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Christ Church, Shimla

Christ Church Overview

Christ Church is the second oldest church of Northern India and it overlooks the ridge and is one of the landmarks of Shimla. The exquisite beauty comes with the stained glasses fitted on its windows. Built between 1846 and 1857, the silhouette of this can be seen on the skyline for miles around. It was designed by Colonel JT Boileau in 1844, but consecrated only after 1857. Colonel Dumbleton donated the clock in 1860, and the porch added in 1873. In Shimla's 75 years of reigning as summer capital, a long line of officials and other notables of the Raja came to the church for their Sunday prayers. The seasonal influx would be so great at times that space would pose a big problem, but then now, of course, the congregations have dwindled and there is no lack of space.

The remarkable stain glasses

It still has those lovely stained glass windows for which it is so famed. The most remarkable one is that representing the virtues of Faith, Hope, Charity, Fortitude, Patience and Humility. But around the chancel window used to be a beautiful fresco designed by Rudyard Kipling's father, Lockwood Kipling, who was the principal of Mayo School of Art in Lahore, though nothing of it remains today. It is interesting to note the brasses and plaques too that are present over here. One can discreetly have a look inside the church, or attend English-language services every Sunday during the tourist season. The other main church in Shimla is St Michael's Cathedral just below the Central Telegraph Office.


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