Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, at about 1450 m, is the highest hill located within the Bandipur National Park, and filled with fog through the year. It gets its name from the fog (Himavad in Kannada) and the Gopalaswamy temple that is located on the top of the hill (Betta in Kannada).
Those visiting the national park to see the wildlife usually make the trip up the hill, to see the temple. If one stays at Jungle Lodges & Resorts (JLR) for a two-day package, a trip to the temple is included and you will be taken in the government safari Bolero or bus. If you prefer to go in your own vehicle, you will be allowed till the foothills after which you will be put onto a government bus to take you to the top.
It is a nice drive up the hill, and if you are lucky, you may see elephants or other animals of the forest. Along the way, there are points from which one can get lovely views of the area around the forest.
With the festival of Holi a fortnight away, the balloon battles had begun. These days, they’re not balloons but small Made-in-China plastic packets filled with water. Not even the COVID-19 is a deterrent. Fill, twirl, knot, aim and throw with all your might to hit the target with enough force so that the balloon bursts on impact. It’s a lot of fun, but if executed well, it could be a most painful sting that could last a while. And if the balloon lands on an unintended target, well, God save everyone!
The children of Riviera Tower and Alica Nagar (in Lokhandwala Township, Kandivali East) are separated by a weld-mesh fence that provided just the right battleground. Things were getting out of hand. Balloons were confiscated and there were firm orders to call a truce. With this entertainment snatched away, the adults at Riviera were looking for something productive that could engage the children.
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