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Shettihalli, The Drowning Church of Karnataka!

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Have you heard of a church that drowns every monsoon and submerges back during the summers? The Shettihalli Rosary Church located around 22km from Hassan in Karnataka is one such structure that is in ruins, yet a wonderful piece of art that has stood the test of time.

This Gothic church was built in 1860 by the French missionaries. Later, in 1960s Gorur reservoir was constructed so that the water of Hemavathi river can be used in a better way. Subsequently, the collateral damage during the process led to submersion of around 28 villages around the river in flood.


The drowning church near Hassan
Photo Courtesy: ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿ 

Though all the inhabitants were relocated to nearby villages, the church was abandoned forever. This roofless structure is located at a barren field, and is an unexplored location. Though not many travel here, it is visited by research scholars and architecture students. Today, the church is home to some birds and is a silent place where you can spend a lazy evening after a hectic week at work.

Shettihalli church

A stunning view of the church
Photo Courtesy: Gaurishukla24 

Shettihalli is located around 200km from Bengaluru. The route to be taken is Bengaluru - Nelamangala - Kunigal - Chennarayapatna - Shantigrama - Hassan. As you approach Hassan, please ask for directions as the place has no sign boards or directions that lead you to the church.

Shettihalli church

The clouds that hover over the ruins of Shettihalli church
Photo Courtesy: Sankara Subramanian 

Once you are guided to the spot by the locals, the road leads to a barren field or water (as per the season you choose to visit), at the middle of which stands the church that is still a mystery. The massive skeleton of the ruined church is one that calls for photography.

sunset at Shettihalli church

Sunset at Shettihalli church
Photo Courtesy:  Bipin Khimasia

Apart from this church, there is nothing much to explore in Shettihalli. However, this is a good picnic spot and also a quiet place to have some time with your family or friends. Please carry food or beverages along with you as there are no hotels or restaurants near the church. One place you can stop by while travelling to Hassan is at Kamath located at Channarayapatna. There are hardly any petrol pumps on this route, hence have the vehicle fuelled before you start the journey.

The other tourists attractions in Hassan include Ombattu Gudda, Yagachi and Nugehalli.

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