Halebidu Hassan District
At a distance of 17 km from Belur, 34 km from Chikmagalur, 32 km from Hassan, 148 km from Mysore & 211 km from Bangalore, Halebidu is located in Hassan District of Karnataka State. Halebidu (or Halebid) is famous for the beautiful Hoysala Temples of Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara built in 1121 AD. It is one of the three Hoysala temples nominated for UNESCO World Heritage Sites, other two being the Belur temple & Somnathpur temple). The Hoysala temples are known for minute & intricate carvings and sculptures with metal like polishing. Halebidu is among the most popular tourist places in Karnataka.
Halebidu was the glorified royal capital of the Hoysala kingdom in 12th Century. Halebidu, which was previously called Dorasamudra or Dwarasamudra, got the name 'Halebidu' literally meaning 'The Old City' because it was ruined two times during the invasion of Malik Kafur. The temple town comprises two Hindu temples, the Hoysaleswara, Kedareswara temples and two Jain basadis. There is an archeological museum in the temple complex. These temples are surrounded by a big lake. The town gets its name from the lake. Soap stone / Chloritic Schist was used for the construction of these temples.
The Hoysaleswara temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is built on a star shaped platform. This temple enshrines Hoyasaleswara and Santaleswara. Ketumalla, a minister of Vishnuvardhana the Hoysala ruler, built Hoyasaleswara temple during 1121 AD and attributed to his king Vishnuvardhana and Queen Shantala Devi. The construction of the temple took about 105 years to complete. The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of depictions from Hindu mythology, animals, birds and dancing figures. Each sculpture in the temple is unique and beautifully carved.
The Kedareswara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is built in Chalukya style. This was built by King Ballala II is considered to be a gem of architecture. It was decorated with sculptures and panels in typical Hoysala style. The basement shows the rows of Elephants, Horse, Lion and an imaginary animal called Makara.
Mangalore Airport is the nearest airport, which is 185 km from Halebid. Nearest Railway Station is at Hassan, which is about 32 km from Halebid. It has trains from Dharwar, Cannanore, Bangalore, Mysore, Shimoga and Arsikere. Hassan is the base station to travel to Halebid and it is well connected by bus with Halebid. Hassan is linked with Belur, Halebid, Chikmagalur, Shravanbelgola, Bangalore, Mangalore and Mysore by bus.
Hoysala Mahotsava, a dance festival held in the temples of Belur - Halebid is celebrated in the month of March. It is one of the important festivals in Belur and Halebid. This place can be visited throughout the year. Usually it takes 2-3 hours to visit temples in Halebid.
Temple Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM.
Nearest Airport: Mangalore - Mangalore Airport (185 Kms)
Nearest Train Station: Hassan Railway Station (32 Kms)
Nearest Bus Station: Halebid Bus Station (0 Kms)
History of Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebid
It is known that the famous temple derived its name from the King Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleswara, who built the temple. A large amount of contribution was received from the Shaivas for the construction of the temple. It was built to compete with the Chennakesava temple which was under construction as a Vaishnava temple. The Hoysaleswara Temple is surrounded by ponds, mantapas and lakes. It is well known for the sculptures and architecture of Hoysala period.