Shettihalli Church

Distance from Bangalore : 200km

This is by far the best church I’ve ever been to. It’s an abandoned and ruined church that sits on the reservoir of a dam and gets submerged in it during the rainy season. Pretty cool, eh?

Started from the usual rendezvous point at 6:15 and took the ORR to reach Yeshwantpur/Goraguntepalya. Got stuck at the railway gate for about 10 mins. Then the right to Nelamangala. This stretch of road has gone through a lot of patch work and the road is somewhat uncomfortable. There was also a pretty high amount of traffic for a saturday early morning. At Nelamangala, a left to the Bangalore-Mangalore highway, which is part of the NH75. The roads are butter smooth, with not a pothole anywhere. Few sets of tiny speedbreakers near towns and big ones near toll booths. Patchwork was done at few places, but done so neat and clean that it’s still level with the road surface. The roads are scenic with lush green on both sides and on the divider (with a lot flowers). The sky was ummm.. sky blue as well. As is the norm on this road, food is taken only from New Golden Breeze Restaurant. (No, they didn’t pay me to put their name). On reaching Hassan, take a left towards Gorur Dam and well, use Maps to get to the church. The roads are good for the most part with few potholes occasionally.

The last half a Kilometre to the church is through non-existent roads. Cars will be able to go through this part too. The path leads all the way up to the church. You can actually take your bike into the church. Yup, I rode through the church. The rains were bad this year and so the church wasn’t submerged. The river/reservoir was a few tens of metres away but the soil was a bit marshy. Did go near the water, but it was dirty as hell. Didn’t touch it.

Took few photos of the church. It does look weird to see the ruins of a church. Just the bricks. Lots of people have written their names and their crushes’ names on the wall and it does look bad. There were about 10 people while we were around. Some climbed up the walls. Didn’t try it as there were broken glass pieces from beer bottles everywhere. (Thankfully, didn’t puncture the tyres).

Must admit, the place looks really dull in real, but looks a lot better in pics. Even better with some filters.

 

Random awesome church #ig_karnataka #karnataka #hassan #shettihallichurch #ruins

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Inside the church #shettihallichurch #karnataka #ig_karnataka #ruins

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Could spot the dam far in the horizon, a few kilometres away. Made me wonder how much water there would’ve been present in the reservoir when the church gets submerged. Also, decided to visit the dam as it was only 17kms from the church. Maps on, Helmets on. Went near the dam and all gates were closed, barricaded and police personnel present. There were multiple entry points and same story everywhere. Apparently the water from this river  (Hemavathi) is also being diverted to Tamil Nadu, like Cauvery due to Supreme Court orders (TIL). The locals made a fuss and police were deployed and no one would be allowed near the dam for a while (till all issues are resolved). The cops were nice and friendly to us. Came back to Bangalore. Same route. Lesser stops. 180 odd Kms on tolled nearly empty highways then boom, bumper to bumper traffic at Goraguntepalya. Took a few mins to cross that and then another half an hour to the 10-15kms to home!!

Nearing 6th birthday #yamaha #fz #fz16 #bike

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Avalabetta

Distance from Bangalore : 90km

The route’s boring for the most part. NH7 -> Airport road, devanallhi, go past Nandi Hills, past Chikaballapur up to Perasandra. Have to take a left at Perasandra. This is a tricky one as there are no boards and you’ve to rely on Maps. I missed the exit, but as I was on a bike, could merge on to the service road through a narrow gully instead of going a few kms ahead. Anyway, the roads are butter smooth up until this point. No potholes, no patch work repairs, no unevenness, nothing. Both sides of the road are somewhat deserted land making the roads extremely boring and sleepy. You hardly have vehicles to overtake or vehicles overtaking you.

Once you take a left at Perasandra, the roads become almost non-existent for a kilometre or two. So many potholes that there’s no way you can go through this stretch even at city speed limits. There’s a diversion to the left, and then it’s pretty much straight roads. The road seemed to be laid somewhat recent. It was pretty black and smooth. Not too wide, but a car and a bike can squeeze through at the same time.  Around 9kms and you’ll reach a small town. Take a right and then immediately a left and then it’s straight roads all the way to the hilltop.

The last stretch of the hilltop is concrete paved. Slightly widened by a couple of feet on either sides by interlocked tiles. Outside that there are umm… mini concrete pillars (something like milestones only a feet tall) all the way up top. Road is wide enough for two cars at a time. A couple of hairpins. The concrete road is uneven. Up top, there’s space to park bikes. People park cars on the roadside too. Heavier cars might slide so stones are kept beneath the wheels to prevent that.

The climb begins. Steps are laid out from the rock stones. There are about 200-300 steps in total spread over small stretches. There’s a temple on the way and loads of monkeys. Crossing this stretch on a day when the crowd is small, like a weekday, is tricky. They try to snatch your phones, cameras or whatever is in your hand, so be careful. Once the steps are done you reach a viewpoint kinda thingy. The view from there is pretty good. Hills all over.

There’s another viewpoint which is a few metres further down, but there’s no direct or paved path. Will have to climb down the rocks, holding the rocks or the few tree branches on the way. Theoretically dangerous, but nothing to worry. Anyone should be able to do this. Would need both hands to hold on, so wore the helmet during this descend. Once you reach the point, there’s a small pond and near it the rock stretches out on to the cliff and makes for a very good photo point. On weekends there’s queue to take photos at this spot. Thankfully the day I went, the crowd was okay and nobody spend and eternity clicking photos although it felt like it. The place does get warm/hot pretty quick, so start the return journey as soon as you’re done.

Published in: on September 3, 2016 at 12:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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