Location: Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, is a hill (betta in Kannada) located in the state of Karnataka,India and is extensively wooded. It is also the highest peak in the Bandipur National Park.
Getting there: It is approximately 220 km from Bangalore and 75 km from Mysore. From Mysore take the Ooty route via Nanjangud and Gundlupet(60 km from Mysore). The road gets worse from now on for another 15 km till you reach a small village called Hangala. Slow down here and watch out for a sign board that says take right to the Hill. There is a motorable road all the way to the top of the hill. Entry fee is collected at the forest depeartment checkpost at foot of the hill. Its a 7 km ghat section with awesome scenic view points. The checkpost does not open until 7am and closes after 5pm. So, make it a point to reach at the foot of the hill at exactly 7am for the best experience.
Accomodation: There is a forest department guest house at the top of the 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: This 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 of the temple is single-tiered and rests on the compound wall of the enclosure. There is a shikhara tower over the garbha griha (sanctum sanctorum).
Specialities: Water/Ice always keeps dropping on the head of the Lord 24×7, 365 days. Dense fog predominates and covers the hills round the year and thus gets the prefix Himavad. Feel the chill instantly once you reach the hill top. Play with the clouds and enjoy your moments at the place.
Tips: Its a one day trip, no need to have huge luggage. Reach the base by 7am. By 9 30 it becomes just another hill. Be careful, elephants are spotted frequently here. Take your vehicle, there is no Govt. Bus service to this place. Visit Nanjangud temple on the way back.
Total Journey: Bangalore-Mysore-Gundlupet-Hangala-Himavad Gopalaswami betta-Hangala-Gundlupet-Mysore-Bangalore is 430 km. Time from Bangalore to hill non-stop is 4 hrs.
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