The Belur Halebid Tours by Karnataka Vacations

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About Belur and Halebid

About Belur

Belur is a small temple town located on the banks of Yagachi River in Hassan district. Belur is located at a distance of 38 Km from Hassan and 238 Km from Bangalore. Belur was once the capital of Hoysala empire. The main attraction of Belur is Chennakeshava Temple complex built by king Vishnuvardhana in 1117 AD in memory of his victory against Cholas in Talkad. The temple is dedicated to Lord Chennakeshava. The temple is surrounded by the Kappe Chennigraya temple built by Shantaladevi, queen of king Vishnuvardhana. The temple is the finest example of Hoysala Architecture. Legend has it that it took 103 years to complete and Veera Ballala II, the grandson of Vishnuvardhana completed the task.

The frontage of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures and friezes with no portion left blank. The complicated architecture includes elephants, lions, horses, episodes from the Indian mythological epics, and sensuous dancers (Shilabalikas). Inside the temple are a number of ornate pillars. Darpana Sundari (Lady with the mirror) carved on walls of Belur Temple is one of major attractions in the complex.

The image is 3.7 meter tall and the temple standing on a platform has exquisite plastic art work on its outer walls and bracket figures of dancing girls in various poses in perfect proportion. There are shrines of Kappe Chenniga Andal, Saumya Nayaki etc. The temple here is a classic example of Hoysala art.

About Halebid

Halebid is located at a distance of 32 Km from Hassan and 220 Km from Bangalore. Halebid was the regal capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century. Halebid was previously called as Dwarasamudra. Halebid literally means ruined city. This name is given because this city was ruined two times by Bahmani Sultanate.

The main attraction of Halebis is Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara temples, one of the best examples of Hoysala architecture built in the 12th century. The Hoysaleswara temple was built during this time by Ketamala and attributed to Vishnuvardhana, the Hoysala ruler. It enshrines Hoysaleswara and Shantaleswara, named after the temple builder Vishnuvardhana Hoysala and his wife, Queen Shantala.

Apart from two Hindu temples, the Hoysaleshawara and Kedareshwara temples, Halebid temple complex also has two Jain basadi. There is also a big lake in front of these temples. The two Nandi statues which are on the side of the Hoysaleshwara temple are monolithic. Soap stone or Chloritic Schist was used for the construction of these temples. However a number of sculptures in the temple are destructed by invaders. So the temple is incomplete.

The temples at Belur and Halebis are now being proposed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Facts of Belur and Halebid

District Headquarters
Tourism Importance
Belur, Halebid, Belavadi and other temples built by Hoysala Kings
Kannada and English
Indian Rupee (INR)
March to May
June to September
December to February
Clothes in Summer
Clothes in Winter
Tourism Season
Throughout the Year
Nearest Cities
Hassan, Chikmagalur, Mudigere, Sakaleshpur
Nearest Railway Station
Hassan, Shimoga
Nearest Airport

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