I love these rather ghostly and surreal images of the Christ Church, Shimla.
I remember back in the day, when these pictures were taken on a foggy evening, I did not have a proper camera, no tripod, no proper lighting and no real knowledge of how to take a good night shot. But I went ahead, nevertheless, in the best way I could, using my daughter Asveen’s shoulder as the tripod and asking her to stand as still as she possibly could.
She was quite irritated by the end of it all, even thought I took all of five minutes in taking the shots. Thanks to digital camera technology, I was able to see the results instantly but never realised the ‘intensity’ of the pictures until I saw them on the computer!
Shimla, once the Summer Capital of the British Empire, is now the state capital of Himachal, in Northern India, and a favourite hill station for hundreds of thousands of tourists who come there in the summer and winter to enjoy the cool weather and the snowfall, respectively!
The church has featured in countless Bollywood and some Hollywood movies and is one of the most well-known tourist landmarks in the entire country.
It is the second oldest church in North India after the St. John’s Church in Meerut. It is a parish in the Diocese of Amritsar in the Church of North India.
Built in the neo-Gothic style in 1857 to serve the largely Anglican British community in what was formerly called Simla, Christ Church is one of the prominent landmarks of Shimla. The silhouette of Christ Church is visible for miles around Shimla city. Christ Church remains one of the enduring legacies of the British Raj.
It was designed by Colonel J. T. Boileau in 1844, and consecrated after 1857 while the clock was donated by Colonel Dumbleton in 1860. The porch was added in 1873.
Christ Church has survived Partition of India and the later political upheavals on the Indian subcontinent and continues to be very well maintained and remains in good condition. The clock, however, no longer functions.
It is designed in the typical Elizabethan style and consists of a great collection of books and ancient scriptures. The church looks absolutely magical at night when lights placed at strategic corners illuminate this beautiful building, which glows with all its beauty and grandeur and is an amazing sight to look at.
The church has fine stained glass windows representing the Christian virtues of Faith, Hope, Charity, Fortitude, Patience and Humility. The Pipe-Organ of Christ Church is the biggest in the Indian subcontinent and was erected in September 1899.