Found at the Ridge, this church was built sometime between 1846 and 1857and is the oldest church in all of North India. The church was designed by Colonel J.T Boileau and had a clock tower recently added in 1860. A new porch followed in 1873. This church stands to remind one of the developments brought about during the British Raj and is symbolic of the marvelous architectural feats of the era. The place is done up in a neo-Gothic style and one is sure to pay a visit here to spend some moments in prayer.
Church of St. John
Built in the year 1852, the name of the church sounds as if this place long abandoned and not in use but the case is exactly opposite. The church was built in the Gothic style of architecture and the overgrowth of creepers make it look even more charming. The inside of the church is very clean and in regular use. The church was dedicated to st. John the Baptist and there is also a cemetery just beside the church.
St. John's Church
Built in 1863, St Johns Church is much like the Roman Catholic Church in England. This monument was constructed during the British rule by Protestant missionaries and is of much religious and historical importance to the hill town of Dalhousie. The architecture is that of a typical British structure as it is made of brick and wood. The church is located in Gandhi Chowk and is a mere 2 kilometres away from the Dalhousie bus stand. Many tourists come to visit this holy shrine all round the year. Next to the church is a library that houses a great number of books and records for visitors to read and go through.
For those who are interested in Buddhism and its teachings, a visit to the Dhankar Monastery is a must. Situated on top of a hill above the village of Dhankar, this monastery has many caves for one to meditate in, a museum that houses Buddhist artifacts and a library as well. The Dhankar village lies on the confluence of the Rivers Spiti and Pin and has been labeled as an endangered sight out of 100 such places by the World Monument Funds.
Leaving this place behind wasn't easy but the excitement of reaching the highest motorable village in the world subdued the grief.We first went to Kaza to get fuel but had to wait for 5 hrs as the fuel tanker was yet to arrive. We utilized our time by going to Rangrik and dipping ourselves in Spiti River. It wasn't in my itinerary but idea of bathing in fresh, cold water lured me. After drenching ourselves with reinvigorating chill of this river, we took the way heading to Komik.
We woke up to the Sunshine of the sun after 3 days of overshadow, this was the day we had to visit the highlight of our trip, which was the Key Monastery, we all had hot Ginger Lemon tea, we also had the audacity of hot water in Kibber, still even thinking about the bath was not a mundane task for us all but Ashish, he was the guy who can take bath even in Winterfell. So there we were ready and all set to go hardly Fifteen minutes from the place and Voila we were at the Entrance of Key, So now it was Late in the morning when we got off from Kibber and still late in the morning when we set foot in Monastery, we were not tired so all we have to do was take the equipment of Photography and walk on the roads less traveled, but before that we had to get some Breakfast as we were starving, so just a small restaurant you can find outside the Monastery which can serve dumplings,potato fries and our very own favorite Maggi and of course people were super friendly.
Tashi Jong Khampagar Monastery
Tashi Jong, a serene and divine place, can be reached from Palampur. Tashi Jong Buddhist Monastery is situated about 15kms from Palampur. The monastery is located in Tashi Jong village, which is a small rural area. Home to the Drugpa Kagyu tradition of Buddhism, this monastery is one of the schools of Kagyu tradition. A beautiful & vibrant colored monastery, with a meditation hall, one just wants to sit there and enjoy the peace. One can find some Chinese food stuff there. The monastery complex houses the main temple, the stupa of Khamtrul Rinpoche, and the Yamantak Retreat Center which is restricted to the general public. Several manifestation of Buddha has also been placed in the monastery including the Buddha Shakyamuni. Tashi Jong is an excellent craft emporium, where Tibetan artifacts are available.
Spread across the vast valley in Lahaul and Spiti, the Nako Monastery is nestled in the tiny Nako village. One of the most scenic Buddhist monasteries in India, you must experience a stay inside the premises at least once in your lifetime. The monastery receives a considerate amount of footfall during the summer months but during winters the monastery remains fairly remote. Nako Lake freezes in the winters and converts to a haven for migratory birds in the summers. Nako hides treasures of ancient Buddhist practises with thangkas and clay made statues and figures of deities. If you are unable to find a room to stay in the monastery you can easily opt for a home stay in the village, the locals are always happy to help.Where: Spiti, Himachal
We hardly would have crossed 20 kms and we reached Kungri Monastery. Its exterior wasn't well built and that teaches us we shouldn't judge a book by its cover. The moment we entered in that monastery, I was transfixed. It was an amazing combination of tradition and modernization. Near the entrance, there was a gong and as you enter, you see large cupboards on walls filled with idol. Each cupboard covering 1/3rd of the wall and was filled with same kind of idols. It all appeared so symmetric; a satisfactory delight to eyes.We sat on one of the mattresses laid out, to observe the silence. Slowly monks started entering the Gompa, one by one sitting on the mattresses laid out in centre. When about 20 of them were assembled, they started praying. That prayer had power! All the monks were reciting prayers in perfect synchronization. It had a buzz that will touch your heart. It was so soulful. Quintessential!We, after 1 hr of seraphic devotion, got on our way, realizing that we are too small in this big world. And much smaller in front of nature.
After Langza, Komic is the highjest village of Asia and known mainly for the Tangyud Monastery. This is a quiet little farming village and is filled with simple people happy with their life and surroundings. The snow leopard is the main animal here and you will also be able to see a body of one hanging inside the Komic Monastery. The view of many peaks and roads from top of this road is lovely and a drive along this road is immensely adventurous.
What seems like a dull place from the exteriors is indeed a very beautiful place and one should pay a visit to Tabo. Located 40 kilometres from the Indo-Tibet border, this place is home to around 9 temples, shrines and holy caves and is extremely scared and popular among the Buddhist community. This place is said to be founded by the King Yeshe Od who belonged to the Purang Guge dynasty and is said to have hailed from West Tibet. Tabo was set up straight at the crossroads of two trade routes that were used during the ancient times. The place is deceptive and is a beauty to behold for those who take their chances and travel here.
The most iconic of all is the Choukling Monastery. The monastery is a massive compound that serves as a complex for stupas, temples, monks' quarters and a three-year retreat centre. Choukling was established in the 1960s following the exile of Tibetans escaping the Chinese invasion. It is situated in the Bir Tibetan Colony and is easily reached on foot.
Hidimba Devi Temple
Located in the Old Manali region of Manali, this is the first temple dedicated to Hidimbi Devi. She is worshipped here in the form of Devi Shakti and this is a very popular temple of Himachal. The temple was built by Maharaja Bahadur Singh in the 16th Century to give respect to the wife of Bhima, the Pandava. It is said that Hidimbi, the brother of Hidimba agreed to marry anyone who could overpower her brother. Hidimba was known to be the strongest of all. Another legend says that once there was a fight between the Pandavas and Hidimba, in which Bhima, the strongest Pandava defeated and killed Hidimba who was from the demon clan. After this Hidimbi married Bhima and they had a son named Ghatotkach. When the Pandavas were returning from their exile, Hidimbi decided to stay back and start her meditation to gain ultimate power and get the position of a Goddess. The cave in which we find the temple today is said to be the same in which she had meditated. After her meditation she became an incarnation of Goddess Shakti. The specialty of this temple is its pagoda styled 4-tiered roof and its beautiful wood carvings. The main festivals celebrated here are the Dusshera and Navaratri. There is another fair which is organized here during the month of May.
Bijli Mahadev Temple
This is an interesting temple in the Kullu Valley and is surrounded by places such as the Buntur Valley. The reason behind the mysterious name is the fact that the shivalinga inside the temple breaks down with the effect of Lightening or bijli and is then again joined with a local adhesive on a special day. The charred pieces lying inside the temple are due to the fire that catches due to intensive lightening. Apart from the temple, the deodar forests and the rolling greenery are also mesmerizing views.
Birni Devi Temple
Birni Devi Temple is a popular shrine in Palampur. There is a trek to the Birni Mata temple from Bundla which winds through thick oak and rhododendron forests. The car journey ends at jakhani mata temple and trek to birni mata starts. This is one of the easiest treks which you can do easily. The locals have homes on the way and they can guide your way across the forest to reach the birni top. Perched on a hill, the temple overlooks the majestic Kangra Valley and offers a panoramic view of Dhauladhar range. The entire Palampur can be seen from here and with the help of a binocular, Baijnath town is also visible from here.
Naina Devi Temple
The temple is found on high of the Naina hill at the northern shore of Naini lake in Nainital, UttraKhand. Nainital is one in every of the sixty four Shaktipeeths conjointly called spiritual sites of Hinduism.There is a lake 167 yards wide and ninety three feet deep behind the temple. An ancient temple is believed to own been in-built the fifteenth century A.D. that was reconstructed in 1883. Within the ancient days of history once Sati, the love of Lord Shiva, unable in contact the insult once her father King Daksha refused to ask Sati and Lord Shiva for a yajna, burnt herself to death. Ruined and grieving, once Lord Shiva was returning to their abode together with her body in His arms, her body elements fell on varied places on earth. The temple of Naina Hindu deity is made on the spot wherever the eyes (naina) of the immortal are assumed to own fallen, and for that incident people around this place named that temple Naina devi temple.
Dalai Lama Temple Complex
In this place you will witness the struggle of the Tibetians to live up with their culture. This is where the Dalai Lama resided with his followers and is an important spiritual place. Apart from the great scenic views you get from here, you will also be able to participate in one of the nice chanting sessions. Also, there is a museum and library insode this monastery and a lovely book store from where you can collect some precious books of the Buddhsits.
Hidimba Devi Temple
It was my last day in Manali and I was ready for my next destination.We both enjoyed a glass of fresh apple juice some of the last chatters in Manali and headed towards the Mall Road where I was supposed to get on the HRCTC bus towards the breathtaking Parvati Valley.PARVATI VALLEY.....yes I was lost in my own reverie.Coming up soon with the later half of my journey in Parvati Valley !!The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.-Saint Augustine, Algeria.Connect with me on facebook.@ https://www.facebook.com/adi.damale.1