Glory of ancient India , visiting the temples of Belur and Halebidu is an life time opportunity. Temples of Halebidu are grand and are mesmerizing. There are 2 temples – Hoysaleswara Temple and Kedareshwara temple.
These two temples of Halebidu which are equally beautiful. The fist one and most famous one is Hoysaleswara Temple and second one one is Kedareshwara Temple, which is located a short distance away from Hoysaleswara temple.
Both Hoysaleswara Temple and Kedareshwara temple are temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Halebidu is a town of Historical importance. It was capital of Hoysala empire during 12th century and the temples here are an excellent example of Hoysala architecture.
The armies of the Delhi Sultanate from northern India attacked Halebidu twice in the early 14th century.
The Hoysala Empire’s King Vishnuvardhana initiated the construction of the Hoysaleswara temple which is on the banks of a huge lake and it is a man made lake.
It is said that the temple took more that 30 years to build Started around 1121 CE it was completed at around 1160 CE.
The city was originally called as Dorasamudra. As mentioned before there are two main temples here, i.e. Hoysaleswara and Kedareshwara. There are two Jain basadis here and this has been a important center for Jain’s as well.
During numerous invasions from the northwest frontiers from the 14th to 16th centuries, the prosperous capital was destroyed, and the name Halebidu was later given to this location to mean “The Old Capital” or “The Destroyed Capital.”
The magnificent Hoysala era lasted from around 1000 CE to 1346 CE. During this period, they built approximately 1,500 temples, which clearly talks about their interest in this area.
Dvarasamudra also written as Dorasamudra was the original name for Halebidu as I have mentioned bfore.
This name is derived from the Sanskrit words “Dvara” (gateway) and “Samudra” (ocean), which means a gateway to ocean. It is actually the starting point to western ghats and Arabian sea there after.
Actually the intial capital of Hoysala empire was Belur, but then under king Vishnuvardhana the capital was shifted to Dvarasamudra or Halebidu!
Halebidu was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, this was after UNESCO’s decision to protect and commemorate monuments in the year 2000.
Halebidu to Belur Distance
Halebidu is approximately 16Kms from Belur. The roads are very well marked are in a very good conditions.
Halebidu Hoysaleswara temple
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Below is the entrance of main temple premises.
It is probably the largest temple dedicated to the lord Shiva built by the Hoysalas in South of India.
Though there is a enough open ground in the front of the temple. The whole temple is built on an elevated platform and is built of soap-stone.
During summer the stones become very hot and are difficult to walk. Temple authorities put mats around the temple so that it becomes easier go around. However it is advisable to visit the temples during early in the morning or late evening if you are visiting in summer.
The Hoysaleswara temple, as with other known temples of Hoysala era, is well known for its sculptures and wall carvings.
Halebidu Kedareshwara Temple
The temple was constructed by Hoysala King Veera Ballala II . Its not very far from Hoysaleswara temple.
Equally beautiful and dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple is also an importance historical monument. Its a protected monument by ASI.
How to reach Halebidu Hoysaleswara Temple and Kedareshwara temple
It is very easy to reach Halebidu. You need to reach Hassan and from there it’s around 25 to 30 Kms.
Hassan is very well connected to Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore.
Bengaluru is about 210 kilometers or approx 130 miles from this place.
One can take a direct bus from these locations to reach Hassan.
There is various tour packages available from these locations which cover Halebidu and many other temples around.
If you are driving from Bangalore take the below route.
- Head towards Yeshvantpur
- Take NH4 towards Neelamangala/Tumkur
- After you cross Neelamanga, look out for the marking for “Mangalore”
- You have to take left towards Mangalore. This road is also called as NH48 or Bangalore – Mangalore expressway.
- You have to drive approx 150 Kms on this road when you see markings for Hassan
- As soon as you enter Hassan, you will see markings for Halebidu.
It is very easy to reach Halebidu from Belur as well if you are planning to cover both the places on the same day and are visiting Belur first.
On the way to Belur just 10 kms before Belur town there is a right turn for Halebidu. This road is smooth and you can reach Halebidu in 30 mins.
Or you can also go to Halebidu from Belur town. The road conditions are good and you will not find any issues while driving.
In both the cases, directions are well marked and you are not going to miss it!
Parking near Hoysaleswara Temple and Kedareshwara temple
There is ample parking space in the front of the temple. But in case of tourist season, you might not find the parking just in front of temple. You might need to park a bit far.
Food options / restaurants at Halebidu
Well there are many food options. I will not be able to recommend any special resturants, but this is a major tourist spots and hence you find some good food joints. But if you are in city and have some time to explore food, do try Kesuvina Gantu, Kaayi kadabu, Halasinakai Chutney.
Gallery – Have a look at this amazing photos
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