The Church that submerges and emerges

Imagine a church that submerges and re-emerges? Sounds interesting, right?

So, Shettihalli Rosary Church was built in 1860 by the French missionaries. It was built along the banks of the Hemavathi River, about one kilometer from the Shettihalli town; a village existed there then. Later on a reservoir was constructed here in 1960’s. Like in case of all other dams, the village situated on the banks of the river, was relocated. But, the church stands there even today, after more than 200 years.

The magnificent entrance of the Shettihalli Rosary church

After a really exhausting 250 kilometer ride from Bangalore, I reached Shettihalli. The ride was tiring but this place is amazement to the wanderer. The landscape surrounding the church was so eye catching and beautiful that I experienced a relief from the fatigue. After exploring the grasslands surrounding the church, I started walking towards the church. The river is extremely gorgeous with clear blue waters and green patches of grass on its bank.

Green patches of grasslands surrounding the Hemavathi River

The church has a timeless charm, umm…..not the church, but its skeleton. The locals told me that the church is believed to have been built with eggs and jiggery along with the bricks. Wonder how the church has stood still over so many years, despite the fact that reservoir gets flooded every year during monsoons, which submerges the church.

The interiors of the church

I visited the church in October, when the monsoons had almost faded away and the church had re-emerged in all its glory again. This happens every year! The church is designed in the Gothic Architecture and is magnificent. While walking through the ruins, I could assume how huge and majestic it would have been then; it was like putting together the pieces of a jigsaw, and finally getting an entire picture of the church in the mind.

The Shettihalli Rosary Church, captured from a distance

One can visit the church also during the monsoons. A ride in a coracle will be awe-inspiring. The coracle takes you through the church, making you wonder what is beneath it! The view of the partially submerged church is also said to be very spectacular.

I’ll surely visit the church during the next monsoons, to experience this myself.


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