The beautiful and much talked about Christ Church, Shimla. I had always found a certain sense of excitement and discovery whenever I went to a church. The Christ Church was no different. The walls, windows, pillars and tombs all spoke of the neo–Gothic age. A prominent landmark of Shimla, the Christ Church stands on the Ridge. I’d taken a car to reach the Ridge first thing in the morning. The silhouette of the Christ Church, an enduring legacy of the British Raj, was visible from my hotel room. I’d changed my camera lens for that day so I could take photos of the church from vicinity. But before that I couldn’t resist myself from indulging in some street food.
Exploring for the first time, I realised that these locals were serving the tourists some of the best made street delicacies. The tea was a must for me. So in line was the Verma Tea Stall, best known for its butter bun and tea. There I ate like a giant, as the bun was available for Rs.14 and the tea at just Rs.6. I thanked the Dhabawala who claimed to have been running this business for decades together and for generations gone by. After I fed myself well, nothing stopped me from entering the Christ Church. My first impression of the church was of awe. An array of colours played across the inside of the church. With the morning sun’s criss-cross and the impeccable designs from the British Raj, the Christ Church was a photographer’s heaven. The Church is fitted with five fine stained glass windows. The Father of the Church, Rev. Mushtaq Achher Malk was kind enough to give me more information on this. He said that each one of those five glass windows represented the following – the Christian virtues of Faith, Hope, Charity, Fortitude, Patience and Humanity. So that information in turn provided my snaps to have a different meaning.
Another amazing feature about the church was the clock. Even though the church itself was very well maintained till date, the clock no longer functions. The Christ Church, Shimla has lived through the Partition and the political upheavals that followed and played the role of a magnificent host for me.