Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta

Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta(HGB), is a natural beauty hill located in the

temple

Chamarajanagar district of the state of Karnataka,at a height of 1450m from sea level. Dense fog predominates and covers the hills round the year and thus gets the prefix Himavad(Sanskrit word) and the temple of Venugopalaswamy (Lord Krishna) gives the full name of Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta.It is approximately 220 km from Bangalore.

It is also the highest peak in the Bandipur National Park. It lies in the core area of the Bandipur National Park and is frequented by wild life including elephants.

Note:

Entry Timing: Visitors are allowed only from 8:30 AM till 4:00 PM

Staying Options: Forest Guest House at Bandipur, Jungle Lodges, M.C.Resorts, Country Club, Cicada Resort

Food Facility: Not available at the top of the hill

Direction
Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta is located around 87km southwest of Mysore near Gundulpet town on the Mysore to Ooty road . If you are coming from Bangalore side, there are two routes, one via Chamarajanagar other via Mysore to reach Gundulpet.

Immediately after crossing Gundulpet town, there is junction of

betta

Ooty road and Calicut road. Take the Ooty route. After moving around 8km distance from Gundulpet on the Ooty road you will cross a village called ‘Hangala’. As you pass the village on the right side is a large arch over the road towards Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta. From this point the temple is at a distance of about 8km.

Transportation
There are not many public transport options to reach Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, but there are a few seasonal KSRTC services to this hilltop.SO it is always better to hire a private vehicle fromĀ  Gundulpet( negotiate the rate for around Rs 250 for a return trip ).

when reached

If you are on a tour to Ooty or Bandipur, Gopalaswamy Betta makes a practical detour. Keep some 2 hours extra time in your original itinerary for the detour.

fogs coming

Entry fee is collected at the forest department checkpost at foot of the hill. Entry fee has been revised w.e.f. Feb 01 2011. Entry fee is flat 100 Rs. Visitors are allowed from around 6:30am till 5pm. Overnight stay on top is not allowed. Trekking and videography in the surrounding hills are allowed only with prior permission and to be accompanied by the forest department guides.

more fog

There is a forest department guest house at the top of the picturesque hill, which can be reserved in advance through the forest office in Mysore or Bandipur. The guest house provides basic accommodation, food and other essentials should be brought along by visitors.

History of temple:
The Venugopalaswamy temple was built by the King Chola Ballala during AD 1315. Later the Wodeyars of Mysore who were ardent devotees of Lord Venugopala displayed keen interest in maintaining the hill temple. The temple is dedicated to Gopalaswamy, which is one of the names of the Hindu God Krishna. The ‘gopuram’(top roof) of the temple is single-tiered and rests on the compound wall of the enclosure. A dhwajastambha (flag-pillar) and a bali-peetam (sacrificial altar) is present in the mukha mantapa (inner-porch). The roof wall of the facade of the mukha mantapa contains the sculpture of dashavatara (the avatars of the Hindu God Vishnu) with the center portion of the sculpture depicting Krishnavatara (the avatar of Vishnu in which he appeared as Krishna). There is a shikhara tower over the garbha griha (sanctum sanctorum).

The temples ‘garbha griha’ contains an idol of Krishna holding a flute under a tree. Krishna is flanked by his friends and the posture is that of a dance with the left big toe resting on the right one. The panel also features several characters and icons from Krishna’s avatar.

himavad betta

Lord Gopalaswamy’s idol is flanked by his consorts, Rukmini and Satyabhama. Cows and cowherds are featured towards the right side of the panel.

Myth says that sage Agastya, performed intense penance and as a result lord Vishnu blessed this place and promised to reside here. As this was a place of worship and penance, it used to be called as ‘Hamsatheertha’, which means the lake of swans in Sanskrit.

Inside the temple at one corner we can spot a shed where the wooden wheels of the ceremonial temple rath (old form vehicle) is kept. The rath is assembled for the annual festival during the February-March ( according to Hindu calendar Sravana of Phalguna ).

Interesting things to do:
The awesome experience is walk back through fog towards the

trekking area

temple.If you are able to catch the spot in early morning, u can see dense white fog all over. It takes almost half an hour to come out ofter the darshan as the temple is crowded, in season. When came out, you may find completely different view & a dramatic change. Fog had cleared and can enjoy clear view, so that one can sit there, near the temple admiring the beauty to a distance of kilometers.

The sobriquet Himavad (fog in Kannada) is because most of the year, there is a veil of mist covering the whole area , and winds blowing through the trees are like a song in praise of the lord. These hills are covered with grass and classified as shola forests. Being a part of the Bandipur wildlife sanctuary, the hills are frequented by grazing wild elephants. The place is also known for its picturesque views of the surrounding hills, valleys and visitors may also see the spectacular sunrise and sunset from the top.

aeric view

Nearest Visiting places:
MM Hills : Malai Mahadeshwara Hills (short form: MM Hills), is an important Shaiva pilgrimage centre in the Kollegala Taluk. The yearly chariot festival (locally called ‘jatre’) at the MM Hills brings many devotees. The temple is situated within the MM Hills Reserve Forest, not very far from where the river Kaveri flows into Tamil Nadu.

BR Hills : Biligiri Rangana Betta (short form: BR Hills), refers to a cliff in the BR Hills range which is a North-South range in the Yelandur Taluk. It is famous for the Ranganathaswamy temple.

Kanakagiri : Kanakagiri in Chamarajanagara Taluk is a famous Jain pilgrim centre. It is described as Hemanga Desha in ancient works and is said that Bhagwan Sri Mahavira visited this place during his visit to South India.

Things to carry:
There are no hotels or tea stalls, so u need to carry food if you plan

betta

a trekking. Due to the salubrious climate, one does not need to lose sleep over packing the right apparels. Cotton apparels would suffice for a summer trip while winter clothing should consist of light woolens.

Tips & Suggestions:
Travelers planning Ooty trip from Mysore by private vehicle can include this scenic place in their list. Leaving Mysore early in the morning, one can complete visiting this place and proceed towards Ooty. Buses from KSRTC are available to temple top only on Saturdays and Sundays. Private vehicles are available from Gundlupet on hire and costs INR 250 to 300. Very frequent buses are available from Mysore to Gundlupet.

Accommodation:
There is a forest department guest house at the top of the picturesque hill, which can be reserved in advance through the forest office in Mysore or Bandipur. The guest house provides basic accommodation, food and other essentials should be brought along by visitors.
Visitors are allowed from around 6am till 5pm. Overnight stay on top is not allowed. No food is available at the hill top. Accomodation available at Forest guest house if booked in advance. Trekking and videography in the surrounding hills are allowed only with prior permission and to be accompanied by the forest department guides.

Reach There
Nearest Railway Station:Mysore
Nearest Airport:Mysore Airport
Road Transport:From Bangalore 220kms, Mysore 80Kms, Ooty 80kms, Bandipur 15kms.

 

5 thoughts on “Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta

  1. Kiran

    Not only trekking, Taking of food and any Plastic is also totally banned, To keep nature clean. Check-post checking is very strict. So what ever food and eatable you carry it should keep’t at the check post only, and you could take back your things on your way back.
    And also entering the forest area around temple is also banned.
    There are some forest officers to keep an eye on tourist that they cannot enter prohibited area as its very dangerous.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Melkote (Melukote) | mavilayi

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