Halebidu, another tourist destination famous for Hoysala architecture temples was the capital of the Hoysala Empire. The most visited locations are Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara temples. With its close proximity destination to Belur, both the sites can be covered in ~3 hours.
Shravanabelagola – Belur – Halebidu are three famous tourist destinations in Karnataka which are ideally to be covered in single day if possible since the three spots are located quite close to each other. We booked the tour via Karnataka Tourism and State department which offers the single day trip from Bangalore and Mysore and covers all the three spots. It starts from the Badami house in Bangalore at 6.30 am and reaches Bangalore at 10.oo pm and costed 950 INR at the time of the blog.
Reaching Halebidu & Getting Around Halebidu
Starting off from Belur at about 4.15 p.m, we reached Halebidu by 4.45 p.m. The guide from Belur tagged along. It was pretty crowded , just like Belur was. Since it is located only 30 km from Hassan, an half hour bus ride will get you from Hassan to Halebidu. Travelling from Shravanbelagola will take about an hour.
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The magnificent temple is dedicated to lord Shiva. Its construction started in 1121 and could be completed only in 1207. The figurines are even more profusely carved than the Chenna Keshava temple at Belur. Even after working diligently for about a century, there are still some unfinished portions in this amazing edifice. But even then, this is a sculptural extravaganza contains 35000 exquisite carvings and is considered one of the most remarkable monuments by the hand of man. The sculptures depict mythological epics Ramayana, Mahabharata, puranic legends and beasts.
There are two large nandi mantapas at Hoysaleswara temple. One of them is known to be the most beautifully decorated nandi statue in India and is also amongst the largest nandi statues in the world.
The Hoysaleswara Temple is renowned for the beauty of sculptures on the outer side of the temple. (Unlike the Belur temple which is known for its inner beauty)
There is an archeological exhibit near the temple which can be entered by paying a fee of Rs 5/- (at the time of the blog).
We left Halebidu by 5.30 p.m and reached the bangalore by 10 p.m. The road is very smooth and therefore is journey is quite comfortable. Overall a day well spent.