When a much needed long drive is thriving you, get ready and start driving to Biligiri Rangana Betta and Himavad Gopalaswamy temple.
- Distance from Bengaluru : 173 km
- Places to explore : Biligirangana betta, Himavad Gopalaswamy temple.
- Mode of transport : Car
- Type : Weekend, Sight-seeing, Temple
- Ideal for : Friends and Family
- Companions : Me, Teju, Sharat and Pradeep
- Budget : Fuel cost and Food (pack and parcel).
Mode of Transport
- By Road (From Bangalore): Take the Bangalore – Mysore highway, and drive till Maddur. Turn left after leaving Maddur and drive till you reach Malavalli. Continue driving past Malavalli and get to Kollegala town. BR Hills is another 30 minutes drive from Kollegala.Those who come from Coimbatore can take either KSRTC or TNSTC to reach Chamarajanagar, buses ply every 20 minutes.
- Train : Nearest train station is in Chamarajanagar, 40 km from BR Hills. Daily 6 trains connect Chamarajanagar with Mysore and one among the six goes to Tirupati via Bangalore .
Places to explore
Biligiri Ranganathswamy temple
The Biligirirangana Betta commonly called B R Hills, is a hill range situated in south-eastern Karnataka, at its border with TamilNadu. We started off on an early morning from Bengaluru in Sharat's Swift car.
We traveled a long route on Mysore highway (check mode of transport) and finally entered the forest route. The place is under the protection of Forest department, Government of Karnataka.
It was a sunny day, and believe me when we entered the forest, the temperature gradually decreased and we could feel the cool breeze. The entire route is filled with tall trees and curves. 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. Don't carry any bags to the temple as there are lots of monkeys.
[caption id="attachment_2838" align="alignnone" width="3456"] Gopura[/caption]
The temple is situated at a bare cliff which appears to be white , so the name Biligiri (White hill). The special thing is that Ranganatha deity at this temple is possibly the only standing form of Ranganatha (Usually found in resting form). Other deities include Ranganayaki and Alvars. Photography is prohibited in the temple.
There are two view points, one behind the temple and the other at the left of the entrance.
BR hills is a home to herds of wild elephants. We could possibly notice two wild elephants from the view point :O
We started driving towards Himavad Gopalaswamy temple after having lunch.
Himavad VenuGopalaswamy temple
It is approximately 94km from BRhills on the Mysore-Ooty road andies in the core area of the Bandipur National Park.
Private vehicles are not allowed beyond the forest check post. One has to make use of the KSRTC bus arranged by the forest department to visit the temple. Entry fee is collected at the forest department check post at the foot of the hill. During the journey, we could notice herd of deers :)
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.
[caption id="attachment_2841" align="alignnone" width="1920"] Himavad Gopalaswamy temple. Credits : Wikipedia[/caption]
It was almost 4 pm, and still, we could feel the fog and mist at the hill top. The cool breeze got better with time at this high altitude.
The garbha griha 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.
The priest explained the details of the idol and the history of the temple. The temple is believed to be built in 1315 and is covered with dense fog almost all the time, which gave the Himavad (fog in Kannada).
Both the hills are a part of Western ghats of Karnataka and are worth visiting for a day trip.
We started off to Bengaluru at 5pm (230 km) so that we could reach home in time. Thanks to Sharat for the long drive and Pradeep for the snapshots.
Keep driving !! :)