Shettihalli- a church submerged in water

My weekend getaway was quite a different experience. A visit to a coffee plantation( No-Not Coorg) was not just about long walks in the estate, or watching picking and pulping of coffee seeds or even getting lost in the many species of birds that were fluttering high. . It promised to be a discovery of sorts.

Blended with history and spirituality, the aroma was stronger. We started the weekend with a visit to a small hamlet , Shettihalli.

We were cruising down from Bangalore towards Hassan on the bypass road and the milestone read 2 kms to Hassan. My uncle had read that there was a ruins of a church in a hamlet close by and we decided to ask. Many fingers pointed left towards Shettihalli, some said 10 kms, some said 6 kms and we drove till we saw a dry field (probably sunflower )around us and then came a vast expanse of water . Standing tall in the water was the ruins of an ancient church, home to a few birds .

There was not a soul in sight and there were no roads leading to the church. We took a small detour from the road and parked the car and started walking , across what looked like a dry field filled with thorny bushes and a few trees.

It was the backwaters of the Hemavathy Reservoir and the monument was the Holy Rosary Church built by French Missionaries around 1860. We met a few villagers on our return who told us that this village was once a lush hamlet where the River Hemavathy flowed watering fields of sunflower.

An idyllic village lost to development when the reservoir was built at Gorur to develop agriculture around the neighbouring towns. No one there knew the name of the church and I tried googling it to find out. A couple of newspaper articles from The Hindu gave me the name and the rest tallied with what the villagers had told us .

The church was reportedly built with mortar and bricks and a mixture of jaggery and eggs.During monsoons, the water level rises submerging the entire church apparently, when only the spire is seen at times. The entire roof had caved in while part of the altar and the central nave still stand but there were no stained glass windows or pews or even windows left in the church.

We had loads of birds , cattle and reptiles for company , but not a person around . We chanced on it by serendipity, but discoveries like this make a weekend getaway special .

The post does not end here – A very special thanks to GMG (Blogtrotter)who has given me an award – “You make my day.”

Now its my turn . I would like to give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring me happiness and inspiration and make me feel happy about blogland.

So I’ll pass the “You make my day” to Smita, Reeta, Mark, Merisi,Priyank, Kalyan, Celine, Ajeya, Stephanie and GMG whose blogs have been a great pleasure to read ..


  1. Stephanie 22 January, 2008 at 00:48 Reply

    Thank you Lakshmi! This is very special coming from you as I SOOOO enjoy traveling with you!

    This serendipidous trip to the church is truly magical, like a lost city.

  2. indicaspecies 22 January, 2008 at 01:12 Reply

    It feels good to hear that you have had a special weekend getaway. It’s the search for the unexpected and discovering what satisfies the exploring mind that makes travels so interesting.

    Thank you for the Award Lakshmi. It’s been a pleasure to have discovered your blog as well. πŸ™‚

  3. Merisi 22 January, 2008 at 01:31 Reply

    It’s 8.30pm, and I came home only a short time ago, famished and tired, and now, what a sweet surprise! Thank you, I feel truly honoured.
    I find your post very interesting, I will have to come back to visit your other blogfriends too!

  4. indicaspecies 22 January, 2008 at 01:34 Reply

    I especially like the last picture with the little fellow in it. πŸ™‚

    Is it a chameleon? Most chameleons can generally change colour as their background. But I recall my zoology teacher’s words till date: It’s also a fact that not all chameleons can change colour to their surroundings!

  5. GMG 22 January, 2008 at 01:55 Reply

    Thanks for getting it back to me!
    But yours is fully deserved, as we just find out with such an impressive post! The incredible things you discover! No wonder you’re alone there…
    Have a great week!

  6. Kalyan 22 January, 2008 at 08:31 Reply

    Hi, First of all thanks very much for the award….Its a pleasure to know that my blog have made your day. I think your visits to my blog & your inspiring words motivate me to keep my blog going….for me also its a pleasure everytime to visit your blog & find so many beautiful posts with such beautiful photos…..
    as for this post it was nice to know of this church & the place. The second & the last photo is absolutely wonderful…Thanks for sharing with us & keep up your good work!

  7. shooting star 22 January, 2008 at 12:17 Reply

    nice pics…the gothic broken down church…it conjures up images in my mind…of death, decay,destruction……and renewal…..nothing lasts for ever …not even apostles to god……
    me being a death metal music fanatic…would have absolutely loved to go to this place….the music would totally resonate with a surrounding like this……

  8. Aaarti 22 January, 2008 at 12:33 Reply

    hey Lakshmi

    Wow, am blown away.. just the thot of there being so many such lovely places hidden away, unheard of and unexplored makes me wanna take off and explore…

    Awesome pics and next time am in blore, shall drag muralippa and u and get away somewhere exotic like this.. ok… πŸ™‚

    the last pic is damn cute..:D

  9. I am 22 January, 2008 at 13:03 Reply

    waooo…must have felt like a treasure hunt game?

    It gave company to me at dinner..enjoyed reading it rather than usual boring GOOGLE NEWS …

    I am already imagining a haunted plot looking at the snaps πŸ™‚

    Do u have a close of the Chameleon in the last shot?

    Post it someday would like to have a closer look at it. Seems it has horns.

  10. dharmabum 22 January, 2008 at 18:04 Reply

    that is a beautiful discovery.

    its funny to think that the place must have seen so much activity at some point of time, and now is in such state. the things time does !

  11. Nanditha Prabhu 23 January, 2008 at 00:48 Reply

    Wonderful reading this post! thanks for posting on places which are almost lost its once powerful existence.congrats on the award ! I believe , you deserve it ! you have captured some good shots !

  12. Anonymous 24 January, 2008 at 13:10 Reply

    Whow – truly treasure place. I am wondering how the pic will look if the structure will be all submerged as you mentioned.

    Congrats on the award – you truly deserve. Your blog is quite fun.
    Happy travels ~
    Tk care ~


  13. Preethi 25 January, 2008 at 22:45 Reply

    What a find! I guess there will be a feeling of illumination that sets in when you get to chance upon a forgotten structure that vaguely gives a glimpse of what might’ve been! Beautiful.

  14. Reeta Skeeter 26 January, 2008 at 00:32 Reply

    Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! What an adventure it must’ve been for you…
    And I just loveee picture number three!
    I would call it as ‘efforts of the seeker in you: paid off’ rather than serendipity.
    Great going girl!
    And yes! Thanks for the award. I shall put it up in my awards section and in turn nominate others for the same πŸ™‚
    Happy Blogging!

  15. backpakker 27 January, 2008 at 17:50 Reply

    Priyank – Thank you ..though I must say that it was my uncle who told me about it and it was his enthusiasm that brought us here ..:)

    WMWC – Same here ..but this time we decided to look at the other side..

    Stephanie – Its my pleasure to have travel companions like you..I felt like Ive been to a part of a history with missing links ..

    celine -thank you..I think very few trips give you that kind of satisfaction though I believe that all journeys are paths to different discoveries..I think its a chameleon..we found it limping on the road, just as as got off ..I was amazed at the colour

    Merisi – Its a pleasure..Ive always enjoyed reading your posts ..

    Gill -Thank you..reading your posts have always been inspiring . I was really lucky to have come across this church..am trying to find out some information on the same.

    Mark -thank you for the kind words.

    Ashley -thanks..I try at least once a month..am lucky if i can get to go twice

  16. backpakker 27 January, 2008 at 18:08 Reply

    kalyan – The pleasure is mine..its great to have friends like you with whom I can share my travelogues ..

    ss – you are getting poetic..im not sure I would like loud music there though..there is a beauty in silence

    aaarti -i think you shd do that..lalli was cribbing as well..

    i am – πŸ™‚ to be honest, i was a bit scared of shooting the chameleon very close..it was limping and I thought it mught just jump at me..

    smita -thanks..looking forward to your post

    nandan- thanks..will post it on ghummakar

    dharmabum- exactly my thoughts when I first saw it

    lorezothellama – jaggery is made out of sugarcane ..its a form of sugar

    nanditha -thank you..i am glad you enjoyed reading abt it

    ceedy-thanks..i agree with you..i hope even local film industry doesnt

    ajeya- spoke to them and added whatever they told me..still looking for more..pls let me know if you have heard anything

    SK-thanks..i would like to know more abt the temples that you have visited

    Bharat -true..thanks

  17. backpakker 27 January, 2008 at 18:16 Reply

    Chic-handsome – welcome to backpakker..thanks

    BTR- I was imagining the same..maybe shd take a pic of it in the monsoons

    Cosmic Joy -I had always wanted to do that ..learn and teach in that way

    kmf -thank you..

    preethi-you have said it..its a great feeling

    reeta- thanks for the words..I like the way you call me a seeker …will copy the link..

    shantanu – true..the best part is that its out of nowhere ..

    tuhin- im honoured ..am glad to help any time

  18. Rama 30 January, 2008 at 13:41 Reply

    Wooohoo!! What a place? Certain shots I am reminded of my Nancy Drew reading. Some look like they are from the British country-side. Lovely!!

  19. backpakker 12 February, 2008 at 00:16 Reply

    Rama – Thanks..good to see you again ..i like your perspective..takes me back to good old enid blyton and nancy drew books..now that you tell me i can imagine the famous five there

    Chaitali – welcome to backpakker and glad you found it..yes, I was quite excited to see it ..thanks

  20. Anonymous 13 February, 2008 at 15:01 Reply

    i have seen your web page its interesting and informative.
    I really like the content you provide in the web page.
    But you can do more with your web page spice up your page, don’t stop providing the simple page you can provide more features like forums, polls, CMS,contact forms and many more features.
    Convert your blog “yourname.blogspot.com” to http://www.yourname.com completely free.
    free Blog services provide only simple blogs but we can provide free website for you where you can provide multiple services or features rather than only simple blog.
    Become proud owner of the own site and have your presence in the cyber space.
    we provide you free website+ free web hosting + list of your choice of scripts like(blog scripts,CMS scripts, forums scripts and may scripts) all the above services are absolutely free.
    The list of services we provide are

    1. Complete free services no hidden cost
    2. Free websites like http://www.YourName.com
    3. Multiple free websites also provided
    4. Free webspace of1000 Mb / 1 Gb
    5. Unlimited email ids for your website like ([email protected], [email protected])
    6. PHP 4.x
    7. MYSQL (Unlimited databases)
    8. Unlimited Bandwidth
    9. Hundreds of Free scripts to install in your website (like Blog scripts, Forum scripts and many CMS scripts)
    10. We install extra scripts on request
    11. Hundreds of free templates to select
    12. Technical support by email

    Please visit our website for more details http://www.HyperWebEnable.com and http://www.HyperWebEnable.com/freewebsite.php

    Please contact us for more information.


    HyperWebEnable team
    [email protected]

  21. Uma 2 December, 2010 at 13:33 Reply

    A church under water?? That’s an unusual and exotic find!! Great write up and lovely photographs! Hope you write about it in the newspaper!

  22. Jayanti 2 December, 2010 at 15:59 Reply

    Lakshmi, surreal is the word….I have goose pimples just reading your post and trying to imagine the ruins submerged under water….just a hint here n there.

    I might just start polishing my numeracy skills and apply for the acct’s post πŸ™‚ Would give me a chance to travel with you……not just vicariously.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *