Admire the tall clock tower and cream-colored façade of St Stephen’s Church. Step inside to view exquisite stained glass and the colossal beams that were pulled here by elephants.
As you approach St Stephen’s Church it is impossible not to be drawn in by its magical, fairy-tale appearance. The church, built in 1829, sits at the end of a curved path beneath gently hanging trees. Its striking white exterior seems to have hardly aged.
Look up to the clock tower that reaches up from the main entrance. This is topped with four pointed spires that would not look out of place on a church in rural Britain. Although not small in stature, the church is dwarfed by the dense pine forest that engulfs the building on either side.
Make your way past the thick wooden door and into the central vault that is flooded with light by high arched windows. Possibly the most noticeable features of the interior are the huge beams along the ceiling. These are from the palace of Tipu Sultan and were dragged 75 miles (120 kilometers) by elephants to be fitted here.
The whole church is lit up by numerous stained-glass windows however, some of the most impressive examples are displayed at ground level. Look for depictions of the Crucifixion and Last Supper as well as an image of Jesus being cradled in the arms of Mary. Back outside you will find a small overgrown cemetery that has headstones that remember many of the city’s colonial residents.
St Stephen’s Church is a short stroll from the center of Ooty. It is open every day and there is no admission charge. Services are held twice throughout the morning on Sundays.