This quiet hamlet acts as the perfect stopover that connects many touristic spots. This quiet and peaceful town is a convenient base to visit Shravanabelagola, Belur and Halebid.
This town dates back to the 11th century when it was born during the Hoysala Dynasty who ruled the region for over four hundred years. The Hoysala rulers were mighty and ruled most of South India. They were ardent believers of Jainism and thus formed one of the important Jain pilgrim centre - Shravanabelagola. Later, historical findings suggest that the rulers had shifted their faith to Hindu God Shiva. The Goddess Haasanamba who is the main deity of this region guides the city and her people. And thus the city has acquired its name as 'Hassan'. Though the city unveils the ancient charm, it also houses the Indian Space Research Organization's Master Control Facility.
The Gommateshwara (Bahubali) statue at Shravanabelagola is one of the most important tirthas (pilgrimage destinations) in Jainism, one that reached a peak in architectural and sculptural activity under the patronage of Western Ganga dynasty of Talakad.
Shravanabelagola is an important centre for Jain practitioners. It is famous for its colossal statue of Gomateshwara who is also referred to as Lord Bahubali. Carved out of monolithic stone, the imposing 17mts high statue of Gomateshwara towers stands in majestic splendour and is visible even from a distance. Once in 12 years, the statue bathes in glory when a special ceremony called Mahamastakabhisekha takes place to anoint the Lord with thousands of pots of milk, coconut water, ghee, curds, saffron, jaggery, bananas and sandalwood paste. Literally feast for eyes!
Belur is renowned for the grand Hoysala Temple dedicated to Lord Chennakesava, an incarnation of Vishnu. The temple is known for minute&intricate carvings and sculptures with metal like polishing.
The Chennakesava temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. It was built by king Vishnuvardhana to celebrate his victory over the Cholas at Talakad in 1117 CE. It took 103 years to complete the temple and Vishnuvardhana's grandson Veera Ballala II completed the task. Standing on a star-shaped platform, the temple has three doorways. There are two more shrines for Soumyanayaki and Ranganayaki, consorts of Sri Chennakesava. There is also a Pushkarni or step well to the right side of the main entrance.
Veeranarayana Temple is one of the most famous temples in Belur which stands decorated with figures of diverse Hindu gods, carved in the most beautiful way. The temple, one of the best examples of Hoysala architecture, was built in the 13th century by Veera Ballala II.
The Veera Narayana Temple is built by the Hoysalas during 1200 AD by Veera Ballala II. Like any other Hoysala temple, this temple is also made of soapstone and has varied and intricate carvings on its walls. Built in the Trikuta style –with three vimanas – this temple is huge and spacious. The entrance to the temple is majestic and has two carved elephants on either side of the gateway. The Navaranga of Veeranarayana shrine has beautiful bell shaped pillars and a well decorated roof. With four hands and seated in lotus posture, it is considered as one of the best specimens of Hoysala art.
Hoysaleswara Temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, was built during the rule of King Vishnuvardhana of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century. The temple is surrounded by ponds, mantapas and lakes. It is well known for the sculptures and architecture of Hoysala period.
Hoysaleswara Temple is one amongst the largest shrines that are dedicated to Lord Shiva in South India. The temple was built during the rule of King Vishnuvardhana of Hoysala Empire in the 12th century. Standing on a raised platform, the temple is made out of Chloritic Schist (Soapstone, also known as potstone). The walls of the temple are adorned with numerous depictions from Hindu mythology, Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Established in the early part of 1970's, the museum has more than 1500 sculptures, architectural members, inscriptions of historical significance retrieve in and around Halebidu. The collection is displayed in a closed sculpture gallery as well as in an open air museum.
The museum was established in the early 70s and has many invaluable and ancient exhibits. Several sculptures, architectural members and inscriptions of historical significance retrieved from the region are on display. A bronze 18 feet Tirthankara image, excavated from the ruined tank of one of the Jaina Basadis, is the highlight of museum housing over 1,500 historic articles and sculptures. The historical sculptures, includes Govardhanagiridhari Krishna, Nataraja, Veena Saraswati, dancing Ganesha, Brahma-Saraswati, Nagna Kala Bhairava, wooden carvings and Nandi are some noteworthy articles in the museum.