St John in the Wilderness Church

St John in the Wilderness Church, nestled among beautiful green deodar trees, is one of the most peaceful and well-known places to visit in Dharamshala. This Anglican church, dedicated to John the Baptist, was completed in 1852. It’s about 8 kilometers from Dharamshala and on the way to McLeod Ganj and is one of the popular tourist attractions in Dharamshala.

The church gets its name from Bishop Daniel Wilson, who laid the foundation stone for the church as he had to stay in the wilderness in the forest during his visit. It’s also known that the naturalist and hunter Jim Corbett was a firm follower of this church. 

Despite being one of the oldest structures in the region, its distinctive architecture and peaceful atmosphere make it one of Himachal Pradesh’s most notable churches. Due to its remarkable neo-gothic architecture, the church is a well-known site among architecture enthusiasts. This religious place is made more appealing by Belgian stained-glass windows.



The architecture of the church 

St. John in the Wilderness Church in Nainital is known for its distinctive Neo-Gothic design, tall deodar and pine trees, sublime ambiance, stained glass windows, and the eerie but uplifting air of the cemetery.

As one of the oldest structures, architects frequently visit this cathedral to study its Neo-Gothic architecture. On the church’s back side lies a cemetery for those who perished in the 1880 landslide. A brass memorial bearing their names is constructed within the church’s grounds.

It is said that the divine aura of the church allows one to connect with oneself and seek solutions to life’s questions. Confession sessions at St. John in the Wilderness church are not to be missed. They help you bond from the inside out and relieve you of unwanted stress and load.

This church’s tranquilly attracts many followers who seek peace and serenity in life. The exquisite architecture of St. John in the Wilderness Church is laudable and reflects the church’s history. 

Things to do

  1. The church’s prayer service is renowned for adding a new depth to life and altering one’s view on things.
  2. You can take a tour of the cemetery, which is a memorial to the victims lost in the 1880 landslide.
  3. Take photographs of the church’s stunning architecture, which reflects its ancient heritage.
  4. Speak with Fathers and Brothers in this church who are eager to describe the culture of this location.

Entry Fee and Timings 

There is no cost to enter the church. You may visit seven days per week. Sunday hours are 9:00 am to 6:30 pm. Monday through Saturday hours are 7:00 am to 6:30 pm.

How to reach

Located approximately 1.5 kilometers from Mcleod Ganj, the St. John church is extremely accessible. The church is located on Mallital Road, Dharamshala to Mcleod Ganj, and is easily accessible on foot from Mcleod Ganj. If you are at Mcleod Ganj, you can take a walk through the beautiful scenery and reach your destination in roughly 20 minutes. There is no need to schedule a taxi.

If you’re an architecture enthusiast, St John in the wilderness church is a must-visit, due to its neo-gothic style and the stories it holds within. Plan your next visit while staying at our luxury resort in Dharamshala, where you can also experience various other activities.