Thursday, August 27, 2009


Hi everyone.., impressed by its beauty, I decided to write about this place the day I visited. Himavad Gopalaswamy betta is located in Chamarajanagar district about 80 kilometers from Mysore in Karnataka. This is one of the most exotic places and you certainly do need to give it a visit. Not many people know about this great place. Its a series of hills covered with greenery everywhere. The visibility at the top of the hill is very less as it is covered with thick fog most of the times(even at noon). It feels as though you are walking through the clouds. This place certainly is a heaven on earth. There is a Gopalaswamy(Lord Krishna) temple at the peak. Also at its neighborhood is the famous Bandipur forest.


Gopalswamy Betta is approximately 220 km from Bangalore. The biggest city close by would be Mysore which is about 80 km from the place. One can reach Mysore by train, bus or any other means. Or can directly reach Nanjangudu by train from Bangalore. From Nanjangudu one can take the government bus to the place. I guess there's a bus to the top of the hill as well.
So if you are traveling from Bangalore the route would be:
Bangalore -> Mysore -> Nanjangudu -> Gundlupet -> Gopalswamy betta

The distances respectively are 0 -> 130km -> 20 km -> 50km -> 20km

Quality of roads :
Bangalore -> Mysore : Good (with a few humps here n there)
Mysore -> Nanjangudu: Average
Nanjangudu -> Gundlupet: Very good (Awesome road without a single hump. Appeared to have been laid recently)
Gundlupet -> Gopalswamy betta: Very bad (too many potholes)

Beware of the crazy bus and lorry drivers on the way...


Me and eight of my college friends gave the college a miss on 22 August 2009 and decided to visit this place. We decided to go by bikes. We started planning days before our departure, finding the route, arranging bikes (as everyone did not have one), arranging money!!
We lied in our houses that we would be going on an industrial trip! (as our parents certainly wouldn't let us go in bikes).

Finally we managed to arrange 5 bikes - Pulsar 150, Apache 150, 2 TVS Flame's and a TVS Victor. We were surprised the last three bikes made the return trip successfully as they were 125 cc bikes and couldn't be relied upon for a long journey of 450 kms.

We had planned on leaving Bangalore at 7 a.m and reaching the place by 11 a.m. and decided to return home by 7.30 p.m . But things never go as planned ( not with us atleast !). We had a delayed start at 7.30 a.m. We stopped at "Maddur Tiffany's" at Maddur for breakfast. We had our breakfast by 9 a.m and the next stop was at Mysore (exchanging bikes n stuff...). A few unnecessary stops here and there put us behind schedule.

We were on a roll but then it started to rain heavily after Nanjangudu. We had to slow down. Finally reached Gundlupet at 12.30 p.m. Since there was no food available near the hill, we decided to get some parcel and stopped by a hotel. Unfortunately I was the only vegetarian in the group. There was a reasonably good non-veg hotel but vegetarian hotel??? Found one, but felt the place unhygienic and decided to settle for goodday biscuits and few kurkure packets..

We finally reached the place at 1.15 p.m. We were stopped by a few guards at the check post at the bottom of hill. There was a small board which said:
" Visiting hours : 9 to 5, carrying non veg items, liquor, plastic covers to the hill prohibited"
He checked our bags which contained all that was indicated "prohibited". We were refused enterance. So we decided to finish our lunch at the bottom of the hill itself.

We then paid an entrance fee of Rs.25 per bike. Then came the shocker:)
The guard said that we could only spend only 1 hour at the hill top. How could anyone spend only 1 hour at such a beautiful place. We thought for ourselves - " what the hell?? 5 hours travel of 220 k.m all for an hour??"
He also warned us not to enter the forest behind the temple.


It was another 6 k.m steep ascent in our bikes to the hill top. The road is narrow, be careful of the traffic coming from the other direction. The view while climbing the hill was stunning. You can notice elephant dung all over the place. So don't be surprised if you spot a few elephants. But be careful not to mess with them as they are wild elephants.

We finally made it to the hill top. It was the best moment of all our lives. The temperature was dropping even at 2 p.m. We reached for our jerkins to protect ourselves from the cold. The temple was closed. So we decided to take a few pictures posing against the nature's background.

Neglecting the guard's warning we decided to head to the forest behind the temple. Its not just a single hill. They are a series of hills. Our feet began to ache soon after covering a couple of hills. There seemed to be no end of the hills. Its very easy to get lost if you do not remember your way back. As we kept traveling, we spotted a skulk of foxes. They were staring at us. It scared the shit out of us!! ( atleast out of me). It was as though I had trespassed nature's property. Me and 4 others decided that we wouldn't be going any further. But the other three continued to the top most peak we could see. We only prayed for them to return safely.

Luckily they did return unharmed and we started to head back toward the temple. We had nearly covered 4 k.m and returning was exhausting. It was 3.30 p.m when we started to head back. But suddenly the weather grew worse. The fog totally covered everything around us. We couldn't see anything beyond a distance of 3 meters.
Thanks to the one guy who knew the correct way back. If it was me I'd have certainly took the wrong route and would have been lost for sure.

So before going any further please make sure to make some marking or waypoints so you could find your way back amidst the thick fog.

We finally made it to the temple. Everyone totally exhausted. We visited the temple and thanked God for bringing us alive...


We started our return journey at 4.30 p.m and reached our homes at 9 p.m . We made only one stop at Mysore.
We had spent around Rs.600 per bike on fuel. The bikes returned an average mileage of 45 kms. After a day full of excitement, it was back to our normal boring life.

So do not give a second thought if you are planning to visit the place.