If you wish to know how it feels to abandon your village and evacuate to elsewhere, all because of some government schemes, do visit Shettihalli near Hasan, Karnataka.

Above: Photos of Shettihalli Holy Rosary Church during a summer evening

Little known to the typical travelers, who throng to Hasan on their way to Belur and Halebeedu, is this scenic spot on the banks of Gorur river.

On the main road, which connects Bangalore and Mangalore, there’re no signs encouraging tourists to take a turn. Even if you take a turn kilo meter after kilo meter, there’ll be no signs of Shettihalli church. Ask any local person and he is likely to underestimate the distance and say few kms more. If you can sustain your drive for good 16 kms, you’ll arrive at a bridge. Stop here and look around, you’ll notice a church. Depending on what time of the year you’re visiting, it could be in 90% submerged state (July-December season) to completely out of water (Feb-May).

Above: Church in submerged state post monsoon

Once upon a time, a whole village used to reside around this Holy Rosary Church. Once the government decided to construct a reservoir, the villages in catchment area had to be evacuated. As they moved, their bellowed church stood behind, to tell their story. In summer months, water levels in the reservoir drops to very low level and the church can be seen in full.  But post monsoon, as water level builds up, church gets submerged.

Over the years, the church as deteriorated a lot. However, a majestic portion of it still remains. Now the place is a good tourist attraction. If we go there during sunset/sunrise time, expect some good photogenic scenes. During summer, you may drive your vehicle close to the church.

The waterbody (Gorur Hemavati river) also hosts lots of birds. Kites, herons and many other birds can also be spotted in the vicinity.

We’d gone there once in April and once in October. Will visit again. If you have 1 hour to spare while visiting/passing by Hassan, do visit this place

Shrinidhi Hande