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Gopalaswamy Hills in monsoons

The first showers of monsoons had just fallen and I was already itching to be in the lush green hills. This itch ultimately took me to the Gopalaswamy hills on a weekend, a place which I had heard is beautifully green and well-vegetated but with real bad roads leading to the top. The bad-road part was not a dampener for me, in fact it actually made the biker inside me happy, hills and some off-roading is always great fun as long as you don’t have to off-road for hours and hours.

GS Betta
GS Betta – Right ahead

Plus, it will also be a test for the KTM which had not been on bad roads yet. Because Goapalaswamy betta (GS Betta/hill) was very near to the Bandipur Tiger reserve, I decided to club a Jungle-safari as well (another post about it coming up soon read here) with this trip.

After a not-so-satisfying jungle safari at the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, we started for GS betta by 9 AM or so and were riding slow and easy, soaking in the beauty of the surroundings, thoroughly enjoying the ride. It had rained a bit the previous night so the surroundings were pleasantly green. I would not say it was as green as I had expected it to be but it was green and beautiful enough for someone like me who hardly gets to see any greenery back in the city. While riding out from the forest reserve, I was expecting to spot an elephant or two like the last time (In Pictures: Trip to Ooty and Kodanad) or maybe a langur at-least, but this time around all I could spot was some fawns playfully jumping by the side of the roads and some busy-in-eating wild boars.

gopalaswamy hills bandipur photos
Greenery all around

Once we took the left and turned towards the GS Hills, the road became narrower but the beautiful twists and turns kept the fun going. I stopped near what most probably was a sunflower field, it seems it was not the season yet for the sunflowers to bloom.

sunflower field gs betta
The sunflower field but no sunflowers yet

Couple of more shots of the narrow and long ahead, one which was not in a very good condition at-least not four-wheelers, I started again, this time only to stop at the top.

gs betta roads
Right ahead

Soon after crossing the ‘gate’ and paying the entry fee we started ascending and the road turned from ‘ok’ to bad and as we kept going up, the views started getting better and better. At the same time, the roads went from bad to worse to absolutely no roads at some places.

bad roads gopalaswamy betta
Almost no roads
forests below gs betta
Thick forests below
gs betta forest
Greenery up close

By now, I had started stopping frequently to take photos of the amazing view of the thick carpet of green below and of the ridges of the high hills ahead.

gopalaswamy hills photos
Shades of magical blue

We were enjoying the views and the bumpy ride, stopping frequently for our photography breaks until two cops came and started questioning about what were we doing in-between nowhere and suggested us not to stop anywhere other than the top as it was ‘dangerous’.

sun flower field gs betta
That’s how the sunflower fields look from here

All along the ascend we were coming across elephant dung, sometimes fresh sometimes not so fresh which made my mind think, what if a big elephant was awaiting me right after the next blind-curve or what if one comes from behind me and throws me and my bike down? It seemed very much a possibility because we had come across fresh dung at more than one place.

On the other side of the road gs hills
On the other side of the road

Once at the top, we had decided to take one of the many trails that lead from there and hike to one of the nearby hills once but on reaching the top, we found that the authorities had closed access to all the trails. Not only that but due to some government order, it was actually illegal to take any trails at-all!!

gopalaswamy hills for
The misty hills we could not walk up to

With no trails to take and nothing more to do there and both me and my Nitin not having any interest in visiting the temple there, we started our way down and back home.

Have you been to Gopalaswamy hills before? Were you lucky enough to take one of the many trails from the top?

16 thoughts on “Gopalaswamy Hills in monsoons”

  1. Hi Rajiv.

    Wonder full narration with full off facts. Am a wildlife conservationists. Wish to thank you for following the guidelines in GSB.
    I though it would be prudent to provide some insights about the place. I along with my Team Vanya have toiled hard for years to mitigate the disturbance to wildlife here.It is the forests of wildlife and they have the right to wander. Being a part of Tiger reserve, walking of on a trail anywhere beyond the temple and road amounts to trespassing as per wildlife law. You don’t need to be disappointed. Carry a Binocular next time and scan well. You can sight hundreds of wildlife.

    From popular tourist spot renowned for trekking, Picnic and other recreations to a inviolate wildlife habitat, This transformation has consumed loads of effort from the forest department, NGOs and others. We wish to tank you for being a responsible tourist. To quench your thirst for wild side do associate with us. As we conduct frequent conservation activities across Bandipur. You could reach me on my mail ID or on our FN page Vanya let the wild be wild.

    1. Thanks Praveen, for taking the time to share the unseen aspects of wildlife conservation in which you, your team and many other like-minded people have been involved.

      Momentarily we might have felt about not being able to take the trail but we realized that there might be some reason significant enough for closing them down and hence we did not proceed.

      I more than agree to the fact the Jungle belongs to the wildlife first and am happy to come in touch with someone like you who is working hard to keep the jungle for their original inhabitants.

      More power to you.

      We also took a Safari (about which I am yet to write) but that was pretty disappointing in terms of ‘sightings’ 🙁 .

      Looking forward to connect to you on Facebook here:


  2. Hey… I think you would love BR Hills…that bette is really green and foresty more than this… you know this time it is windy and raining at the BR Hills, we went 2 weeks back perhaps and no safari at K Gudi because of that): rain and wind…even then I did enjoy the fresh greeny green green, way more green that this hills… we did have a jeep ride in the morning and that driver nice young chap he was, told me in Kanada, go to Bandipur Forest and they are open all the time as they have no specific timing as that K Gudi forest had): and somewhere there is a hill one can visit this Gopalswami hill only(:

    But let me tell you I am dissapointed with that Gopal hill seeing the pictures and your write up since BR Hills was way more wild, dense in growth and the views, mountain veiws awesome(: it is fun going and doing nothing there… and on the roads deer and boars like you seen… only sad point no safari during the monsoons and no petrol station at BR hills… in fact though I enjoyed the trip made lot of stupid blunders to go there which made the actualy stay and experience of BR hills for us short…anyway(: I want to know about that Bandipur Santuary guess I would find that write up here somewhere

    1. From what I have seen and read about BR Hills & K Gudi, they are definitely more dense than Gopalaswamy hills.

      You explanations are making me think about going there soon 😉

      The safari here in Bandipur, well I am yet to write about soon… keep an eye…or may be subscribe by entering your email id so that you receive it right in your inbox as soon as I publish it 🙂 .


  3. Yes, from what I read about your feelings for Gopalswamy hills, I am 100 percent sure you would love BR Hills, it is very foresty, dense stuff, fog and different tall tall trees… I think K Gudi though I could not venture into it is a great place for wildlife as well, when you go there let me know how K Gudi was so I can enjoy that through your story or narration and photos…roads are nice though not like Gppalswami but views pretty similar, the mountain range scenery is mind blowing along with the winds ofcourse(:

    1. I absolutely love to visit anywhere which has any of the things you have described above 😉

      I will surely let you know once I am back from there 🙂


  4. This place is gorgeous indeed. I just found out that this place is only less that 250 km from Bangalore. It will be a great weekend destination from Bangalore.
    Btw are you in Bangalore?

    1. It is indeed a nice weekend destination Jithin. Do ride upto it & if possible, stay at the Bandipur forest reserve as I have suggested in my post about the Jungle Safari there.

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