When history comes to the surface

HIDDEN GEMS

When history comes to the surface

These are heritage structures that surface only during drought. In other times, they stand submerged and their beauty is hidden from the world.

These structures are often examples of some fine architecture. Each one of them has a story to tell.

Sometimes, the barren land where, in the rainy season, stood a huge water body, throws up interesting finds such as ancient vessels, pieces of pottery and houses in various stages of disrepair.

Karnataka has plenty of such examples. The story of how an ancient temple that surfaced from the backwaters of the KRS at Kannambadi village and was later shifted to a new village is well known. 

Then, there is the famed Shettihalli church. The church, which dates back to the British period, is usually submerged because of the dam constructed against the Hemavathi near Shettihalli in Hassan district’s Aalur taluk. The church comes to the fore when there is a drought, and the water level in the backwater region dips.

Many villages were submerged because a dam was built at Gorur nearby. The people of Shettihalli were also rehabilitated elsewhere. The church stood there as a mute witness to the situation. Every rainy season, the church is  submerged. In spite of being dilapidated, the church ha a certain charm. Barring a few shepherds who come to the surrounding areas to graze their sheep, this ancient structure has not many visitors.

‘Khedda’ tales

Then there’s the case of the dam across the Kabini river. The dam was constructed near Beechaganahalli, which is 14 km from H D Kote. Once summer sets in, water is depleted, and the vast area is a story that talks of old tales, such as a small temple in ruins. This small temple has an idol of Ganesha too.

The temple was built during the time of the famed khedda operations that were taken up during the British Raj, to ensure that the elephant trapping exercise would be carried out without any glitches. The khedda operations of yore would draw huge crowds. However, this was abolished in 1972 under the Wildlife Act.

If you want to visit this famed spot, you will have to travel 90 km from Mysore, and take the permission of the Forest Department. The spot is known to attract wildlife because it is a water spot.

In the Hubli region...

Another well-known tourist spot is the Shivachidambareshwara temple near Gurlahosur, which has a history of nearly 250 years. In order to visit the glorious temple, you will have to travel 70 km from Hubli.

The temple is submerged in the backwaters of the Malaprabha dam. The beautiful temple was built in a mere eleven-month period by the Desai family of Kittur.

You can spot the temple only in summer and appreciate its beauty. There is an ancient Hanuman temple behind this temple, too.

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