Friday, October 27, 2006

Journey-3, Forsythganj

Between Upper Dharamshala and Mcleodganj is Forsythganj. The wonderful thing about Forsythganj is an old church, the Church of St John of the wilderness and a settlement of monks nearby. The area opposite the church is a bus stand. The church is known for its wonderful stained glass windows. When I reached, everything was bolted and there was no one around. It was very quiet, and the light was playing ever so often. Beautiful place to be. Mcleodganj had its heyday after the conquest of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh's Punjab by the British. True to form, McLeod founded Mcleodgunj and it had its moments too. After an earthquake in 1905, they decided it was too dangerous to be and shifted down to Dharamshala. The churchyard has some gravestones, most of them have been vandalized over the years.

The tomb of another high ranking British official who died in Dharamshala some time in 1858. Forgot his name. There was a beautiful flower next to the tomb, I sat there for sometime and imagined how it may have been. All of these people lived through history, some of them actually made it. All to die in faraway lands. I dont believe in god, the body after all is just that, a body but then I did think it might be nice to end up in the midst of known people.

There is a graveyard next to the church, most of the names can still be read and there are so many children buried here. India probably wasnt good for English babies, born in Jullundur and other places, dies in Dharamsala. Particularly poignant were two siblings laid out next to one another. The graves are mostly from 1870's, does anyone remember them any longer. Do their descendants even know??

The light played beautiful tricks, it was lovely, directional and golden. The only problem was that with a camera without a meter, it takes an awful lot of guesswork to get it right each time. Backlit leaves always attract me.

Lost in my thoughts, I was roaming about in the graveyard when I saw these two guys rolling a cheroot. Talk about getting stoned in the middle of headstones!!!

Next stop Mcleodaganj, Diwali.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful photos. Best I have seen of the church and the surrounding area.

joanita said...

hi, you have some really good pics here. My favorite is easily the blind man. The composition (just the knees and the tin) makes it ushc a story-telling pic. Also like the lichen. You have a good eye.

Phurbu said...

Such a beautiful photograph of the leaves. I used to pass by the graveyard during our school outings...and my heart would be throbbing all the time at the stories we hear during those days. There used to be such a big bell...heard that its stolen, then found, or something of it there?

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