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St John's Church Dalhousie

Amidst the azure firmament and the horizon kissing hill range of the Trans Himalayas, St. John’s Church in Dalhousie will welcome you with a divinity unparalleled. The 150 year old shrine is the oldest structure in Dalhousie city and it attracts millions of tourists every year. Dalhousie is a popular hill station and there is rarely any traveller or tourist who dislikes this place. It is one of the most searched tourist destinations of Himachal Pradesh and it doesn’t fail to give its visitors a slice of Himachal they will cherish forever. The town of Dalhousie was founded in 1854 by the British Empire. It was built around five hills Potreyn, Kathalagh, Bakrota, Bhangora and Terah.

Location of The St. John’s Church

St. John’s Church is situated exactly within 2 kilometres from the main bus stop of Dalhousie in Gandhi Chowk. You can reach there by your car or rented cab, or even by foot. If you are paying it a quick visit then you can drive up to the magnificent structure, but if you are willing to take a nice relaxing walk down the hilly road then it is the most pleasant experience guaranteed.

About the St. John’s Church

The St. John’s Church in Dalhousie is a century and a half years old. It has seen autumn, fall and spring of a hundred and fifty years. This Protestant church holds the essence of the Victorian era in every brick of its walls and they engulf you in the idealism of a significant time of India’s historical past. The St. John’s Church is a replica of England’s Roman Catholic Church. There is a library inside the church that shelves rare compilation of books and photographs that speak volumes about the history and life of Dalhousie. They take you back in time and place you in another world that your ancestors had breathed. The structure is small, much smaller than other churches but the historical connotation it holds is worth raising an eyebrow. As soon as you see the church for the first time there is a kind of solace it would surround you with. Even if you aren’t religious enough to light a candle at the altar, the quietness of the church will impress you.


Preceding 1863, there was a wooden structure where the church is standing today. Local people used to come and pay homage quietly. When Rev. John H. Pratt came to Dalhousie in April 1863, he conceived the idea of building a stone structure in that place. The Christian community nodded in appreciation and idolised Rev. John Pratt for this decision. The church was named after his first name and thus people began to call it by St. John’s Church.

This church is the first public structure constructed in the town and its age is almost equal to the age of Dalhousie because it was built almost as soon as the town was founded. The most ironical fact about this church is that it is a replica of the Roman Catholic Church of England but it is a Protestant church. Service is conducted every Sunday and on every first Friday of the month, the First Friday Mass is conducted.

Climate and Topography

Dalhousie is located between 6000 to 9000 feet above sea level. Humidity is low but close proximity to the sun’s ultraviolet rays due to high altitude is sometimes exhausting for trekkers. It is through Dalhousie that you can enter the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. People who want to experience the adventures of trekking can hire local guides and explore the altitude and the flora.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to pay a visit to Dalhousie is between May to September. Rain can sometimes be a problem but Dalhousie is always a fantastic retreat. Situated on the western edge of the Dhauladhar Range, this hill station is wrapped by snow capped peaks and thus the town is never humid. If you spend a day at Dalhousie and then plan to drive to nearby hill stations, that is also a good idea.

Budget Hotels in Dalhousie

Dalhousie over one and half centuries has developed and has earned recognition as one of the county’s most celebrated tourist attractions. It has both high rated hotels as well as budget hotels. If you plan to spend a night in Dalhousie, this is the ideal place to find a hotel. It is at a walking distance from the bus stop and safe also.

There are three star resorts like Hotel Dalhousie Heights and Grand View Hotel which are a very popular hotel where all facilities are available for your comfort. It is in the lap of the hills and you can actually see the moon from your window pane at night. The hotels have their own cars to provide pick and drop facility for you to catch your bus from the depot. You will get a tour guide from the hotel and plan your day trip for sight-seeing. Resorts, hotels, guest houses are aplenty in Dalhousie. There are many NRIs who have given out their bungalows on rent and caretakers run those in peak tourist seasons.

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