Ruins of Shettihalli / Rosary Church5/15/2010 04:37:00 PM
Where do you go when you want to be at peace and alone and all with yourself?
Where would you'd be able to see lush green fields, serene beauty of nature, and a gorgeous sunset?
Where is that you'd find all this and a lost piece of history still shining bright to all its glory?
If you still wondering, where am I heading, then here is the answer to all your questions and curiosity. yes this place is called Shettihalli, and the derelict monument I am talking about is rosary church.
With a history which goes all the way to 18th Century, The Rosary church was first built/renovated in 1860, by french missionaries. it was built with mortar and bricks and using a mixture of jaggery (processed sugarcane juice ) and eggs, which may be there reason of its honey bee feeling, and immortality and the fact that it could sustain the time, and the trouble caused by the reservoir.
The village Shettihalli was relocated elsewhere around 40 years back, when the construction of the Gorur Dam started leading to the the flow of hemavathi river. people moved.. houses moved.. trees fell. but the church remained, submerged in water for 15-20 years, still holding strong. As for now, Broken it is, yet seems to be standing good for few more years, and is attracting many of us, the photographers and architecture and history lovers..
I had known about this place for almost a year now, but was never too keen on going there and shooting specially, until one day I received a mail from Niranjan suggesting, I should visit the place and this is pretty much right time to go. I contacted few pals. and soon four of us, Me, sudhakar, Anindita and Sandesh were driving to Hassan.
We took Magadi road, instead of Nelamangala highway (due to some work going on, on that route) and joined NH48 at Kunigal and drove From Kunigal to Hassan, via Channarayapatna. We had started around 11 from Bangalore, and our plan was to reach shettihalli at around 4 PM. we stopped at Kamath/CCD for lunch, which is easy to locate I guess.
On the highway, there is bypass and instead of going to the city of Hassan, we take the left diversion, there are two more I believe, the so called bypasses, and then on your left, you'd find the little board and a tarred road which goes to the village, with few more turns towards the left. Its better if you keep checking with the villagers there, for shettihalli church, and new bridge.
There are many however, who dont know, and few others who'd probably smile on your foolishness of coming 220KM, all the way from Bangalore (mostly) to visit this place. But you can ignore the sarcastic smiles. You can also ask for (and visit to, if you got time), Gorur Dam which is 13-14KM from this place to the east I believe, and the reservoir which is visible from the church landscape.
Alright so, once your through all the hurdles and troubles of asking for the route, and reaching the place, the moment you reach the point, and see this church to your left, I am sure you'd start giggling. well thats what anindita was doing.. oh Yes, I was just pretending to be mature, I was no less excited seeing the lush green ground nuts and paddy fields, river, and two bridges and then there was the sight of the old church. breathtaking.
We first drove to the new bridge, which is in use, and vehicles are pretty frequent, and decided to breathe in the cool breeze and with that the serenity of the non-polluted beauty of nature, for sometime. we took a great look at the church which looked so tiny and settled down in that one corner towards north east on the banks of hemavati river. on the right side of the bridge was an equally enchanting view, with cattles walking around, grazing, men working, few coracles in the river and then green hills overlooking us from far.
The only vehicle which was parked near the church, a white omni, left as soon as we went back to the church area, and parked the vehicle little before the church, deciding to walk to the church. Truly fascinated that i was, I think I did shoot it with everything in the foreground and the background, be it groundnuts, paddy fields, dry roots and grass, shrubs, or the thorns infested railings around the fields. Oh , did I tell you, it was just us, and then a lovebird couple and a family on picnic.. guess they dint disturb us much, the family left to river bank, and lovebirds were off on their bike, before we were done with the silhouettes. [ Since it was around 4:30 PM or so, the sun light was quite bright, and was a good time to take silhouette, also, along with the bright sun-star, the flower petal kinda gate structures of the church added real beauty to the entire image.
The entire shoot was great fun, at sunset time the light was absolutely perfect and church had this golden glow, just like a midas touch added by the setting sun and golden orange sky, if that was anything less, the beautiful big ball of red sun at the sunset managed to blow us off completely. The joy of a watching a beautiful sunset, and red burned sky, a walk to the old bridge and few moments spent at the banks of river, watching both moon and sun going low and high, mesmerizing us, made this trip a truly unforgettable one.