Anglican Christ Church at Pachmarhi, MP - still retains the British legacy and the old world charm

Anglican Church at Pachmarhi

Anglican Church at Pachmarhi

Above image: Christ church, Pachmarhi, MP, Often referred to as protestant church.  It is believed to have been  built in the memory of Frankwood Morus, a general in the East Bengal Infantry. The  architect was Henry Irwin who had his initiation here in the area of colonial architecture, quite suitable to this part of the world.

The cross-shaped structure is made entirely of unpolished sandstone with   beautiful arched windows and a pyramid- shaped tower on the northeastern side. Equally impressive is the cross atop the pointed spire.  It is a functional church and the mass is held on Sundays  .......

Pachmarhi, a picturesque famous  hill station in Narmadapuram district of Madhya Pradesh state of central India is a famous tourist destination and in the early 1900s it served as the  summer capital for the Central Provinces, people taking refuge in the cool and serene hills from the scorching summer season from the plains. From 1947  till  1967 it continued to be the summer capital of the central region. .Situated at a height of 1067 m in a valley of the Satpura Range (highest point is Dhupgarh), it is a part of Satpura Biosphere Reserve. Also included are  Satpura Tiger Reserve, Satpura National Park, 

 In view of its biodiversity  and the thick wooded areas around with  many rare varieties of plants  UNESCO in May 2009 included   Pachmarhi park to its list of Biosphere Reserves. prior to the advent of the British this region was under the Gond kingdom ruled by Gond Bhagvat Singh. During the first war of independence in 1857 against the British atrocities against the natives, the British were keen to control Jhansi. Leading the army to capture  Tatya Tope  it was  Captain James Forsyth   recognized the plateau in the Pachmarhi region. Once the rebellion was over, this place was developed into a hill station and sanatorium for the British soldiers  as the hill resort offered mild and congenial climate. Since then Pachmarhi Cantonment has been popular.   Today it has become a famous Idyllic summer retreat  for the people who want to be away from the din in the plains.  

The Christ Church, made of red sandstone and  located 1 km from the Pachmarhi bus station, was built by the British in the year 1875 to serve the Europeans - mostly soldiers  living there. What is unique about this church in a remote part of the central provinces is it architecture does not stick to one particular European style. It is a careful blend of  Irish, French and British architectural features. 

Christ church gothic window, Pachmarhi

arched entrance, gothic window Christ church, pachmarhi

stained glasses, Christ church, pachmari

The imported  Belgium stained  glasses (there are 12 panes  adorning the walls and altar  presenting  exquisite depictions of Christ's last journey), the  hemispherical  dome in the central part of the church and the nave  with no support in the form of pillars, the tall tower with equally tall pointed spire. gothic styled windows and arches are some of the essential features that show dominance of British  design style. It is partially similar to St. Thomas's church (built in 1706), Bradwell on Sea. Essex, England - one of the oldest chapels in England which has a brick-walled tower. Particularly, the high ceiling with slanting tiled roof and the tower without a spire bear close resemblance. Christ church has a small tiled entry porch. 

Christ church made of sandstone  Pachmarhi

Christ church, pachmarhi

   Arcaded  interior,  Christ church, pachmarhi

Above image: Interior. St. Mary's church. Pachmarhi. Above the altar  is the hemispherical dome  with its ribs ending with faces of angels. Its baptismal font is a rare brass piece and the bell in the belfry is as old as the church.   No doubt this old  church  on the hill   maintains the old world charm  despite its age and still stands as a legacy of the British rule including the reign of the English company.  The church opens only  on Sunday morning for prayer and mass visit.