If You Wish to Drive Through Rainy Clouds , Visit Gopalaswamy Betta.
Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, is a hill (betta in Kannada) located in the Chamarajanagar district of the state of Karnataka,at a height of 1450m India 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.
It is approximately 220 km from Bangalore and 75 km from Mysore 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. Visitors are allowed from around 8:30am till 4pm. Overnight stay on top is not allowed.
Private vehicles are not allowed beyond the forest check post. One has to make use of the mini bus arranged by forest department to visit the temple.
In the Monsoon season , we can drive through rainy clouds
As you start the uphill appears a check post by the forest department. A gate across the road after about 4km from Hangala marks the beginning of the forest. The guard manning the post note down details (vehicle reg. no, name etc) and opens the gate. An entry fee has to be paid.
It's a typical hilly road along the edges of the slop with many sharp bends. The road finally ends in front of the Gopalaswamy. A little ahead is the outpost and the guesthouse of the forest department.
Entry to the forest is allowed only during the day time. Also straying into the forest is prohibited. This is a dangerous stretch as it has a good size of elephant and bison population. Both are known to charge when felt threatened.
Regarding public transport, you can easily get a bus connection up to Gundlupet , or even up to Hangala village, if you hop on one of those Ooty bound bus. Further you've to hire a local transport. This is best done at Gundlupet rather than at Hangala, as it is a small village. Also during the weekend a bus service is operated from the KSRTC bus stand at Gundlupet to Gopalaswamy Betta.
During the festival seasons you can get more local connections , also KSRTC operate special buses from Mysore to Gopalaswamy Betta during the Mysore Dussera season.
Around 230 km away from Bangalore there is a hill station with a pilgrimage touch which lies in the heart of Bandipura national Park. That place is called as “Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta (Gopalaswamy cloudy hill :P). Since it is at a height of 1450m and surrounded by forest, the place is always chill and foggy. Hence comes the name :) Even from Mysore and ooty this place will be a short and sweet getaway for a weekend :) This is a perfect solution for your thirst for nature.
These are the pictures taken by Johnson V Chirayath on the way to Gopalaswamy Betta. Enjoy the Beauty.