Clouds zoom in and around
Mesmerizing the soul
Hills n Valleys rise n fall
Entrenching the mind
To the Emerald horizon
And the life between
I surrender to you…
O Divine Gopala !
Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta is a medium size hill situated in the core zone of Western Ghats, can be accessed by a small road through Hangala village of north part of the Bandipur National Park. Being a part of the Bandipur wildlife sanctuary, the hills are frequented by grazing wild elephants.
Himvad Gopalaswamy Betta is covered with mist for most parts of the year and hence the first part of the name is Himvad meaning mist and the presence of the ascetic ancient temple on the top of the hill dedicated to Gopalaswamy or Lord Krishna forms the second part of the name and the third part is contributed by the fact that it is a hill or Betta.
The Temple of Shri Himavad Gopalaswamy was built seven centuries ago is one of the famous temple with picturesque views and in times it was called as South Govardhanagiri and Kamalachala. The temple is at a height of 4770 feet from Sea level. Himavad Gopalaswamy temple took shape in the 14th century and is dedicated to Lord Gopalaswamy or Krishna installed by the rishi “Agasthya”. The Temple was built in the year 1315 of Hoysala Era and the temple is facing North. 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.
Gundlupet has many ancient temples with great architecture built centuries ago, Himavad Gopalaswamy temple is built in the Dravidian style of architecture. The shrine stands as an epitome of architectural and artistic brilliance of craftsmen from the bygone era. 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. A dhwajastambha (flag-pillar) and a bali-peetam (sacrificial altar) is present in the mukha mantapa (inner-porch). The parapet wall of the facade of the mukha mantapa contains the sculpture of dashavatara (the avatars of the Hindu God Vishnu) with the centre 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 garbha griha contains an idol of Krishna holding a flute under a tree. The idol of Lord Krishna is 6 feet tall and The idol is sculpted to perfection and the posture is that of a dance with the left big toe resting on the right one. Simple yet grand the prabhavali / panel behind the idol has carvings of a tree, the Lords friends, his consorts Rukmini and Satyabhama, Cows and Cowherds, also features several other characters and icons from Krishna’s avatar. Cows and cowherds are featured towards the right side of the panel.
Another unique feature here is that throughout the year just above the door leading to the Sanctum Sanctorium cold-water drips constantly. The priest patiently narrates the legends associated with the place and sprinkles this water on the devotees. Visitors get ample opportunities to click some amazing pictures here because of the location of the temple. The surrounding hills and lush greenery along with the appealing architecture of the shrine make beautiful subjects for photography.
This site is noted for its scenic beauty and holds great religious significance. The plain tracts on the hills are covered with lush grass, and is home to elephants, deer and rabbit, while the slopes are covered with thick forests, home to tigers and leopards.
If you have ever dreamt of walking into the clouds or touching the cloud, then this is the place to realize your dreams and be literally on cloud 9! The branches of trees are covered with sphagnum moss and many species of Orchids endemic to Western Ghats are embedded in the moss-covered branches.
The forest of Himavad Gopalaswamy Hill is covered with rosewood, teakwood and other such valuable wood. Being a part of the Bandipur wildilife sanctuary, the hills are frequented by grazing wild elephants. The hills are also home to some rich bird life including peacocks, parrots, forest hens and pelicans. There is no doubt that anyone who visits this place will fall in love with it instantly.
The best part of this place is you will not find any crows, the legend says that once a crow had a dip in the near by pond and it turned into a swan and henceforth, no crows are to be seen here.
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.