Monday, 28 October 2013

Bela Church of Kasargod

Bela Church, also known as Our Ladyof Sorrows Church under the Mangalore
Diocese, is the oldest church in the Kasargod district, which is situated at a distance of around 11km from Kumbla on the Kumbla-Badiadka road and from Kasargod it is at a distance of around 15km. It is one of the historic places in the region.

Before, the church was a little thatched church, built at Kudrepady by the migrated Konkani Catholics, which was shifted over to its present location, in Bela, for the better convenience of preaching the religion. This church was shifted from south Goa to this place, when Portuguese invaded the region.

 Till date, a small portion of the migrated Catholics are settled in many parts of the district of Kasargod. The church is dedicated to Mother of Dolours (sorrows) and is a Roman Catholic Church, structured in a Gothic style of architecture in around 1890 AD. 

The sacred statue of the Mother of Sorrows was lifted to this church from Kudrepady. Fr Pascal Mascarenhas was the first Parish Priest of this Church. The second Parish Priest John D’Souza recognized the land and constructed the beautiful Church which was later renovated in the year 2001. An annual festival is celebrated during the month of December in this church. The new Church has the seating capacity of about 1,000 people and is designed very gracefully.

The church is not only popular as a tourist destination but also as a sacred place to offer your prayers to the God. Devotees and tourists visit the place from all over the world as it has already been placed in the world tourism map.

Shrine inside the Cave
A 300-meter-long cave dug close to the Church is another holy place, which is frequently visited by devotees and tourists in search of peace of mind and tranquillity.

The cave was dug a few years back, during the period of Fr Basil Vas. There is a Sepulchre inside the cave and if you enter further inside the tunnel of the cave, you will get to see the model of resurrected Jesus. At the end of the cave is a pond, whose water is considered to be sacred.

The entire stretch of the cave is lighted with electricity connection and the interiors have also been beautifuly decorated. Antiques and artifacts that were found in the region are displayed at the exit of the cave.

 How to reach
The nearest airport to this place is at Mangaluru which is at a distance of around 65 km. The nearest rail head is at Kasargod, at a distance of 18 km form Bela. As through road, the nearest bus station is in Kasargod town.

Other than the church and the cave, the Kasargod district is popularly known for its forts, beaches and its serene backwaters. The most significant attraction in this district among the forts is the Bekal fort. Another important of this fort is the Chandragiri fort. 

The serene backwater destinations of Kasargod are located in Chandragiri and Valiyparamba. In addition to these, the top beaches of this district are Kappil beach, Bekal beach and Pallikere beach.


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