Sunday, 23 November 2014

Places to visit in McLeodganj: The Church of St John-in-the-Wilderness

As the name suggest even now this church is still in the grandeur of the local wilderness set amidst the deodar and pine trees with lofty snow capped mountains in the background.
The Church of St John-in-the-Wilderness, McLeodganj 


This church was built by the British in 1852 and is surrounded by big deodar trees and marble gravestones. This again is an interesting area to go to by walking. It is an Anglican Church dedicated to John the Baptist (as the name suggests). This building is built in neo-Gothic style.

Side view of the Church of St. Jojn-in-the-Wilderness

One can walk to The Church of St John-in-the-Wilderness in thirty minutes or so. Also if you are interested than you can make it a circuitous trip by first going to the Dal Lake and from there come down to this church and then reach back to McLeodganj thereby spending one full day of visiting places and walking/trekking in pristine surroundings. One can make the circuit the other way round if you want to make the trek tougher.

Inside the Church - see the beautiful stained glass

It is a very small church and still very well maintained despite being more than 160 years old.  Inside the church I could see Belgian stained-glass windows donated by Lady Elgin, wife of Lord Elgin.

The snow capped mountains as seen from near the Church
Besides the church it is the graveyard that presents a part of the local history to us.

The Graveyard at the Church

I could see several gravestones where the date of death is 1905 – that was the year of a great  earthquake that devastated this area and killed nearly twenty thousand people and injured thousands of other Kangris.

Memorial of James Bruce, Viceroy of India in 1862-63

The church compound also has the memorial of James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin, Viceroy of India (1862–1863). He died in Dharamshala in 1863 and the monument was erected by his wife Mary Louisa, Countess of Elgin.

The beautiful entrance to the Church
The place also has a variety of birds and one can just sit here for hours and watch the birds. I saw this Yellow Billed Blue Magpie at very close quarters.

Yellow Billed Blue Magpie


Also read:
McLeodganj, Dharamshala, Himachal
Why I love to go to McLeodganj
Skywatch Friday - Sunset at McLeodganj, Himachal
Places to visit in McLeodganj: Bhagsunag Waterfall

7 comments:

Arun said...

It's a beautiful setting of Deodar trees. Love the place...

Turkey Tours said...

This seems to be a wonderful place to visit, it's quiet and calm..

Raj Groups said...

interesting!!!

Anil Yadav said...

Thanks!

Anil Yadav said...

Yes it is a beautiful place.

Anil Yadav said...

Thanks!

Debosmita Roy said...

Nice post on places to visit in Mcleodganj. McLeod Ganj has evolved into an important tourist and pilgrimage destination with many popular places to visit in Mcleodganj. McLeod Ganj is home to several Buddhist monasteries and thousands of Tibetan refugees.It is also an important trekking spot.