St Mary Church, Kotgarh: A historical Jewel in the heart of Shimla

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In the tranquil district of Shimla, nestled in the picturesque hills of Himachal Pradesh, lies a hidden treasure of historical significance – St Mary Church in Kotgarh. This quaint and charming church holds within its walls a rich heritage that dates back to colonial times. Let us take a closer look at the background, history, architecture, location and nearby attractions surrounding this remarkable place of worship.

Background and History

St Mary Church, also known as the Church of England, was built in 1872 by the British during their colonial rule in India. It is a testament to the influence of British architecture and Christianity in the region. The church was built to serve the spiritual needs of the European community residing in Kotgarh and surrounding areas who were in different professions, like soldiers, government officials and tea growers etc. Over the years, St Mary Church has become an integral part of the local community and continues to be a place of worship and comfort for people from diverse backgrounds.


Architecture and Design

The architecture of St Mary Church is a harmonious blend of Gothic and Victorian styles, reflecting the architectural trends of the colonial era. The impressive stone building, adorned with ornate stained glass windows, exudes elegance and grandeur. The towers and arches rise against the backdrop of the green hills, offering the visitor a fascinating sight.

Inside the church, a quiet and peaceful atmosphere awaits the visitor. The beautifully crafted wooden pews and pulpit add a touch of warmth to the overall ambiance. The carefully designed stained glass windows depict scenes from biblical stories and give the space a sense of spirituality and reverence.

Location and Surrounding Area

St Mary Church is strategically located in Kotgarh, a small town in Shimla district. The distance of Kotgarh town from Shimla city is about 75 km.  The church is set amidst the lush greenery of the Himalayan foothills, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and snow-capped peaks. The peaceful and idyllic setting provides the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Interesting Places Near St Mary Church Kotgarh

Visitors to St Mary Church can explore the captivating attractions in and around Kotgarh. The region is known for its apple orchards, and a visit to the Kotgarh Fruit Research Station is a must for those interested in horticulture and agriculture. Nearby Hatu Peak in Narkanda town offers panoramic views of the Himalayan range and is a popular destination for nature lovers and trekkers. The tranquil village of Thanedar, known for its apple growing and historic Nag Devta temple, is also worth a visit. The beautiful lake Tani Jubbar is located at a short distance of 7 km from Kotgarh and is a must visit attraction if you are in Kotgarh.  

Suggested Reading :

Christ Church Shimla

St Michael Cathedral Shimla

True Devotion to Mary – A Book



St Mary Church in Kotgarh is not only a place of worship, but also a living testimony to the historical and cultural heritage of Shimla. Its magnificent architecture, serene ambience and picturesque surroundings make it a must visit for history buffs, architecture lovers and those who seek solace in nature. A trip to this hidden gem offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the past, enjoy the spiritual aura and experience the beauty of Shimla district. St Mary Church welcomes visitors with open arms, inviting them to experience its splendor and discover a tranquil sanctuary in the heart of Himachal Pradesh.


Most frequent questions and answers

St Mary Church in Kotgarh, Himachal Pradesh was built in the late 19th century by the British during the colonial era.

The church has a mixture of Gothic and Victorian architectural styles. This is the style that one can see in most of the churches in Himachal Pradesh.

St. Mary Church is located in a beautiful hill station of Kotgarh, in the district of Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India.

Yes, visitors can explore the Kotgarh Fruit Research Station and enjoy the scenic view from Hatu Peak. Thanedar village and Nag Devta Temple are also worth a visit. As you would be coming from Shimla there are many interesting places in Shimla and nearby places.

Yes, St Mary Church and all such places are open to all visitors, regardless of their religious beliefs. It is open to all who wish to appreciate its historical and architectural significance. However, it is possible that the church is sometimes closed.

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