Saint John’s Church, Mc Leodganj

Visitor Information

  • Famous for: Landmark, architectural, religious & colonial heritage.
  • Entrance Fees: No entry fees
  • Visiting Time: 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
  • Duration of Visit: 1 to 2 hours.

The church of the Saint John, the Baptist lies in the Himalayan cloaked mountainous state of Himachal Pradesh. Explicitly, it is located near the recently announced winter capital of the state, Dharamshala and is frequently visited by motorists or bikers as it comes on the way to McLeod Ganj. The church comes under the aegis of the Anglican Communion which is an international association of autonomous churches around the world.

St John Church
Photo by Koshy Koshy, CC BY 2.0

Traveller Tips

  • The beautiful Himachal landscape is spread out for you, don’t forget to take pictures and snapshots.
  • There is no restriction or prohibition to do some still photography.
  • Sports Shoes or any comfortable footwear is advised as you may need to discern the area by walking.
  • The heat during afternoon can become quite troublesome. We will suggest to take an umbrella with you or wear a pair of shades.
  • The Church is a religious place, please maintain the decorum and be silent once inside the premises.

Things to Do

  • Take a Stroll and breathe in that fresh cold air and have some hot cutting chai while you are immersed in the vistas of this beautiful hilly area.
  • Notice the glass panels from the one of the countries of Benelux Group or Belgica as in history it was called for which the house of god is renowned.
  • To have a taste of our colonial heritage, visit the grave memorial of James Bruce (1811-1863) who served as the Viceroy of India from 1862-1863.
  • The place is frequently visited by travellers and motorists.

Availability of Guides

You just need the usual directions from fellow motorists or GPS. There is no need for a guide.

Best Time to Visit

Being a hill station, Dharamshala is pretty comfortable during the summer season which starts from March and attains its peak in June. The weather is quite harsh during winter accompanied with heavy snowfall. Temperature hovers around the moderate range and is perfect for sightseeing purposes.

How to Reach

The Church is pretty much by the town and is just 6 kilometres away from the Depot Bazaar where the Main Bus Stand is located. The Railway Services are quite far away and the nearest railway station is in Nagrota which is 32 kilometres away. If you want to reach via air then the nearest airport at Kangra is only 21 kilometres away. To get to Dharamshala from there, you’ll have to book a taxi or board a bus, train.

Interesting Facts

  • McLeod Ganj is also known by the names of Little Lahasa and Dhasa.
  • The real name of Lord Elgin was James Bruce who was the 8th Earl of Elgin.
  • The architecture is of Neo-Gothic style and granite stones were uses as building material.
St John Church McLeodganj
Photo by Ashish3724, CC BY-SA 3.0

Nearby Attractions

  • Tibetan Museum
  • Kalachakra Temple
  • Dalai Lama Temple Complex
  • Bhagsu Waterfall
  • Jawali Ji Temple
  • Tibet World
  • Gu Chu Sum Movement Gallery
  • Tsechokling Gompa
  • Triund Hill
  • Dal Lake

Nearby Restaurants

  • Woeser Bakery
  • Morgan’s Place
  • Tibet Kitchen
  • Cot n Bowl’d
  • Nick’s Italian Kitchen
  • Tibet Kitchen
  • Moonpeak Espresso
  • Crepe Pancake Hut
  • Lobsang Four Season’s Café
  • Illiterati

The Saint John’s Church is the perfect place to know past colonial heritage at a closer level. The church offers a glimpse of distant beautiful past of Dharamshala. Many historic events cross their paths in this quaint little church. The place is frequently visited by motorists and biker enthusiasts as it serves as a nice stopover for some rest. At the top of the bell tower, you can notice the Christian cross of Anglican Communion which is a bit different than the traditional Christian Cross. The church sits comfortably on the top of a green mound hills regularly grazed by sheep’s and other mountain herbivores. All in all, the quaint old church is a must visit.

About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

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