Nanjangud: A 55-year-old priest, who had gone missing after he jumped into River Kapila for a swim at Nanjangud on Saturday, surfaced yesterday and was reunited with his family.
Venkatesh Murthy, a priest at the town’s Lingabhatta Temple, had jumped into the River which is flowing in full spate from the new Railway Bridge after challenging his friends that he would successfully swim across the river and reach Hejjige Bridge.
A video of the priest jumping into the river and swimming for a distance before he disappeared had gone viral in the social media. His family members had lodged a missing complaint at Nanjangud Police Station.
Priest Venkatesh, who lost his direction while swimming, did not reach Hejjige Bridge but swam to a different place. He claimed that he took shelter under a bridge for two days without food and water.
As Venkatesh had gone missing since two days, he was assumed to be dead. But last evening, Venkatesh swam from the bridge where he had taken shelter and reached the banks of the river. Speaking to the media, Venkatesh said that he did not take up the challenge for money and added that it is his hobby to swim across swollen river besides stating that he had undertaken such challenges many times in the past too.
“I did not have much information about the bridge and hence I faced problems. I am used to Yoga and fasting. I did not expect help from anyone and I myself swam back to the river banks,” said Venkatesh.