Bandipur Tiger Reserve and National Park was established in 1973 as part of 'Project Tiger' by the then prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi. This reserve, located in the Chamarajnagar district of Karnataka, spans around 800 sq. km., and is home to a vast variety of flora and fauna. Inside the park lies a hill locally known as Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta. 'Himavad' refers to the fog that covers the area. Gopalaswamy is one of the names of the Hindu God Krishna, and 'Betta' translates to the mountain. It is the tallest peak in the park, with a height of 1400 m. It exposes visitors to some spectacular sunrises and sunsets. So do not forget your cameras!
The hill gets its name because it is home to Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna, who has multiple names - Gopalaswamy being one of them. It was built in the early 14th century by King Ballala of the Hoysala dynasty. It was later given a facelift by the rulers of the Wodeyar dynasty. Since then, the temple has undergone regular refurbishments that have ensured it remains a symbol of endurance.
The temple's vantage position on top of the hill provides sweeping views of the rest of Bandipur National Park. Elephants are frequently sighted in its vicinity, as are other residents of the wildlife sanctuary. Therefore, visitors are prohibited from wandering in the surrounding areas for safety and environmental reasons. However, the view from atop the hill is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will truly take your breath away! You are also advised to not carry any plastic objects while visiting Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple, Bandipur. If you are feeling peckish, there are multiple stalls nearby that serve delicious street fare.
While visiting Bandipur, Gopalaswamy Temple should definitely be on your itinerary. Devotees can come to seek solace and contentment, architecture enthusiasts can visit the shrine to admire its beauty and longevity, and nature lovers can come to embrace the gorgeous views of Bandipur Tiger Reserve and National Park. On your visit stay at The Serai, Bandipur and let the resort treat you to a getaway of fine luxuries and comfort. The temple is less than an hour's drive from our resort in Bandipur. If you are lucky during the drive to the summit, you may catch a glimpse of some of the most famous residents of Bandipur National Park.