A TALE OF TWIN CITIES
Belur and Halebidu are a package deal. You can’t have one and be off your way. So for the lovers of art, history, architecture and sculpture, there’s not one but two amazing destinations awaiting your curiosity.
With a distance of 20 kms between them, the towns are situated next to the Yagachi river. To explore the towns better it is ideal to visit between October and April. The climate would be pleasant and would not hinder tourists roaming around. To make matters easier, the commute to Belur is on beautiful roads with greenery on each side making it perfect for a drive. Buses and trains are also readily available.
WHY SHOULD YOU VISIT?
Belur and Halebidu carry so much significance in India’s cultural heritage. Helmed by the Hoysalas, the royalty of the places also make it stand out. Before we make it to the temples, it is imperative to understand that Belur and Halebidu were ruled by the Hoysala dynasty for over 3 centuries.
The best tourist attraction within Belur is the Chennakasava Temple. A temple for Lord Vishnu, the lore behind it is that it was built to celebrate the king Vishnuvardhan. It is one of the five foundations of his legacy.
Next to it is the Kappe Chennigaraya temple. Smaller and simpler than Chennakesava temple, the Kappe Chennigaraya starts off as a prototype for the eventual design.
Both of these iconic monuments showcase the architecture of a bygone era. The Hoysalas were the masters of engineering in their days and the temples still stand the test of time as a proof to that. Built using a softer variety of stone called Chloritic Schist the designs were meticulously carved and etched. This does not leave out ivory and sandalwood which are also abundantly used in the making of the temple.
Belur’s twin Halebidu also has a lot of architectural marvels built during the reign of the Hoysalas. Also known as Dwarasamudra, Halebidu was the erstwhile capital city of the Hoysalas. The Hoysaleswara temple, built to worship Lord Shiva is a very important monument in the South Indian landscape. There are other temples like Basadi Halli and Kedareshwara temple. The former is a group of Jain shrines famous for their well polished pillars that resembled mirrors. The latter specializes in Chalukyan style architecture and stone carvings of mythology.
The things to see and do in Belur and Halebidu mostly revolve around the temple’s sculptures and architecture. Even when it comes to shopping, most tourists are enchanted by the Panchaloha idols of gods on sale. As for food and accomodation it is recommended to find them within Bangalore. Hasan, the district situated close to Belur and Halebidu will often be overflowing with occupants, so tourists are often advised to plan their stay during their visit.
There are a day or two’s views in both the places making up for the ideal tourist experience. An inexhaustible trove of marvels, they are a testament to the country’s rich culture.