July 10, 2018

Soulful Shettihalli church ride.

Panorama of Shettihalli Church

TGIF was the thought running in my mind when I pinged(FB Message) to my friend Prakash Subbanna an avid biker and a multi talented person to check if he is interested for a bike ride. To my surprise even he was planning for a ride as well. As every thing fell in place, we decided to hit the road next day morning towards Hassan and meet at first toll after Nelamangla. Earlier the idea was just for a breakfast ride and have breakfast at hotel Mayura after Belllur cross.

Meeting at Hassan toll.
At 5:15 AM on saturday morning Prakash gave me a wake up call and informed that he is starting and he will meet me at first toll on Hassan road after Nelamangla. I started little late and by the time I reached the toll I was good 45 minutes late. I met prakash after the toll who was waiting for me.
After the quick greeting I told asked him if he is willing to go to Shettihalli Rosary church, which is a regular bikers one day ride location, for which he said yes. Its around 200 Kms one way and 400 Kms round trip. We did not waste time at the toll and we immediately started towards Hassan.

NH75 Bengaluru-Mangaluru is a absolute delight to ride. We stopped in between for few pictures when the sun was coming out of the clouds. After riding through Yadiyur and Bellur cross we reached Hotel Mayura. We had delicious Idli, vada and Masala dosa. We had spent around 45 minutes to an hour in the restaurant talking, Got to know Prakash was also little depressed as his daughter had left for higher studies outside India. So this was a much needed activity for him to come out of his depression. 

Most of the time I was riding my bike at 80Kmph as that was the speed limit at NH75. As Prakash was riding a Honda CBR 650F he was always ahead and wait for me to catch up. Until Hassan the ride was very smooth with occasional 4 lane changing into 2 lane. On and off we had drizzle and light rain when we were riding. 

After passing Hassan we took a turn towards left form Hassan bypass to enter a single state highway. Ride inside village has its own charm. Seeing the laid back and calm life of village folks in contrast to busy city life is a welcome sight. I had fed the destination in google maps for navigation, which navigated us to the correct place. The last few hundered meters from the main road to the back waters of river Hemavathi was an absolute delight. It was off road. 

My RE Himilayan was on home turf, Himalayan loves off roads but Prakash Honda CBR is a sports/racing bike which struggled/wriggled a bit. Slowly he managed to clear the path and arrive near the church.

As it was monsoon church was partially submerged in water. This church is situated at a picturesque location, about 22 kilometers from Shettihalli in Hassan. Located on the banks of Hemavathi river, the church is an excellent location for travel enthusiasts, photographers and tourists. The uniqueness of the church lies in the unbelievable fact that the entire church structure gets submerged in the river during monsoons. 

As the history goes, the Shettihalli church is in the Gothic style as was constructed in 1860 by French missionaries. It served as worship place fore wealthy British estate owners. When government decided to construct Gorur dam, villagers were instructed to evacuate and church got submerged.

After spending an hour and a half and clicking pictures and shooting video we left towards Bengaluru. while coming back we stopped over at Swati hotel for chai and continued our ride towards Bengaluru. We reached Nelmangal toll around 3:30 and I bid good bye as Prakash was taking the NICE road exit to go to his house. 

A fantastic bike ride to Shettihalli church was successfully completed.

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