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The Story of Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple

Govardhanagiri, also known as Kamalachala, is now popularly known as Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta. It is located in Gundlupet Taluk, Chamarajanagar District of Karnataka State in South India. The temple is renowned for its fascinating story dating back to the Dwapara Yuga. Here is a look at the popular story associated with Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple

The Grand Wedding of Goddess Girija (Parvathi to Shiva)

In the Dwapara Yuga, the wedding celebration of Girija, the daughter of Himavantha, the king of the snow-clad mountains, with Shiva was planned to be held in Kashi, North India. This grand event was to be attended by Brahma, Vishnu, all the great sages including Vyasa and Parashara, and thirty-three crore Devatas.

The Earth’s Balance in Peril

The unprecedented congregation of celestial powers in Kashi posed a grave threat to the balance of Earth. Brahma and the Devatas feared that such a massive assembly in one place could tilt the Earth towards Patalam (the underworld). To avert this catastrophe, they requested the great sage Agastya to travel to South India and act as a counterweight. It is believed that the holiness and piety of Sage Agastya was equal to that of all the saints and devatas assembled at Kashi.

Agastya's Divine Journey

Sage Agastya agreed to their request and, after collecting holy waters from various rivers like the Ganga and Yamuna in his kamandala (a water-carrying vessel), set off for South India. Before his departure, the Devatas made another appeal to him.

The Tussle Between Mountains

There was a constant struggle for superiority between Maha Meru Parvata and the Mountain King Vindhya, a disciple of Sage Agastya. In a display of power, Vindhya grew so tall that he obstructed the movement of the Sun and the Moon, plunging South India into darkness. The Devatas pleaded with Sage Agastya to resolve this issue.

Agastya’s Clever Solution

On his way, Sage Agastya visited the Vindhya Mountains. King Vindhya, seeing his guru, respectfully bowed his head. Seizing the opportunity, Sage Agastya ordered Vindhya to remain in that position until his return from South India, effectively stopping the mountain’s growth and ending the dispute.

Seeking Divine Assistance

Agastya continued his journey and reached the Sahyadri Mountains, where he prayed to Bhagavan Sri Krishna for assistance in his divine task. Pleased with Agastya’s penance, Bhagavan Krishna appeared before him and granted him a boon.

Establishing the Temple

Sage Agastya requested Bhagavan Sri Krishna to settle on the Kanakachala Mount of the Sahyadri Range along with his consorts, Rukmini and Satyabhama. Bhagavan Sri Krishna agreed on the condition that proper shelters be provided for devotees and that the seven sages (Saptarishis) offer worship there throughout the year. Sage Agastya accepted these conditions and consecrated the place of worship by installing an idol of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, made of black stone, accompanied by his consorts, cows, gopikas, and his friend Makaranda.

The Eternal Worship

The idol of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, resting under a Mandhara (Suravanya) tree, depicts him in three different postures. It is believed that even today, the Saptarishis offer daily worship to Lord Krishna at the Sri Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple on the snow-capped Govardhanagiri.

This rich tapestry of myth and devotion envelops the Himavad Gopalaswamy Temple, making it a revered site that continues to draw pilgrims and devotees from far and wide.