22 April 2011
When people know that their abode will be swallowed by the backwaters rising from a dam, they take everything possible with him. But lot of immovable structures still remains to submerge from the rising waters. As summer commences, the water in the reservoirs starts to recede opening up some of these secrets hidden during monsoon rains.
One such place is Shettihalli Church submerged by the backwaters of Gorur dam constructed across Hemavathy River. Built around 1860 by French missionaries, it was called as Holy Rosary Church. It is said that the Church was built using bricks mixing with jiggery and eggs.
Instead of usual way of “ask and go”, I decided to use Google maps. As the map directed me from National highway to State highway followed by district roads and narrow village roads, I grew suspicious and asked a villager. But google was correct!! We could see the backwaters and shortly afterwards, the spire of the Church was visible. We had to cross few fields before entering into the backwaters. The water had completely receded from the Church area creating few ponds in between.
The huge Church is in ruins now but most of the structures are still intact. The roof is gone and so are the windows and doors. Its golden days had passed long ago and now silently stood against the vast expanse of water.
I saw a small Temple similarly submerged in the backwater. That was on the other side of the backwaters. Few coracles were available but it I was not willing to bet my life on that. If explored, I am sure that more such small secrets would come out.
Unfortunately, a group of people had come on their bikes from nearby city. Few of them were busy emptying the Kingfisher bottles while the ones who consumed all were equally busy in smashing them against rocks. They did not bother us but were creating a nuisance. Somehow, I am seeing a lot of these kinds of people who just add weight to the earth.
We just moved near to backwaters and away from the gang. It was quite peaceful with only the sound being the waves gently hitting the shores. My daughter was more interested in playing in the waters. While she was busy throwing stones into the water, I just sat silently watching the backwaters. It was a nice afternoon.
How to reach:
Shettihalli Church is about 25km from Hassan. Take the road that leads to Gorur dam. After some 12 km, take a road that goes to right. Proceed on that road till you see the backwaters. The church should be visible just before a bridge constructed across backwaters.