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Bizarre

This is not the other Roman Catholic Church that is listed elsewhere under Kalimpong, which is... read more

Reviewed May 18, 2017
Teri T
,
New Delhi, India
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Reviewed May 18, 2017

This is not the other Roman Catholic Church that is listed elsewhere under Kalimpong, which is quite traditional in its form.

It is the oddest Catholic Church I have ever seen. It took a lot of asking before I found anyone who knew the history behind it. There is a second, more traditional, chapel next to it, though even that one is quite unusual in its form. Neither look to be more than a few decades old. A Buddhist temple with a cross on top is definitely a most unusual sight. It could possibly be the only one in the world.

The fact that there are Buddhist symbols all over is surprising, especially since most Christian sects are into exclusivity. It turns out that it was actually built as a Catholic church, but they used the Buddhist forms, etc to appeal to the local population.

I wasn’t able to go inside as it was closed when I was there, but the outside was fascinating. There are numerous paintings on the outer wall of the building. Most were Buddhist . The frescoes on the front wall of the Church are unique in that they depict the infant Jesus and and Joseph and Mary in local costumes and their faces are depicted in local features, although their skin tones are lighter. The other frescoes are purely Buddhist. All are crudely done. The images of Mary and Jesus are in better condition than some of the others, though the style is the same as the Buddhist ones. The pigments seem to be the same and the style is very similar, though I believe there may have originally been more than one artist. The Bhutanese influence is quite noticeable.

The location is peaceful and a bit out of the way unless you are going down to Mangal Dham, which is well-known. There’s a sign by the entrance saying “Missionaries of Charity” and “Mother Teresa’s Home.” They are the ones who built the place.

Thank Teri T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.