MUSSOORIE, Dec 23
Far from the red pullovers and dresses on mannequins and the Christmas decorations at the shops, are the churches of Mussoorie, some known, some tucked away in quaint corners, all soaking in the atmosphere of Christmas.
If you are an explorer, we suggest a trip to these to witness their glorious architecture and picture perfect settings!
Christ Church: 1836
One of the first Churches to be established in the hill town, earlier known as Lord’s Church, this one is a delight to the eyes and soul. Eight exquisite pre-Raphaelite and Victorian stained glass windows, a rare historic William Hill organ, which was bought to the church in the 1880, a tree planted by HRH the princess of Wales in March 1906 after attending the morning service at the Church and a bible dating from 1889 kept on an exquisite stand ( dismountable in six parts) are just some of the things one could look out for!
St Paul’s Church: 1840
Built on a pedestal, this one in Landour with its location and architecture is a favourite with tourists and locals alike. This is where Jim Corbett’s parents married, this is also where Tom Alter and his wife married and also where the Late Alter’s memorial service was held. St Paul’s Church was originally a garrison church that primarily served the Indo British military.
In fact, till May 2003, the church had six pews which had slots for supporting rifles which would have been carried into the church by soldiers. This was a precaution taken after the mutiny of 1857 when some unarmed British Soldiers were attacked in Meerut.
St Peter’s Church /Church of Jesus and Mary: 1845
This one is definitely for the ones who don’t mind an extra walk. Tucked away further up from Language School in Landour, this is where Msgr Borghi signed the approbation of the Constitutions and rules of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary in 1845. He had wanted the sisters to open a convent school here. The school (Waverly Convent) was set up on another hill and the church, here!
Union Church: 1874
A church established especially for the protestant Christians, this one is often visited by students and also houses a school today. Most Christian boarding school students have memories of visiting this one!
Central Methodist Church: 1885
The massive earthquake of 1905 which destroyed many buildings in Mussoorie had also left this church with some cracks. Now of course you can witness it in it’s glory.
This one on the Mall Road was built by Late Rev. Dennis Osborne (first Pastor) for the native Christian population of Mussoorie.
Kellogg Memorial Church: 1903
The church was named after Rev, Dr. Samuel H. Kellogg (1839-1899), an American Presbyterian missionary active in Landour who is also reputed for having written the best 19th century grammar of Hindi, in English. The Kellogg Memorial Church was built as a Presbyterian church in 1903 and was also the home of the Landour Language School where British people were taught Hindi at that time. Over 100 years on and the school is still run from here.