Architecture+Design Community Contest: World Architecture Day | The Floating Church Of India (Hassan, Karnataka)




Visiting this oh-so picturesque Gothic style Church was definitely quite an experience for me. As someone who always used to keep gaping at one particular pillar for example as a kid for five minutes straight, I couldn't get enough of this mysterious structure. It looked magnificent from every angle. I fell in love with this glorious and statuesque work of art.





To give you all a little brief on the history of the Shettihalli Rosary Church, it was built in 1810 by the French missionary Abbe Jean Antoine Dubois. The church was built for the British estate owners during those times. No one would have ever imagined a glorious place like this in the district of Hassan, where you mostly see temples something like this church amidst all the temples.

In the late 1970s, the Indian government decided to construct a dam on the waters of the Hemavati River due to the Gorur dams frequent flooding and from then was born what we now call the "floating church" of India.


Yes you read that right, a floating church or what is also called the submerged church. What it means is that from June to the month of October this church remains submerged in the water when the river swells during rainy season and as the month of December arrives to the month of May the water ebbs and you get experience the beauty in its full glory.

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I downloaded this photograph from google since I wanted to show my readers how this place would look like when it would be submerged. Since I visited this place only once I could not witness the submerged church.




The scalloped arches would make you wonder whether it's an islamic architecture, but I suppose the architect or artist was very much inspired by the Islamic architecture in and around the district of Hassan (like Mysore etc). The pointed arches showcase the very prominent element of Gothic architecture.





During the sunny days the dilapidated structure forms shadows and let me tell you it looks spookish-ly beautiful. With a bridge across the dam, tourists can admire the Beauty of this mysterious yet so glorious structure.

For nature enthusiasts this place is going to be a treat to your eyes. You will get to observe different species of birds. This mystical church which was abandoned long time ago and is a very photogenic location, like a romantic backdrop for pre-wedding or wedding shoots. Photography buffs would be taken by surprise and wouldn’t want to leave this place.

I feel extremely happy to be able to write a piece on this particular ancient structure. I didn't even know that a community for Architecture fanatics existed on this platform it's all thanks to @ocd that I came across this wonderful community.

I have been there once and that one time, those 45 minutes I spent there were amazing. I was astonished to be able to witness it in real life. I had a surreal experience if I may say so myself. Hoping to see it and photograph it and get photographed with a beautiful long gown again sometime in the future. Until then I will keep cherishing this beauty that's etched in my memory till I get to witness it again with my eyes. Hoping my photographs did justice to what there actually is.



A few tips if you ever consider visiting the Shettihalli Rosary church:

  • Make a schedule to visit this location in the morning since there will be lesser to no crowd and the morning sun would allow you to get great photographs.

  • Take your own snacks or food as there’s nothing close to the location in case you want to get your tummy filled.

  • Spend at-least a good hour here even if you haven’t decided to do a photo shoot or anything, cause it’s extremely beautiful and this mystical structure needs to be seen from every angle.

  • Lastly enjoy the beautiful Hemavati river that flows beside it when the water has receded, it’s a very scenic location all-together.




All the photographs in this blog post were photographed by Me (Andrea Pais). And the photographs that I’m in were taken by my uncle.


This was photographed by my uncle Anil Dsouza (paternal aunt's husband). The people in the photograph starting from the left : Rahul Pais (my younger sibling), next to him is my aunt Margaret Pais (paternal aunt), and the man next to her is my uncle Norbert Pais (paternal uncle) and in the end that’s me!!!

Hope you guys had an amazing day and enjoyed reading my first Architecture based post ❤

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