Distance From Bangalore
30 kms from Hassan, 213 Kms from Bangalore
Historical monument, Carvings and sculptures on soap stone, Hoysala Architecture
You need atleast 1 night stay at Hassan to see all the places listed in this blog
Best time to visit
On request, Charges approx. Rs.200/=
Few options, average food, you get plenty of options in Hassan
Belur, Belavadi, Shravanabelagola, Doddagaddavalli, Gorur Dam, Shettyhalli
· If it is very hot, carry and wear socks as it is difficult to walk around the temple on barefoot
· Take the help of local guide and they charge you Rs.200/=. You get a receipt as well for this payment. In Belur they charge additional Rs.20/= for the lighting inside.
· Stay at Hassan for a night and you should be able to cover all these places in two days.
· Shravanabelagola can be done separately and it needs some level of trekking to the top of the hill. This can be done in half day.
Note: Later in 2016, I got a chance to visit this place with my Nikon DSLR and published a photo feature blog. Check it here...
Important Places to cover
- Halebidu - Hoysaleswara temple (Dvikuta)
- Halebidu - Jain temple
- Halebidu - Kedareshwara temple (Trikuta)
- Belur - Chennakesava temple (Ekakuta)
- Shravanabelagola - Bahupali statue
- Somanathapura - Keshava temple (Trikuta)
Other nearby places of interest
- Belavadi - Veera Narayana temple
- Doddagaddavalli - Lakshmi Devi temple
- Shettyhalli church
- Gorur Dam
"Other places" listed above are written separately in different posts and click the links to see them in detail.
On Belavadi Veera Narayana temple:
On Doddagaddavalli - Lakshmi Devi temple:
Few common things on Hoysala architecture
Almost in all Hoysala temples, you see the following in outer walls of the temples
- Series of elephants for their strength
- Series of lions for their courage
- Series of horses for their speed
- Series of floral designs for beauty
- Series of Makara (multi-bodied animal) i.e. cow ears, elephant trunk, monkey eyes, peacock feathers, crocodile mouth, Pig body, Lion's leg. About Makara: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makara_(Hindu_mythology)
While seeing the temple, you will get 100s of questions like "How did they make so many sculptures to such a level of detail ? What kind of tools they had during those days ?
How many people involved in making this whole temple complex ? How long did it take ? How did they manage to get so many soapstone rocks ? ...etc? " Yes, it is truly amazing. Please take the help of the local guides to help you with your questions. They explain you all the details in the language of your interest. Charge is just Rs.200/= and it is worth.
I cover the first 4 in this post and the rest are in Part 2.
Stay options in Hassan
We stayed in Mallige Residency. Refer tripadvisor for other options. My review link in tripadvisor http://www.tripadvisor.in/ShowUserReviews-g503696-d3167962-r204079842-Mallige_Residency-Hassan_Karnataka.html#REVIEWS
Belur and Halebidu
One of the places you might want to see in your lifetime. Hale means old and beedu means city in Kannada. Built during the 12th century and they say still not fully done. King Vishnuvardhana Hoysala started this temple complex. In my opinion, this should have been announced one of the "Wonders of the world".
Parts of stories of Ramayana, Mahabhratha are carved on the outer walls. Apart from that the Lord Vishnu, Krishna, Shiva, Parvathi, Narayana, Lakshmi Narasimha, Brahma. All ten avatars of Lord Vishnu, Ganesha, Subramanya, Demons, Floral designs and this list will grow endlessly.
Also you can see the sculptures depicting the lifestyle those days with people drinking tender coconut with straw, dancers. various musical instruments, people fighting animals....etc.
You need atleast 1.5 to 2 hours to really see each sculptures to such a level of detail. Note the jewels and crown on Krishna, Vishnu. They are so intricate. Words cannot explain them. See for yourself !
Guide told us that there are 1248 elephants in Belur and 624 in Halebidu. i.e. No.of.elephants on the outer wall which represents the strength.
Here you can see two big Nandi (bull), one of 9 feet and the other 6 feet.
Photos with comments .....
Note: Please check this new special High Quality Photo feature blog on Belur, Halebidu and Belavadi. Click here to read.
|View of the Hoysaleshwara temple from entrance|
|Intricate carvings on the outer wall, click and zoom to see them close|
|See the decoration (jewels)|
|Dancers carved on pillar top|
|Look at the so detailed jewels and the crown.... Wov !! hand broken...|
|Each pillar is different and do you the carvings on top ceilings?|
|Pillar polished and having so intricate carvings|
|Decorated ceiling, amazing and this is multi-layered, can you believe?|
|Ganesha and his brother Subramanya on peacock|
|All different gods|
|Shiva Parvathi with the vahana Mongoose|
|Lord Krishna carrying the Govardhana hill|
|Dancers, look at the so detailed carvings above their heads|
|Koorma (Pig) avatar of Lord Vishnu|
|Each pillar is unique here|
|During the war in Ramayana, the single arrow is getting multiplied to kill all enemies at once !|
|Vamana, one leg on sky and one leg on earth. If you click and zoom you can see more details|
|People drinking coconut using straw|
|He is watching sky with a telescope (telescope was available those days?)|
|Shiva Parvathi on Bull, See the music instruments on right side. Fingers gone inside the threads to hold the instrument tightly|
|People playing instruments and dancing|
|Makara - Seven bodied animal|
|Entrance, See the top, amazingly detailed and so complex carvings|
|Watch the jewels and crown|
|Lord shiva inside an elephant stomach|
|Lord shiva dancing|
|So detailed and amazing|
|Bhemma killing the elephants and throwing them to the sky !!|
|Playing the instrument, see the fingers inside the thread to hold it tight. Amazingly detailed and complex|
|Series of elephants for strength, lions for courage, flowers for beauty and horses for speed.|
2. Halebidu - Kedareshwara temple (Trikuta)
This is just right behind the main Hoysaleswara temple. From the car parking area, go straight further and take first left.
|From the temple entrance - Kedareshwara temple|
|Different Gods, see the intricate carvings above the head, different from the other temple|
|Ceiling with carving, this is 3 layered|
|Pillars and Shiva lingam inside the temple|
|Ceiling, again multi layered decorations|
|Pillar, so different from others|
|Wov....Lord Krishna performing dance above Kaliya snake http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaliya|
|Lord Shiva inside the elphants stomach|
|So detailed and amazing|
3. Halebidu - Jain temple (basadi)
The speciality of this Jain temple is that, the pillars are so shining and polished. The guide shown us the different reflections in different angles.This is just amazing.
|Can you see the details on the pillar?|
|Mantapa in the entrance with beautiful pillars, each different and unique|
|Pillar polished to perfection and one can see your own reflections in angles|
|Multi layered ceiling with beautiful carvings....|
|Pillar having detailed carvings|
4. Belur - Chennakesava temple (Ekakuta)
There is a pillar which has intricate carvings and made to rotate. Also there is a pillar standing outside the temple i.e. in prahara which stands without any support.
|Dancer on the top of the pillar, notice the multi-layered ceiling as well|
|Again multi layered ceiling with amazing carvings|
|Another dancer on top of the pillar|
|Entrance carved with so many details and so intricate|
|The pillar above you see is standing without any support on its own. You can infact see the gaps if you go close and watch. This was the oil lamp tower|
|Style different from other temples|
|Entrace with intricate carvings|