Sacred Serenity: Exploring the Mystique of Gopalaswamy Hills and Temple

Gopalaswamy Betta, also known as Gopalaswamy hill. This hill station located at karnataka,India , at an altitude of 1450 meters in Gundlupet Taluk, Chamarajanagar District. It is also the highest peak in Bandipur National Park. It is located in the core area of ​​Bandipur National Park and is frequented by wildlife including elephants. Dense fog dominates and covers the hills throughout the year, thus earning the prefix Himavad and giving the temple of Venugopalaswamy (Krishna) its full name Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta. The hill offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding forests and plains, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and photographers.

Gopalaswamy hill Temple

The attraction is especially famous for its elephant safari rides, which tourists visiting the area make a point to try. Another popular tourist attraction here is the Gopalaswamy Temple located on the top of the hill. The temple is dedicated to Venugopala Swami, who is considered to be one of the incarnations of the Hindu god Krishna. The hill is therefore considered a place of worship and penance and has great religious and historical importance besides being a major sightseeing spot. Gopalaswamy Betta is also known for its beautiful views of the surrounding hills. Visitors especially love the beautiful sunrise and sunset views from the hilltop. 

Being a part of Bandipur National Park, the hills are frequented by wildebeest grazing. The place is also known for its views of the surrounding hills and valleys, and visitors can watch the sunrise and sunset from the top. Gopalaswamy Betta is home to diverse wildlife, including elephants, deer, and various bird species, adding to its allure as a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts.


The temple is dedicated to Gopalaswamy, one of the names of the Hindu god Krishna. The gopuram of the temple is single and stands on the wall of the enclosure. The mukha mandapam  has a dhvajastambha and a bali peetha. The mukhamandapam wall of the mukhamandapath contains a sculpture of Dasavatara (incarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu) and a central sculpture depicting the Krishna avatara (an avatar of Vishnu incarnated by him as Krishna). Above the garbha griha is a sikhara gopuram. 

The garbhagriha 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. Gopalaswamy's idol is flanked by his consorts, Rukmini and Satyabhama. 

The temple was built in 1315 during the Hoysala period. This legendary temple was built by King Veera Ballala. Later the Wodeyar Wodeyar dynasty of Mysore improved the hill temple. 

Legend has it that Sage Agastya performed severe penance and as a result Lord Vishnu blessed the place and promised to reside here. As it was a place of worship and penance, it was called 'Hamsateertha' which means lake of swans in Sanskrit. The swan acquires a mythological significance in Hinduism as a symbol of knowledge, serenity and salvation.

Located in the heart of Bandipur National Park, the temple is a prime habitat for wildlife like tigers, leopards, wild dogs and herbivores like Indian gaur, chital and sambar. It is a crime to go beyond the temple premises. 

Trekking, picnicking, parties and other activities are punishable offences. Hence visitors have been advised to refrain from going outside the temple premises. Timings have been changed from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM to minimize wildlife disturbance. The time allowed for return is 1 hour 30 minutes with effect from 01/Jan/2023. The best time to visit would be from July to February. 

Location: Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka, India .

Visiting Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM.

Entry Fee:  Entry fee 60 rs per head

How to reach 

Take SH17 from Mysore to Mysore, take Ooty Road NH212, after Gundlupet, before Bandipur Forest, look out for the sign indicating directions to Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta. Turn right to reach the hills. Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses ply from Gundlupet to this hill. Also, any busses towards Ooty / Gudalur can drop to Hangala. 


  • Private vehicles are not allowed.  One has to park their vehicle in the base of the hill and take the KSRTC buses to reach atop, the ticket costs Rs.20 and the timings are around 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. 
  • Could not find toilets near the temple area.  
  • Liquor and smoking are strictly prohibited.
  • Please make sure you carry enough food & drinking water. Not sure whether anna daana (free food) is offered every day. There are petty shops at the foothills where you can get fruits, snacks or soft drinks. 
  • No one can stay on top after official hours due to wild animal movement.

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