Somewhere along the Circular Mall Road, the St. Andrew’s Church stands tall, a victim of an earthquake and rebuilt in 1873. Named after the patron saint of Scotland, the St. Andrew’s Church stood for 30 years, since its foundation in 1843. This Anglo-Indian Church also has several Scottish soldiers and tea planters that lived in the Darjeeling Hill area.
What I saw in the church is till picturesque in my minds eye. There are inlaid marble tablets and brass plaques, memorializing quite a few of the oldest residents of Darjeeling. Lt. General Lloyd, known as the “Discoverer” of Darjeeling city is one of the prominent figures among those listed.
The brass plaque of Charlotte Countess Canning is placed here in memory of the wife of the Governor General at the time for the Mutiny of the First War of Independence. She was also the former Lady-In-Waiting of Queen Victoria, and in fact also an amateur artist.
The Ruined Walls And Its Pleasing Ambience
The run down appearance of the Church from the outside will definitely confuse you, as you step into the perfect ambience of the Church, seating atleast about 150 people. Most attenders of the church are Nepalese, although most seats will be found empty in general.
You will find regular services are held from 9 am between the months of March and November and start at 9:30 AM between December and February. The church welcomes all visitors. The first and third Sunday of every month are the days of the Holy Communion and the church also holds Christmas Carol Service, one very popular and attended by many.
Over 15 years, Pastor Ravi Raj an Indian Nepalese has been holding all the services in the Church and running it to the brimming faith of all its believers. If you would like to visit the St. Andrew’s Church in Darjeeling, simply take the Left Mall Road off the Chowrasta Mall and you will stumble upon the St. Andrew’s Church bang opposite the Gorkha Ranga Manch that goes up towards the Darjeeling tourist Lodge.
Darjeeling yet again proves its uniqueness among the numerous denominations that our country boasts and thrives in its secularity. Care to join me in prayer?