St John in the Wilderness Church
Learn all about history and religion when you venture to St. John in the Wilderness Church. Located in Dharamshala, this landmark has been in operation since the mid-1800's. Discover some of India's history and part of yourself as you take in the experience around this Anglican church.
A Fascinating History
This church was built back in 1852 as a dedication to John the Baptist. Although it was built with the intention of being strictly religious, it also doubles as a resting place for Lord Ergin. During the British Raj, he was a viceroy and governor general in the region.
Europe's influence is starkly apparent as you walk about this property. Soldiers used to roam the woods outside of the structure, which is where you'll find memorial stones that commemorate where they stood. Take some time to read up on this church's history before heading onward. The background helps you understand its importance.
Enjoying the Journey
The church is several miles away from the main city. The best way to visit this landmark is by taxi or rickshaw. With only a short ride, you can see many natural wonders along the way while reserving your energy.
For the more adventurous travelers, turn the trip into a hike through the trees. Bring along some snacks and water so that you can take your time along the route. India's flora and fauna are unique to this wooded region, which makes a hike a clever way to see the land in its natural state.
Exploring the Exterior Elements
The church has been through a lot over the years, including a strong earthquake. As a result, the exterior has an aged character all its own. The windows, however, stand out to most visitors. They're made of stained glass from Belgium. The windows reflect the dense forest that surrounds the church. Many travelers consider the trees and structure as complementary to each other; the sacred location expands outward to include nature's beauty.
The juxtaposition between the aging exterior and well-maintained interior is quite obvious as you step inside the St. John in the Wilderness Church. The property's keepers are meticulous with their upkeep and maintenance as you discover the sacred interior. Polished wood greets you at every turn with gorgeous lamps made of brass as light fixtures along the walls and pathways illuminate the way. They used to be powered by oil, but electricity runs through them now. This conversion, however, doesn't take away from their original beauty.
The church is open every day with no entry fee. Come early or venture out in the late evening to escape some of the tourist crowds that can appear in the busier months.
There are several other churches across the globe that have a similar name to the St. John in the Wilderness Church. When you're planning out your trip, be sure to verify the itinerary as being based out of Dharamshala. With everything set up beforehand, your trip will be memorable and euphoric as you enjoy India's welcoming spirit.