Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta

Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, is located in the Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka,at a height of 1450m and is extensively wooded. 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. Dense fog predominates and covers the hills round the year and thus gets the prefix Himavad(in the native language of Kannada) and the temple of Venugopalaswamy (Lord Krishna) gives the full name of Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta. 

Its geographic coordinates are: Latitude 12.97°Ne and longitude 77.56°E.              

Route to reach

It is approximately 220 km away from Bangalore and 75 km from Mysore . the hill is situated on the Mysore Ooty  road -10 km away from Gundlupete, which is 60 km away from Mysore. There is a motorable road all the way to the top of the hill. Entry fee is collected at the forest department check post at foot of the hill. Materials used for pooja (prayers) alone such as flowers, fruits, Incense sticks etc. are permitted. Other food items are not permitted to be carried in. All these materials should be carried in non-plastic bags. Entry fee has been revised w.e.f. February 1, 2011. Entry fee is Bikes (Rs 25),Cars/Jeeps (Rs 50), LMV (Rs 100) Buses (Rs 200). You have to report back at the entrance after 1 hour 30 minutes. Visitors are allowed from around 8:30am till 4pm. Overnight stay on top is not allowed.
There is a forest department guest house at the top of the picturesque hill, which is not available for public, only public servants on official duty are allowed to use it.


This temple was built by the Hoysala King Ballala during AD 1315. Later the Wodeyars Wodeyar dynasty 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. A dhwajastambha (flag-pillar) and a bali-peetam (sacrificial altar) is present in the mukha mantapa (inner-porch). The parapet wall of the façade 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. 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.
Lord Gopalaswamy's idol is flanked by his consorts, Rukmini and Satyabhama. Cows and cowherds are featured towards the right side of the panel.
Legend 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. Swan acquires a mythological significance in Hinduism, symbolizing knowledge, tranquility and salvation.
Being a part of the Bandipur National Park, 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
This temple is located in the heart of Bandipur National Park, Is a vital habitat of wildlife such as Tiger, leopard,Wild Dogs and other herbivores such as Indian Gaur, Chittal, Sambar etc. Venturing beyond the temple premises is an offense as per Wildlife Act 1972, The Forest department is concerned by the increase in number of tourist visiting the temple and causing disturbance.
Trekking,Picnicking,partying etc. are punishable offense. hence visitors are requested to refrain from venturing beyond the temple premises. To minimize disturbance on wildlife entry timing has been changed to 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. And permitted time to return is 1 hour 30 minutes with effect from 01/Feb/2011.

.( details from Wikipedia)

Crow-pheasant or Coucal is a clumsy(uppan)

Called uppan in malayalam and in Hindi ‘Mahoka’ , Crow Pheasant or Coucal sis a beautiful terrestrial bird, and although it resembles pheasants, it belongs to Cuculidae family, but it is not a brood parasite. It is also known as Crow Pheasant or Coucal.  It’s a clumsy, glossy black bird with conspicuous wings and long, broad, black, graduated tail. One can easily identify it by its deep, resonant coop-coop-coop in the series of six, seven or even twenty.
Sometimes two birds synchronize their call and the entire jungle lightens up with their orchestrated performance. When (probably) not in ‘mood’ the bird also utters a variety of harsh croaks and gurgling chuckles. It affects open forests, grassland interspersed with shrubs where its possible for it to stalk and hide. It can also be seen in villages. It loves to eat caterpillars, large insects, snails, lizards, young mice and eggs of birds. Both the sexes are alike and can be seen singly or in pairs.
The bird is found all over the Indian Union, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. In the Himalayas it can be found upto the height of 2000 meters. Nesting season is from February to September and may vary locally. Its nest is an untidy collection of twigs and branches where three or four glossless eggs are laid.