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Gopalaswamy Betta

Gopalaswamy Betta


Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta is a small hill, in the core zone can be accessed by a small road through the village of Hangala north of the national park. Gopalaswamy Betta (betta is hill in Kannada) located inside the forest is a popular trekking spot. Atop the hill is a temple of Lord Venugopala Swamy built seven centuries ago and a travellers' bungalow which remains locked now and belonged to the Ruler of Mysore.

Enveloped in mist most of the time, the hills are literally an abode in the clouds giving one an ethereal feeling of walking in them. As the mist rises from the hillock, the surroundings become visible offering breathtaking glimpses. There are many scenic valleys, gorges and hills like Neeladri, Hamsadri, Garudadri, Pallava and Mallikajunagiri. Abounding in rare flora, the region is virtually a storehouse of medicinal plants.
Far more wooded and quiet than many other hill stations, Gopalaswamy Betta is like a watch tower for the Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuary and is an ideal picnic spot.A 13th century fort of the Palegars of Terakanambi and a temple within is believed to have been patronised by the Mysore Maharajas.

This temple was built by the King Chola Ballala during AD 1315. There will be car festival during Phalguna masa - Sravana Nakshatra(during March-April). This is a 7 days celeberation. Unlike in most of other temples in India, here, the car (Ratha) is made during this time and will be dismantled after the celeberations. The temple is small, neat and clean. A rock can be seen at a distance of one Kms from the temple. There is a belief that people not having children, on performing puja here (Santana praapti) , will have kids.
Other than the spiritual importance, this place is an excellent picnic spot for all. There are total 77 lakes situated over a distance of 5-6 kms on this hilly region. These can be seen only by walking through hills and forest areas and the way is naturally made. Among these, one lake is called Hamsa theertha (Swan lake). There is a story behind this lake. Once a crow took bath in this lake and became Hamsa (Hamsa means swan in Kannada). Interestingly, one cannot see any crows surrounding this place. The lines of hill ranges at Madhumalai and Nilgiris can be seen from the temple premesis.

Location info:

Address:Situated at a height of 1454 m the relatively unknown Gopalaswamy Betta is an idyllic and especially beautiful hill station tucked 75 km away from Mysore
Nearest City:Bandipur,Mysore and Ooty
Best time to visit: Mid June. Because of its altitude, is endowed with a pleasant weather throughout the year.


The brief winter period in Mysore can be a bit chilly with intermittent spells of rain. Misty mornings usually welcome the early birds. Temperature usually falls in the range of 12-30oC.
Clear Sky, with scattered clouds. Rains were due in this part of the country. The name - Himavad meaning fog, as the hill be covered with fog almost through out the year. Yes even during peak summer.

History of Gopalaswamy Betta:

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.[3]. 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. 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.

Interesting things to do:

From there walk back through fog towards the temple. It tooks almost half an hour to come out ofter the darshan as the temple is crowded. When came out, you may find completely different view & a dramatic change. Fog had cleared and can enjoy clear view, so that pne can sit there, near the temple admiring the beauty.

Interesting things to Visit:

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. Staying beyond 5:30 PM is not allowed. These hills are covered with grass and classified as shola forests. On may visit this place en-route Mysore.
And main speciality of the place is wild elephants which can be seen in herds of 60s-70s.

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.[1].

Mobile range info:


How to reach Gopalaswamy Betta?

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

Nearest Visiting places in Gopalaswamy Betta:

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.

Nearest Petrol Pump:


Hotels/Lodge/Accommodation nearby Gopalaswamy Betta:

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.

Things to carry:

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 for Gopalaswamy Betta:

Travellers 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.

Its geographic coordinates are: Latitude 12.97°Ne and longitude 77.56°E [2].
It is approximately 220 km from Bangalore and 75 km from Mysore on the Mysore Ooty road -10 km away from Gundlupet,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 depeartment checkpost at foot of the hill.

Help Line/Phone Number:

Police Station:Gundlupet
Nearest Hospital:Gundlupet
Society/Community Phone Number

Gopalaswamy Betta Temples Nearest Attraction

B. R . Hills
B.R Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, Situated at a height of 5,091 feet, B.R Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is a unique blend of resort and wildlife sanctuary, a must for wildlife lovers. Dancing trees, whistling winds and swirling streams form a backdrop to some very rare animal.....more
Biligiri Hills
Biligiri Hills is a must for any person who wants to release his drudgery and stimulate his spirit by basking in the joy of natural glory. Located almost 120km from Mysore and 247kms from Bangalore, the picturesque Biligiri Hills are situated between the rivers Cauvery and Kapila. Biligiri signifies `white capped`, though the hills are hued in shimmering blue colours.....more
Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta
Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta is a small hill, in the core zone can be accessed by a small road through the village of Hangala north of the national park. Gopalaswamy Betta (betta is hill in Kannada) located inside the forest is a popular trekking spot. Atop the hill is a temple of Lord Venugopala Swamy built seven centuries ago and a travellers' bungalow which remains locked now and belonged to the Ruler of Mysore.....more
M.M.Hills Temples
Malai Mahadeshwara hills (MM hills also called Mahadeshwara betta in local language, Kannada) belongs to Chamarajnagar district in Karnataka state. It is a very popular & holy ancient temple, surrounded by 77 hills in the Eastern Ghats. The Lord Sri Mahadeshwara is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. It is a very famous Shaiva piligrim centre. The Lord Sri Mahadeshwara's miracles are beautifully sung by the village folk in Janapada Style.....more
B R Hills Sanctuary
Located 90 k m from Mysore and 230 kms from Bangalore, the Biligiri hill are exquisitely situated between the Kapila and the Cauvery rivers. Placed at a height of 5091 feet above sea level, the B.R Hill Sanctuary lengthen to about 16 kms from North to South. Completely engulfed by the deciduous trees, the wild species are found roaming freely amidst the long grasses.....more
Bandipur National Park
Bandipur National Park is one of India's best known sanctuaries, and is an important Project Tiger reserve. It is located in the Chamarajanagar district of southern Karnataka in south India, and is contiguous with the Mudumalai National Park in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, the Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala, and the Nagarhole National Park to the northwest.....more
Nugu Reservoir