Monday, June 17, 2024

Shri Krishna Temple (Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple)

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Shri Krishna Temple (Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple)

The Shri Krishna Temple, also known as the Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple, is situated in the Himavad Gopalaswamy Hills of Berambadi State Forest in Karnataka. It is a renowned temple for Hindus and an ideal place to visit and worship.

In this blog, we will discuss the temple’s rich history, exquisite architecture, nearby attractions, and the best times to visit the temple. So join us on this journey as we explore the beauty and sacredness of this holy abode!

Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple- History

The Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple is an ancient temple located in the Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka, India. It has a history that can be traced back to when it was built seven centuries ago, with its old names being South Govardhanagiri and Kamalachala. This beautiful temple stands at 4770 feet above sea level, making it one of the highest-altitude temples in south India.

This sacred shrine, dedicated to Lord Shri Krishna (Gopalaswamy), was built in the 14th century AD (1315) by sage Agastya. Built under the rule of King Chola Ballala, this majestic structure boasts magnificent stone carvings on its walls and pillars, along with intricate woodwork around them, which have remained intact even after all these years! After the building was finished, the Wodeyars dynasty took over maintenance for many generations.

To this day, their descendants still keep the buildings and outside areas, like nearby villages, in good shape. People from all over the world come to this holy place to pray to their favourite god, Sri Gopalkrishna (also renowned as “Mallikarjuna” by the locals).

Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple- Architecture

Shri Krishna Temple (Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple) Karnataka
Shri Krishna Temple (Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple) Karnataka . Image courtesy: Wikimedia commons

The Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple is a remarkable example of ancient architectural and religious glory. Located in the Gundlupet area, this Hindu shrine is dedicated to Lord Krishna and has many unique features that make it stand out from other temples across India.

At first glance, visitors will be drawn to its single-tiered gopuram (tower) with a dhwajastambha (flagpole). The mukhamantapa also contains a bali peetha, which adds an additional layer of grandeur to the structure. As you go further inside, you can see different sculptures, including ones of Vishnu’s avatars (dashavatara) and Krishnavatar, on the parapet walls along the facade. These were beautifully made by skilled craftsmen at a time when technology was not as advanced as it is today.

Inside the Garbha Grihah, or sanctum sanctorum, stands a six-foot-tall idol of Lord Krishna holding a flute under a tree, surrounded by prabhaval, which has carvings of trees, cows, cowherds, etc., making for beautiful subjects for photography as well as showcasing the amazing craftsmanship used while constructing these structures centuries ago. Also, the cold water drops that fall all year near the Sanctum Sanctorium door add a sense of mystery to the air around the temple.

This amazing architecture, combined with the lush greenery surrounding the hills, makes the entire area worth visiting at least once! Overall, the Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple is an amazing example of ancient architecture and Hindu worship that has withstood the test of time. Its unique features make it a place that everyone who wants to learn about India’s rich culture and history must go to.

Popular Attractions Near the Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple

The Himavad Gopalaswamy Hill is a popular tourist attraction in the state of Karnataka, India. It is home to one of its holiest sites: the Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple, which dates back centuries and is a popular pilgrimage destination for devotees from all over South India.

Apart from being a religious destination, it also offers scenic beauty and several other attractions that are sure to capture your attention.

1. Home to elephants, deer, rabbits, tigers, and leopards!

The Himavad Gopalaswamy Hill is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, deer, and even tigers, making it an ideal spot for nature lovers.

This hilltop abode also offers some rare sightings of leopard on occasion, so if you’re lucky enough, be sure not to miss such unique experiences while here!

2. You have the sensation of walking on clouds!

At this beautiful place, you can experience what it’s like to walk through clouds in all their glory.

The fog plays hide-and-seek from time to time as you walk along the winding paths that lead up to the top, where the Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple stands tall and looks down on everything below. It’s a sight you’ll never forget!

3. You get to witness a wide variety of trees!

On the way to the top of the hill, there are many trees, sphagnum moss, and even orchids that are only found in the western ghats. These trees show off the real beauty of nature in all its glory.

You can also find rosewood and teakwood, as well as other valuable species, within this forest, making it an even more special place for nature lovers visiting here.

4. Rich bird life, including peacocks, parrots, etc.!

Aside from the lush green meadows and wildlife-filled forests, there are also some interesting birds, like peacocks, that can be seen here all year long. This is another reason why so many people come back here again and again.

Not to mention that you can often see parrots flying around, adding their own charm and making everything look even better. It’s a truly amazing sight that you should see for yourself if you get the chance.

Famous Rituals and Festivals Celebrated at the Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple

1. The Gopalaswamy Brahma Rathotsava car festival

The Gopalaswamy Brahma Rathotsava car festival is held every year in Phalguna Masa-Sravana, i.e., in the last week of March.

This car festival is held with a lot of fanfare. Devotees pull a huge chariot made of bamboo creepers from a nearby forest through four streets that surround an old temple. This represents Lord Krishna’s journey on his cart through Vrindavan, the place where he was born.

During these days, special poojas are held for Lord Vishnu, along with other activities like Kirtan (devotional singing), Aarati (lighting lamps), etc., which make it an even grander event than usual.

2. Sravana Masa special poojas

Aside from that, the Sravana Masa of each year is also important because special poojas and cultural programs, such as abhishekams and Alankara sevas, are held every day between 5:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to offer sarees and jewellery.

These events draw tens of thousands of devotees who come here every day to ask the deity in Garbha Gudi for divine blessings.

3. Mahabali Hanuman Jayanthi

Mahabali Hanuman Jayanthi is also celebrated here every year on Chaitra Shuddha Pournami.

This is when God Hanuman is worshipped with the most devotion, giving people a chance to ask for blessings from Panchmukhi Anjaneya Swami, who is inside the Sanctum Sanatorium.

Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple- Visiting Times & How to reach the temple?

The Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple stays open to all visitors from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day!

While it may be closed during some festivals or special occasions like Purnima (Full Moon Day), devotees can also visit nearby temples that remain open every day, including Maramma Devi, Mallikarjuna Swami Gowdru, etc. You will need around two hours to climb up on foot.

Still, there’s another option available: take shuttle buses run by KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) from the foothills directly up to the hilltop viewpoint where the main temple resides!

Note: Private vehicles aren’t allowed beyond certain checkpoints, so remember that while planning your trip here.

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