Gopalaswamy Betta: Home to rich wildlife

The Gopalaswamy temple was built by King Chola Ballala during AD 1315. Later, the Wodeyars of Mysore, who were devotees of the deity Venugopala displayed a keen interest in maintaining the hill temple.

A lake is situated near the temple and is popularly called Hamsatirtha. The swan acquires a mythical significance, symbolising knowledge, tranquillity and salvation. It lies in the core area of the Bandipur National Park and is frequented by wildlife including elephants.

Being a part of the Bandipur wildlife sanctuary, the hills are frequented by grazing wild elephants. The place is also known for its picturesque views of the surrounding hills and valleys. One can also get a view of the spectacular sunrise and sunset from atop.

The plain tracts on the hills are covered with lush grass, and is home to elephants, deer and rabbit, while the slopes are covered with thick forests, home to tigers and leopards.

The hills are also home to some rich birdlife including peacocks, parrots, forest hens and pelicans. The forest is covered with rosewood, teakwood and  other such valuable wood.
Tourists are allowed in the hills only between 6 am and 5 pm. Overnight stay is not allowed. Trekking and videography in the surrounding hills are allowed only with prior permission and visitors will be accompanied by the forest department guides. There is a forest department guest house on the top of the  hill, which can be reserved in advance through the forest office in Mysore or Bandipur.

The hill is located in the Chamarajanagar district, 70 km from Mysore, at a height of  1454 m. from the sea level. 

U D Nagendra

Woman power in Sanur Gram Panchayat

This Gram Panchayat has earned Rs five lakh by selling water. It has also won laurels such as the ‘Nirmala Grama’ National award for the best water management system and the best Gram Panchayat of Udupi district. We are talking about Sanur Gram Panchayat of Karkala taluk in Udupi district. So, who’s behind the astounding success of this Gram Panchayat? It is a woman called Gulabi, who herself hails from a backward  caste category.

For a woman who didn’t even know how to read or speak Kannada, and who earned her wages by way of daily labour, Gulabi has come a long way. Her Gram Panchayat has very few school drop-outs because she herself visits every home driving home the importance of literacy.

C K Mahendra

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