Abandoned places are intriguing but even more intriguing are the stories that surround these places. Rosary church in a village of Karnataka called Shetti Halli in the Hassan district has been one of those abandoned places. It is also known as ‘ The submerged Church’ and ‘The Floating Church’.
History of the church:
The church was first broached in Jesuit records by the missionary priest, Father Manuel De Almeyda, in 1727 CE. It was built during the 1850s in India by the French missionaries.
Abbe Jean Antoine Dubois built the holy Rosary Church in 1810, to serve the spiritual needs of the Christians who settled in the village long ago, and later the white population. Dubois, with the pension from the East India Company returned, but the church flourished over the period of time.
The church boundaries and the structure were renovated; the last renovations probably took place around 1860. A convent, educating girls, along with a dispensary, where the poor were treated, free of charge, was attached to the main building of the church.
The Holy Rosary Church protected Shetti Halli and 12 surrounding villages, with a combined population of around 1,000. The area around this structure got deserted after the Hemavati Dam and a reservoir (Gorur Dam) was built in 1960. The church was forgotten and less people visited this place, making it empty and abandoned for all the time.
A quick peep into the framework:
It has gothic-style architecture. The elucidating designing elements of the church are the pointed or ogival arched and the flying buttress.
If we espy the building strategy of the Church, it has been set up to be built in the shape of a cross. It is astonishing that in spite of the annual heavy rainfall it receives, frequently emerging and submerging, the remnants of the church are still attracting people towards its beauty. Locals say that a mixture of eggs and jaggery was used as mortar.
Well, whatever the substances they have used in the mixture it clearly seems to be long lasting.
Too good to be true:
The most interesting thing that has stayed consistent over the years is that every monsoon, the church gets submerged underwater due to heavy rainfall and the rise in the water level from the nearby dam.
It stands tall without any windows or pews, making it easier for the water to fill out the area. It is a serene sight to see. The eerily beautiful structure is sometimes completely submerged in water and other times, we can only make out the spire.
Along with the mesmerizing beauty of the water surrounding the church during monsoon season, a number of trees, and vast open spaces, Shettihalli is full of birds, many of them around the church.
Around the UNSEEN:
The church is popular with both visitors as well as film directors and is often used as an elegant location to picture the films and music videos. Photographers have been allured by the splendid appearance of the place and have found the environment suitable for astrophotography due to the low levels of light pollution.
During the monsoon, when the church is partially or fully submerged, the mariner takes the visitors in round shaped boats, witnessing the beauty all over the place.
Rosary church is one of those unseen masterpieces gracefully created and covered with the magic dust of nature. It has a haunting charm in it which makes it an attraction for the tourists.