One of the earliest buildings erected in Naini Tal was the church of “St. John-in-the-wilderness” in 1846.
The site was chosen as early as 1844 and approved by the Bishop of Calcutta, Daniel Wilson. The name appears to have
originated from him; and as Naini Tal had been dis-
covered only in 1841, the reason for its choice is obvious.
Even today there is a vast area around the church and it is very peaceful.
The plans were prepared by Captain Young, Executive
Engineer, and the corner stone was laid in October 1846.
The cost of the original structure was about Rs. 15,000,
and was met by private subscription and pew rents. It
was first opened on April 2, 1848, though it was still incomplete. In 1856, it was taken over by Government as a
public building. Since then the church has been con-
The church opens only on Sundays at 4 pm for service. I could not visit the church from inside though I have made several trips to it. This time it was closed because of the pandemic.
However, from accounts that I have read:
There are several memorials inside the church : aOf these the most important tablet is that which commemorates those who were killed in die land slide of 1880.
I was told that a special service is held on that day.
The second important tablet is dedicated to the members of the Indian Civil Service, who were killed in the First World War (1914-1918)