Return To The (Now) Drowned Magge Church

 The Magge Church, Drowned in the Backwaters of Gorur Dam

The Magge Church, Drowned in the Backwaters of Gorur Dam

In June, I wrote about my trip to the vast land area laid waste by the backwaters of Gorur Dam, and of the church in ruins there. What I saw then was barren land lying in anticipation of fresh flooding from imminent monsoons. I was in Hassan this week and went again to the church, to see after the rains. The vast landscape I had seen is now drowned. The last time, I had walked up to the ruins; this visit, I went there on a theppa. Reaching the church, only the top of which is exposed, I sat on a dry part on the Southern wall, feeling tiny, lost in mind and in body amid this immensity of water. After a while I came to, and spent time savoring cool clean air on my face and arms.

Puttaswamy, who took me there on the theppa, told me it takes a month for water to rise to this week's level.

He didn’t know when the dam was built. He said that on some weekends he ferries over a hundred people a day to the church, but yesterday, Saturday, he had no fare at all. Jotting down this note, I am annoyed with myself, that I can’t believe he ferries a hundred a day. I’m not entirely to blame, of course. It is such a desolate place, and it is hard to imagine a hundred people looking for it on the same day.