May 21, 2014

Belur Halebidu and Somanathapura - Wonders of the world and Must see in INDIA

Trip Details
Distance From Bangalore
30 kms from Hassan, 213 Kms from Bangalore
Type
Historical monument, Carvings and sculptures on soap stone, Hoysala Architecture
Time needed
You need atleast 1 night stay at Hassan to see all the places listed in this blog
Best time to visit
Anytime
Local guides
On request, Charges approx. Rs.200/=
Stay options
Hassan
Food
Few options, average food, you get plenty of options in Hassan
Nearby places
Belur, Belavadi, Shravanabelagola, Doddagaddavalli, Gorur Dam, Shettyhalli
Other tips
·        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...
http://myjourneysinindia.blogspot.in/2016/06/belur-halebidu-belavadi-photo-feature.html

Important Places to cover

  1. Halebidu - Hoysaleswara temple (Dvikuta)
  2. Halebidu - Jain temple
  3. Halebidu - Kedareshwara temple (Trikuta)
  4. Belur - Chennakesava temple (Ekakuta)
  5. Shravanabelagola - Bahupali statue
  6. Somanathapura - Keshava temple (Trikuta)
Other nearby places of interest 
  1. Belavadi - Veera Narayana temple
  2. Doddagaddavalli - Lakshmi Devi temple
  3. Shettyhalli church
  4. Gorur Dam
Note:  Somanathapura alone is in a different place near Mysore. Rest all can be covered in one trip. I will be writing about this place in a separate post.

"Other places" listed above are written separately in different posts and click the links to see them in detail. 

On Shravanabelagola:
http://myjourneysinindia.blogspot.in/2014/05/shravanabelagola-vindyagiri-and.html

On Belavadi Veera Narayana temple:
http://myjourneysinindia.blogspot.in/2014/05/belavadi-veera-narayana-temple.html

On Doddagaddavalli - Lakshmi Devi temple:
http://myjourneysinindia.blogspot.in/2014/05/doddagaddavalli-lakshmi-devi-temple.html

Few common things on Hoysala architecture

Almost in all Hoysala temples, you see the following in outer walls of the temples
  1. Series of elephants for their strength
  2. Series of lions for their courage
  3. Series of horses for their speed
  4. Series of floral designs for beauty
  5. 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)
Eka means one, Dvi means two, Tri means three and kuta means sanctorum or centre, "Garbhagriha", Refer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garbhagriha

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

1. Halebidu - Hoysaleswara temple (Dvikuta)

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. 





Halebidu Hoysaleshwara Temple
View of the Hoysaleshwara temple from entrance
Halebidu
Intricate carvings on the outer wall, click and zoom to see them close

Halebidu
See the decoration (jewels)

Halebidu
Dancers carved on pillar top

Halebidu
Look at the so detailed jewels and the crown.... Wov !! hand broken...

Halebidu
Each pillar is different and do you the carvings on top ceilings?

Halebidu
Ceiling decorated

Halebidu
Pillar polished and having so intricate carvings

Halebidu
Decorated ceiling, amazing and this is multi-layered, can you believe?

Halebidu
Ganesha and his brother Subramanya on peacock 

Halebidu
All different gods

Halebidu
Shiva Parvathi with the vahana Mongoose

Halebidu
Lord Krishna carrying the Govardhana hill


Halebidu
Dancers, look at the so detailed carvings above their heads

Halebidu
Koorma (Pig) avatar of  Lord Vishnu

Halebidu
Narashimha Avatar

Halebidu
Each pillar is unique here

Halebidu
During the war in Ramayana, the single arrow is getting multiplied to kill all enemies at once !

Halebidu
Vamana, one leg on sky and one leg on earth. If you click and zoom you can see more details

Halebidu
People drinking coconut using straw
Halebidu
He is watching sky with a telescope (telescope was available those days?)

Halebidu
Ravana

Halebidu
Shiva Parvathi on Bull, See the music instruments on right side. Fingers gone inside the threads to hold the instrument tightly

Halebidu
Different Gods

Halebidu
People playing instruments and dancing

Halebidu
Makara - Seven bodied animal

Halebidu
Entrance, See the top, amazingly detailed and so complex carvings

Halebidu
Watch the jewels and crown

Halebidu
Lord shiva inside an elephant stomach

Halebidu
Lord shiva dancing

Halebidu
So detailed and amazing


Halebidu
Add caption

Halebidu
Bhemma killing the elephants and throwing them to the sky !!


Halebidu
Playing the instrument, see the fingers inside the thread to hold it tight. Amazingly detailed and complex

Halebidu
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. 

Photos



Halebidu Kedareshwara Temple
From the temple entrance - Kedareshwara temple

Halebidu
Different Gods, see the intricate carvings above the head, different from the other temple

Halebidu
Ceiling with carving, this is 3 layered 

Halebidu
Pillars and Shiva lingam inside the temple

Halebidu
Ceiling, again multi layered decorations

Halebidu
Pillar, so different from others


Halebidu
Wov....Lord Krishna performing dance above Kaliya snake http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaliya


Halebidu
So beautiful

Halebidu
Lord Shiva inside the elphants stomach

Halebidu
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. 
Photos


Halebidu Jain Temple
Can you see the details on the pillar?


Halebidu Jain Temple
Mantapa in the entrance with beautiful pillars, each different and unique

Halebidu Jain Temple
Pillar polished to perfection and one can see your own reflections in angles

Halebidu Jain Temple
Teerthankar,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teerthankar

Halebidu Jain Temple
Multi layered ceiling with beautiful carvings....

Halebidu Jain Temple
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. 


Belur
Dancer on the top of the pillar, notice the multi-layered ceiling as well



Belur
Lord Garuda


Belur
Again multi layered ceiling with amazing carvings

Belur
Another dancer on top of the pillar

Belur
Entrance carved with so many details and so intricate

Belur

Belur
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


Belur
Amazingly beautiful

Belur
Dancers

Belur
Style different from other temples

Belur
Dancers


Belur
Entrace with intricate carvings




3 comments:


  1. Note: If you want to drive to Halebidu from Bangalore, please dont go via Tiptur, Arsikere road. It is very bad. Go via Bangalore Mangalore highway which is good and you can reach Halebidu in 3.5 hrs.

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  2. Replies
    1. You are welcome, happy to know you liked this post.

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