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Misty Hilltop Temple at Bandipur National Park !

Hima Gopalswamy Temple. mist covered temple on hilltopck. Misty & Scenic. Gopalswamy hilltopck.1450 mtrs high, 6 kms circumference mountain surrounded by 77 lakes lies the hilltop temple of Lord Krishna – locally called, ‘Hima Gopalaswamy Betta’. This misty (locally Hima in Kannada being mist) mountain top temple is a welcoming sight to any tourist or pilgrim to melt his heart.
This misty hill, the second highest peak of the Bandipur range lies in the protected arena of Bandipur National Park. This temple was built by the Hoysala king Ballala in the year 1315 and was later taken control by the Mysore Wodeyar kings in 17 century after the Vijayanagar – Hoysala kings. This area is an apex point, where one can see the current states of – Karnataka, Kerala & Tamilnadu or the yesterwhile kingdoms of – the Gangas of Talkad, Cheras of Kerala  & Kadambas. This area was the favorite hunting grounds of Wodeyar kings who entertained their royal friends & British colonial companions. Their guest house stays locked even to this day!  Several photographs of tiger hunts also lie in the archives even to this day.
Hima Gopalaswamy Betta  is 220 kms from Bangalore. 75 kms from Mysore and lies on the Mysore – Ooty road, A welcome arch welcomes all tourists 10 kms from Gundlupet. It’s a motorable road throughout. This place is open to public with a lot of conditions between 8:30 am to 4 pm. Private vehicles are not allowed. Karnataka Forest Department in association with Karnataka State Road Transport has organised shuttle buses to ferry tourists & pilgrims up and down the 5 kms hill ride. Only pooja materials are allowed. No plastic bags or food materials liquor or video recording equipment is allowed. Overnight stay is not allowed. Trekking, picnicking is a punishable offence according to the Wild Life Act of 1972. This area has some amazing sunrises & sunset views. Forest guesthouse is available only to the forest officials. One must try your luck with contacts with them & stay overnight with assistance of forest guards to move around. This area is a wild habitat of Tigers, Leopards, Wild Dogs, Indian Gaur, Chittal, Sambars and other such wild animals.
The temple atop sits on the slope of a hillock and is surrounded by grasslands and is of a Hindu deity – Lord Krishna in the avatar of – Gopalaswamy, its a black classic stone idol of Lord Krishna under a tree playing the flute flanked by his consorts – Rukmini & Satyabhama. Cow & cowherds are carved in relief on the right side panel of the diety idol. Car festival takes place for 7 days in the month of March – April each year. There’s a rock a kilometre away from the temple called ‘Santana Prapti’. It’s believed that any childless couple climbing the hill by foot and praying abeyance begets a child. Saint Agastya is believed to have penanced here. 77 natural lakes surround this picturesque spot. The landscape hill & range lines of Madumalai, Nilgiris can be seen from this temple on clear weather days of summer. All year around this place is surrounded by mist. This place is a must stopover if one is travelling to Bandipur wildlife sanctuary or Ooty. It’s worth the 10 kms deviation if you have 2-3 hours to spare. A photographers paradise a tourists soul happy place in natural beauty & divinity is Hima Gopalaswamy Betta in Karnataka!

Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh
Text & Photography
[email protected]

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