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Time Required : 1-2 hours

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Christ Church, Shimla Overview

The Christ Church in Shimla is the second oldest church in entire northern India and is a site of pure devotion as well as architectural beauty. The church, which took 11 long years to complete, stands as a reminder of the British colonisation in India. There is something unique and exciting about the Shimla Christ Church that makes it the favourite destination of people of all age groups. At night, the church literally glows when it is lighted up, while in winters, it dons the look of a magnificent castle. 

The yellow building and its silhouette is visible from far across in the town of Shimla and is always full of architecture lovers, and devotees. The Shimla Christ Church is inspired by the neo-gothic style of architecture and is complete with a front porch, church bells and five stained glass windows that represent different virtues of Christianity. This is now the only place of religion that the Christians have and is open for service every day. Even with the hullaballoo outside at the Ridge, the Christ Church is peaceful and indeed removed from reality. This and the fact that this majestic church has appeared in a number of famous Bollywood movies, such as Black and 3 Idiots, makes it a popular tourist attraction that people love to visit.

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Architecture of Shimla Christ Church

The Christ Church is built in the Neo-Gothic style of architecture and was designed by Col. J.T. Boileau, a renowned architect who had also designed the St. George's Church in Agra. Visitors cannot help but marvel at the architectural splendour of this striking church, which includes windows with coloured glasses and brass plaques. The interior of the church is quite simple and plain, except for the five windows made of stained glass that adorn the walls. These windows are a unique feature and represent the various virtues of Christianity, namely Charity, Humility, Fortitude, Faith, Patience and Hope. The towers of this holy church are about 90 feet high, and the building is complete with a brass church bell, a clock and a set of five tubular bells. The clock installed in the Christ Church was donated by Col Dumbelton in 1860, while the front porch was added later on in 1873. There is a fresco that surrounds the chapel window, that was designed by Lockwood Kipling, the father of the famous writer Rudyard Kipling. The Pipe organ of the church is the biggest that the Indian subcontinent has seen. Other impressive architectural features include paintings that portray scenes from the life of Jesus Christ. This imposing church looks absolutely magical and stunning during night time when the lights that have been placed at strategic corners illuminate the beautiful building. It glows with elegance and charm and is a dazzling sight to look at.

History of Christ Church

A large number of British people, as well as Anglo-Indians, used to reside in Shimla during the time when the British were ruling over our country. These people, being the followers of Christianity, requested their government to set up a church where they could offer their prayers to Jesus Christ. On 9 September in 1884, the foundation stone for the Christ Church was laid down. The church building was given the license to conduct Divine Services in 1846 on 11 October, while it actually became sanctified on 10 January in 1857. The consecration of the Christ Church was done by Bishop Reverand Thomas Daltry. The entire construction of the Christ Church took 11 years and cost a total of about INR 40,000- INR 50,000. The government contributed only INR 12,000, and the rest of the money for the construction was acquired from private sources.

Christ Church Library

A grand library, which was built in the year 1910 by James Ransome, is located right next to the Christ Church. The beautiful library is designed in the typical Elizabethan style and boasts of an enviable collection of books and other ancient scriptures.

How To Reach Shimla Christ Church

Since the Christ Church is located just near the Ridge in Shimla, it is readily accessible from all parts of the town. If you are staying somewhere in the centre of Shimla, the church is only 3.6 kilometres away. You can simply walk to reach the Shimla Christ Church, which is located in close proximity to the Shimla US Club.

Buses and taxis can also be used to reach the church. If you are coming here straight from the railway station, take the National Highway 22 and turn to the circular road with leads directly to the Ridge.

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