- New Delhi
The church of St. John in the wilderness is an old Anglican church situated in the beautiful valley of McLeodganj, which is at a distance of about 8 kilometres from Dharamshala. The church was built in the year 1852. It was dedicated to John the Baptist and also one of the viceroys of India, Lord Elgin was buried here in 1863. With its neo-gothic architecture, the church, known for its stunning design is set amidst deodar forests and is full of memorial stones of the British soldiers who were posted here.Nestled in the beautiful picturesque location, St. John Wilderness Church with its quiet and serene surroundings will definitely give you a sense of peace and calm. On the outside, it may look like an old and abandoned structure but the insides are still very well maintained and quite active. The church is known to attract a lot of tourists and visitors on almost all days and especially on Sundays. On the outside, the Belgian stained glass windows are the main attractions of the church while on the inside, the polished wood of the altar railing and old brass oil lamps which are now converted into electric light holders, make it very appealing.Along the walking path in the church, the holy cross symbols are artistically made with colourful stones. The church is usually under close watch by security guards to make sure no damage is caused by tourists and visitors.
Located in Dharamshala, the spiritual dwelling of a huge number of Tibetan monks have come and carved out the heavenly Namgyal Monastery in Himachal. This place was originally a monastery from the palace of Lhasa, which found its new incarnation in Dharamshala. The monastery is known to perform all important Tibetan ceremonies and host Tibetan monks from around the world.It accommodates around 200 monks who are involved in preserving the rare skills, rituals, tantric practices, Buddhist scriptures and culture which they brought from Tibet. The new version of this monastery is also known as Namgyal Tantric College. Known as “the Dalai Lama Temple”, the monastery now acts as a personal monastery for the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. This beautiful monastery built in a calm scenic hilltop in McLeod Ganj has grown in reputation as a tourist hotspot of Dharamshala. Apart from serving as a private place of worship for the Dalai Lama, the serene ambience of the place and the rich history produce a mesmerizing effect on the visitors from around the world. Namgyal had already earned its fame in Lhasa and since its restoration in India, the monastery has spread its wings across the Atlantic. In 1992 the Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies was built in New York, Ithaca, which is directly under the influence of the Namgyal Monastery of Dharamshala.
Chamunda Devi Temple, or the 'Chamunda Nandikeshwar Dham,' is one of the most prestigious and renowned holy shrines of the Hindus. It was built during the reigns of Maharaja Umed Singh and is dedicated to Goddess Kali. Chamunda Devi Temple is also known as the abode of Lord Shiva and Mata Shakti and presents the impressive architecture of the old era.The temple is located on the banks of Banganga (Baner) River in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh and is only 10 km from the well-known Palampur city. It is one of the most visited places in Chamba and is full of devotees throughout the year. But, Navratri season is the most bustling time as thousands of devotees come to get the blessings of Chamunda Devi. This 16th-century temple is the unique masterpiece of ancient times and is full of floral and animal carvings on silver sheets. It was built using only wood and gabled roofs. It has a cave-like scoop with structures (Lingam) representing Nandikeshwar (Shiva) and a running water pool with the statues of Lord Shiva and Saraswati at the backside of the temple. Not only this, but the temple complex also houses a handicraft center, which allows visitors to explore the vibrant culture and art scene of the Kangra district through the local artifacts. Visitors can take back souvenirs from a range of items, including wood carvings, wooden toys, handkerchiefs, honey, black pottery, chappals, Kangra tea, and world-famous Kangra paintings, etc. This is the place where radiance glorifies, making everything tranquil and shower fervor.