Immaculate conception church, Ganjam, KA. founded by Fr. Abbe Dubois after EIC took over Mysore

 Till the death of Tipu Sultan in 1799 at srirangapatna in the final Anglo-Mysore war  the churches in his reign were either non-functional or destroyed  for the wrong conception that the churches were supporting the English company. The history of Christianity during Tipu's time was a gloomy one. Incidentally the English were Tipu's arch enemy and he hated them very much for their dishonesty. Soon EIC had begun to expand their activities in the southern region in order to establish their hegemony in that area. Now battered Srirangapatna was back to  to normalcy. 

Happy Christmas greetings, 2023

.Immaculate conception church, Ganjam,

Rev Fr Abbe J A Dubois (born in 1765), a  young French Catholic missionary of the Paris Foreign Missions Society (MEP) in 1800 settled in  Puducherry to engage in evangelical work. On invitation from  Governor General Lord Richard Wellesley, Fr. Abbe landed in the small village of Ganjam. the purpose of his long visit to this place was  to rejuvenate christianity  in this part of Mysore and to recover the region from  the scars of the past that saw so many battles and skirmishes. Credit goes to him for restoring Catholic religion in Bangalore and other places. Being an educationist, healer and social reformer, he was keen to help the natives from  horrors of war and instill hope in them 

Abbe chapel, Srirangapatna, imported French

Belltower, Abbe Dubois,

Being hardworking and trustworthy, no doubt, he made a mark in the village and won the trust of the natives.  He never remained aloof and never hesitated to adopt the culture of that place, customs, language, food, traditions and attire. This made him close to the community.  He was known as  the ‘Dodda Swamiyoru’ of the church he had constructed in Ganjam. Today, the church  symbolises his initial toil, sacrifices  and selfless services  he rendered to the people. 

Immaculate conception church, Ganjam, KA. 

Fr. Abbe J.A. Dubois(January 1765 -1848)
Built in Indo-Saracenic style by Fr, Abbe, it became a center of activities and was called Amalodhbhava Matheya Devalaya. The 30-foot-tall church built by him on  a ‘T’ shape foundation, with pointed towers and a   cross placed on the main entrance  stands majestically despite age and continues to get the attention of the people and visitors to Ganjam. The giant metallic bell imported from France and installed in the belfry  continues to ring melodious jingles. 

The interior of the church  is impressive  and the walls are adorned with impressive sketches narrating various episodes from the life of Christ.   Almost for a quarter century (from 1799 to 1923), Fr. Abbe' life was intertwined with Ganjam and it became  his  second home  . There is small museum here and on display are the clothes, wall clock, books and various items used by Father Abbe, are on display. Father Abbe also constructed The Harobele Church in Ramanagara, While records show that Christianity here dates back to 1662, the village has an unbroken tradition of staging a play every Good Friday on Kapalabetta since 1906.  he played a role in the development of St Mary’s Basilica in Bengaluru, the Catholic Church in Hassan, and and other places. 

Apart from a social reformer, he was great heale too and gave importance to the health care of the people regardless of caste and religion.  When the native relied on the native medicine, Fr. Abbe convince them to tale allopathic medicine, pills, etc for cure.  Besides, he introduced vaccination against  dreaded diseases like smallpox, cholera and medication against plague that had largely afflicted the region. Thus he save thousands of people from near death. He administered vaccination against smallpox to Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, who succeeded Chamaraja Wadiyar IX. Fr. Abbe was instrumental in staring cooperative farming - Sahakaara Besaya  and the farmers found it useful. 

It was Fr. Abbe Dubois who  restored the catholic missions in Bangalore and other places and tried to rebuild the damaged churches or build new ones.The present historical church Immaculate conception church, Ganjam was recently renovated. Fr Dubois left India in January 1823, after his long missionary services in Mysore and other places with a special pension conferred on him by the East India Company.