the upper mall area, it is visibly wonderful in its yellow paint. When you are at the Shimla mall road, tilt your head at the azure firmament and the church won’t go unnoticed.

History of Christ Church

The Christ Church in Shimla is the second oldest church in north India after the St. John’s Church in Meerut. The church was designed in neo-gothic style in 1844 by J.T. Boileau but it was consecrated after 1857. Colonel Dumbleton in 1860 donated the giant round clock that adorns the front facial of the church. The porch was added to the structure in 1873. It started as a shrine to serve the Anglican British community in Shimla and hence is considered as one of the most visited places of worship in the country’s most celebrated hill town. It is governed under the diocese of Amritsar belonging to the Churches of North India (CNI). The current head of clergy is Rev. Mushtaq Achher Malk who looks after all the masses and prayer sessions.

Established

On the 9th of September 1844, the foundation stone of the Christ Church was laid. But it was only in December 1846 that the building got its licence for opening its doors for the Divine Service. It took thirteen years to build the Christ Church. The total cost at that time was Rs 40,000 to 50,000 and the Government had donated Rs 12,000. The rest construction cost came from private sources and local businessmen. The church’s interior can accommodate 574 devotees at a time and that can be expanded by adding chairs to 630. The height of the tower is 90 feet and it has prominent round clock on it, a metal Cross, a brass bell and a series of six small bells. The tower was erected in the year 1900.

The Structural Uniqueness of Christ Church

The yellow painted Christ Church stands tall and prominent on the upper Ridge area of the mall road and is visible from all over the hill town. Time has stopped with the hands of the clock as the rust of age has crept in. The church has five stained glass windows each of which represents the Christian virtues of faith, charity, hope, fortitude and patience.

Stone Pulpit

In 1877, the stone pulpit was constructed in the memory of Bishop Milman who was the then bishop of Calcutta.

Pipe Organ

In 1899, the pipe organ was built by Morgan and Smith of Brighton and then it had cost them Rs 23,000.

Tablets

The tablets in the church are the memorials of Major General Godwin who was the commander in chief in the 1852 expedition.

Glass Windows

In 1890, the east window was erected in memory of the wife of the late Bishop Mathew and this work was done by Buelison and Grylls of London. The fresco paintings on the sanctuary walls were replicated from the design by Lockwood Kipling and the frescos were done by the students of the Mayo School of Art in Lahore.

Hotels near Christ Church

Shimla is one of the most tourist friendly towns in the country and it is easy to find hotel according to one’s need. The Marigold Holiday cottages are the best chain of hotels where you will get all three star facilities. At Radisson Hotel, you would find all services that a four star hotel can afford to give you. If you are looking for cheaper hotels then book rooms at Hotel Auckland or Hotel Kapil. The pocket pinch for a room would not exceed 2000 rupees in these two hotels.

The Mall Road

There are good cafes and small shops that sell snacks and beverages. You can stroll down the mall road to the ice skating rink or you can spend some quiet time at the Tibetan market.  If you can bargain well then buying some good quality woollens is not at all a problem. If you are on a shopping spree then find some wood carved handicrafts from the local shops. You can also walk down the Lakkar Bazaar for buying wooden artefacts. The lower mall road has shops where the local businessmen sell utensils and crockery and they have contracts with the local restaurants and hotels.

Best Time to Visit Shimla

Shimla has been British India’s summer capital for long 75 years. Even today it has remained to be one of the country’s most visited tourist destinations. Shimla never fails to surprise its tourists with its magnificent skyline and rugged topography. Shimla has every ingredient to become a perfect recipe for any traveller to taste. The most suitable time to visit the hill station is summers. From May to September you will not have any problem with the weather there. The summer temperature remains warm and humid but very pleasant. The winter temperature goes down to an extreme minus and snowfall blocks roads and upper passes between December and February.

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