Christ Church

Starting in 1857, Christ Church was established as a place of worship for British Christians. Today, this landmark still stands tall as an active church and tourist attraction for global visitors. Discover the history and allure behind Christ Church as you tour the city of Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India.

Starting With Colonial History

In the 1800s, the British set up a small community in this area called Simla. As the population grew, a church was a natural choice for the British people. With assistance from designer Colonel J. T. Boileau, the church's cornerstone was first laid in 1844. Reportedly, it took 11 to 13 years for Christ Church to be finished.

Costing around 50,000 rupees at the time, Christ Church's funding originated from a mixture of Indian and British sources. Today, this landmark remains viable with regular maintenance and support from the state. Ultimately, colonial history is still an indelible part of India's culture.

Appreciating the Architectural Details

With a cream color, Christ Church stands out along the Ridge where it resides against a forested backdrop in Shimla. With an Elizabethan basilica style, the central tower rises 90 feet in the air as its focal point. Surrounding the tower is the smaller building section with several spires as detailed accents.

Remarkably, one of the highlights of Christ Church is its five stained-glass windows. With each pane, the five Christian values are memorialized. As you walk into the church, you'll find these windows reflecting fortitude, faith, humility, hope and charity.

Discovering the Relics Within

Because of its age, Christ Church is home to many ancient scriptures. They're carefully stored and preserved by the church's caregivers. Also, many books line the bookshelves deep in the structure.

More relics are found within the church's infrastructure, too. Look upward to the bell tower where you might catch a glimpse of five tubular bells and the overlooking clock face. Depending on the time, you can also enjoy the original pipe organ installed by the British in 1899. Because of its 1932 renovation and continued maintenance, it's operational today.

Traveling to Christ Church

Christ Church is located on the Ridge in Shimla, which is a flat, open space built between the Himalayan foothills and valleys below. Ideally, hire a taxi or take a bus to Mall Road. This street is full of shops and eateries. Also, it's located just parallel to the Ridge. Walk up to Christ Church from Mall Road.

For the best walking conditions, visit Christ Church during the warmer months. Snow or rain can make the walk a bit treacherous, for instance. Be flexible with your visit times, too. Seeing the church at night is a treat because it's lit with many exterior lights. Tour the interior during the daytime hours.

Spiritual believers from across the globe seek out Christ Church for its history and serene environment. Open daily between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., this church welcomes locals and visitors during Sunday mass, too. Overall, visiting Christ Church any time of year allows you to practice your spirituality and understand India's cultural influence across the generations.

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