‘ICE COLD’ Krishna..! @ Himavad Goplaswamy betta


This place was known little those days. Tourists used to talk about the tedious and dangerous journey, however they could’nt stop passing exhilarating remarks. Many years ago this place was in clutches of Veerappan and his gang. A notorious and intelligent poacher who evaded many attacks from brave STF men. He made sure to kill senior police officers who targeted him. His business was to kill elephants, deer and sell the skin in black market. Hence, as this place was/is more of elephant and tiger habitat, conditions were favorable for him to settle down. So, forest people and the government thought it was not safe for civilians to get inside this abundant green region.

Road Signage
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On the way to temple
Not so far from Gundlupet, by passing a small village, a check-post can be found. “Welcome to Himvad Gopalaswamy wild life sanctuary” a big board is attached to the check-post. Like any other range, this also has timings for visitors. Forest guards claim that elephants come in many number and relax near the check post till sunlight hits the ground.
Temple Entrance.
Temple Entrance.

A historic temple with Lord Krishna as deity is on top of the hill. History says that this temple was built by Hoysala dynasty and developed by Mysore Wadeyars. A thin layer of ice is formed on the Garbha-gudi dwara (shrine door), which persists through out the year. Scientifically it is proven that due to intense moist wind and low temperature across the hill, the mist is formed. As sun rays cannot penetrate the temple, there is less chance of melting of ice. Hence a new name for Lord Krishna – “Himavad Gopalaswamy“.

First time when I visited with my family, was quite impressed by the scenic beauty. We saw a tusker grazing alone quietly blocking the only road; it was scary as the hill road was narrow and we all were travelling by bus with full capacity. A small intervention in his peace would have been fatal for us. Soon the tusker climbed the green hill and our driver with a great relief managed to climb the rest of the hill. Lord Krishna is as usual eye catchy and attractive. After sunset wild animals pay a visit to him; which is why civilians must leave before 4:30 PM in the evening. There is no option for tourists to stay over night on top of the hill.
Surrounding the temple is green rain forest with lots of tall grass. Ideal for elephants to graze and for tourists to locate the wild animals. This forest has shares from all three neighboring states, Bandipur from Karnataka, Madhumalai from Tamil Nadu and  Waynad from Kerala.
A view from the temple

Fog is common and mostly a great experience factor on top of the hill. Many bore-wells are the source of drinking water, a small lake can be found down the lane infront of the temple. Forest guards told me that lake is the main source of drinking water for wild habitats.

There is an interesting fact about this place; it is also a myth. Crows are not seen on top of the hill; only white cranes are found in large.
Trekking from one hill to neighboring hills is interesting and dangerous. Hill with the temple belongs to Karnataka, and the hill adjacent to it belongs to Tamil Nadu, hence inter state roaming will be activated. Due to lots of accidents and mishaps trekking is now restricted by the forest dept.
A view from different Hill

Environment will be mostly peaceful and less polluted always. Many people enjoy the early morning mist, chilling weather and later drive to Bandipur and Masinagudi which are very popular wildlife destinations. Well, do visit this place to find out more. Am glad that the Government has taken initiative and has declared this place a conservative forest.

Place: Himavad Goplaswamy betta
Distance from Bangalore: 220 kms
Nearest Places: Bandipur, Masinagudi, Madhumalai, Ooty.
Ideal place for Photo shooters.