WHERE IS IT?
About 200 km from Bengaluru and 130 km from Mysuru, the Rosary Church at Shettihalli in the district of Hassan is located on the banks of the Gorur-Hemavathi Reservoir. Built in the 19th century, the church remains partially submerged during monsoons.
HOW TO GET THERE?
There are a lot of self-drive rental cars available from both Bengaluru and Mysuru. Two-wheeler are also a popular option among local tourists. One can also take a bus to Hassan from the two cities and take a local bus to Shettihalli.
THE ROSARY CHURCH
Built in the 1860s by French missionaries in the then village of Shettihalli, the Rosary Church is a splendid sight anytime of the year. The church stood strong for over a century until the construction of the Hemavathi Reservoir, which would flood the nearby villages including Shettihalli. The village shifted to higher ground and the church was left abandoned to submerge in the reservoir. With no maintenance or support, few of the the church walls have given way and what remains today is gives the ruins a unique charm.
The quaint place has an eerie feeling to it, especially if you come here early morning or stay after nightfall. You can set up tents on the bank of the reservoir if you wish to spend a night camping. The church seems even more alluring at daybreak. The place has gained popularity recently and best to visit on a weekday if you want to have the entire place to yourself.
The place has stood the test of time and weather conditions for over 150 years now. It is now home to a number of birds that prey on the fish and insects living in the water. Let’s hope the ruins retains its charm for many more years and is not affected by the increase in visitors.