St John In The Wilderness.

It might be unexpected to find an English Church among the Tibetan Buddhist Glory of Dharmashala but there is an old church here built during the time of when Lord (James Bruce, the 8th Earl of) Elgin ruled India. The place was built in the mid 1800s and is at a height of 5742 feet above mean sea level. This church is at McLeod Ganj, a 20 minute walk downhill from the bus station there. It is best to walk there than attempt motorised transport.

Anton_Raphael_Mengs_-_St._John_the_Baptist_Preaching_in_the_Wilderness_-_Google_Art_Project

St John

It is an Anglican Church to St. John the Baptist; a religious figure in several Abrahamic faiths for his “baptism” and a precursor to Jesus.  It also houses a cemetery and houses the remains of Lord Elgin who died there. I felt definitely an element of haunting spiritual melancholy here with the graveyard so close by. The church is made out of stone and has stained glasses that were apparently gifted here by Lady Elgin. They are uniquely beautiful in their glass tapestry!! Somehow I knew I had to offer a prayer and did so.

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