Mar 26, 2016

Ancient church of Mudgal

Some time 2012
While researching historical spots in Raichur district I happened to stumble on the ancient church in Mudgal town. The description of the church on Raichur district website read as follows: There is an old Roman Catholic Church at this place. It is said that it stands on the foundation of one, which had been built by Jesuits before 1557 during the reign of Ibrahim Adil Shah who had granted inam land for its support. The original very old church was pulled down and another was built in its place later.

December 25, 2012
I visited Kavital, Maski, Mudgal fort and Jaladurga but during the tour of Mudgal I missed the main entrance of the fort. Also I'd completely forgotten about the ancient church.

January 23. 2016
We were driving from Hyderabad to Dharwad, our journey started around 5-30 AM. Our first stop of the day was near Shaktinagar (Raichur Thermal Power Station) for breakfast. Our second stop was was at Vatgal where we climbed the boulder-heap-hill and then the little temple dedicated to Basavanna. Our next stop was at Lingsugur for lunch, then the short drive to Mudgal. First I explored Mudgal fort's main entrance while Pushpa waited in the car. Then drove back towards the town and located the church. Here it is..

There's some more information about this church at website:
Mudgal's Sacred Heart of Jesus Church is one of the oldest Catholic mission stations in Raichur district. This church is said to be established during the reign of Ibrahim Adil Shah of Bijapur. The original structure built some time in 1500s was demolished and a the present day building was completed in 1971 by Fr. Sylvester Mc. Goldrick, O.F.M.  As the church was old, with the initiatives of Fr. Chowrappa the church was renovated in the year 2007.

The church's front yard has open space where a bunch of kids were playing.. probably they were enjoying their day off after Satuday morning classes. The church's premises was well kept, neat and clean. A bunch of young boys were working at one corner, next to the open stage. The place had a peaceful ambiance.

 Here's the side view of the church, lot of trees provide plenty of shade.

 One of the kids, I think his name was Adarsh asked me to see the church's interior. Then a few more boys joined in and opened the door for me. Unlike other churches, I'd to take off my shoes before stepping in.

There we go, its a simple setup, somewhat like a temple. Close to the main door is a lovely statue of one of the saints (see inset).

The boy showed me to Father Vincent, he was one among the group working next to the stage. I asked if there was a photo of the old structure. Answer was a disappointing no. He added that he's in touch with the concerned authorities in Hyderabad to obtain historical facts. Since Raichur was part of Nizam's kingdom, all its information would be available at Nizam's capital Hyderabad. It would be long wait before the information reaches its origin.

The church runs several institutions mentioned below-
  • Child Workers Special School
  • Pavithra Hrudaya Premashrama – Boarding for Boys
  • Pavithra Hrudaya Samaja Kalyana Sangha
  • R.C. Mission H.P. School & High School
  • Sishu Vihar
  • St. Ann’s Convent – Sisters of St. Ann of Providence
  • St. Ann’s Premashrama – Boarding for Boys & Girls
It was almost 4 PM and time for us to leave. Our plan was to reach Dharwad before dinner time. We moved on..
I found some more information in Meadows Taylor's book - The Story of My Life. Below are the two paras relating to Mugal church.

"I could only stay two days, and these were mostly occupied in inquiring into a dispute relating to a Christian settlement there, as it involved religious jurisdiction between His Holiness The Pope and The Archbishop of Goa, I was incompetent to decide. The congregation were all weavers of blankets, and shepherds, originally converted by one of St. Francis Xavier's missionaries from Goa. It had been somewhat richly endowed by the several kings of Adil Shahy dynasty of Beejapoor, and it still retained these grants through all revolutions. There were two other congregations in the Doab, one being composed of potters at Raichore; the name of the place of the other I forget. The church at Moodgul was a humble but respectable edifice, and service was performed by a deacon, the Mass in full being celebrated when a priest came from Goa on his rounds.

On my arrival some time after in England, I wrote to his Eminence Cardinal Wideman about this congregation, furnishing him all particulars respecting them, and received a courteous reply, to the effect that my communication was both valuable and extremely interesting, and would be duly forwarded to Rome."


Bharath Kumar said...

Amazing skills you have in selection and research of ancient places. Great going Sid !!

siddeshwar said...

Thank you, Bharath.

Vilma Gonsalves said...

Nice post sir ��

Rameshwar Sawant said...

Namaskar !..Siddeshwarji... aapka each and every post and imformation valauble hai.shukriya-dhanyavad ! Sir,....aapse muze margdarshan chahiye....mai ,karnataksthit maharaj Shivchhatrapati Shivaji maharaj ke sambadh me aayehuye kuchh fort ke upar imformation collect kar raha fort mai dakhana chahata vishay ke bareme aapaka sahayog -margdarshan krupaya muze aap dedo. aapka phone no. mile to aapse bat kar sakata hu !... Rameshwar Sawant.09422373313.

siddeshwar said...

Rameshwarji, thanks for your comment and sorry about the delayed response. I will contact you shortly.