Belur attraction Chennakesava shrine greatest monument of medieval art

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Belur - Quick Facts

Population: 8,962
Clothing: Cotton and light woollens
Monsoon: June to Oct
Rain Fall: 86 cms
Language: Kannada, English, Hindi, Telgu & Tamil

Flourishing capital of the Hoysala Empire 800 years ago, Belur 35 km south of Hassan is now a small picturesque town rich with its luxuriant tropical scenery. One of the greatest monuments of medieval art in India, the single-celled Chennakesava shrine in a fine state of preservation is the main attraction of this place. Vishnuvardhana, a Hoysala king, constructed this marvel in stone in AD 1116 in an age of when the Cathedrals of Lincoln, wells, Amiens, Rheims and charters were built in Europe. Abdul Razak from Iran in AD 1433 was wonder struck by its sheer beauty and declined to attempt any description. Only its centre of gravity balances a tall stone pillar in the temple courtyard.

By Air
The nearest airport is at Mangalore 154 km and 206 Km from Bangalore.

By Rail
Hassan, railway station is 40 km, which connected with Bangalore, Mysore, and Mangalore.

By Road
Mysore well connected by road
•        Hassan - 40 km.
•        Bangalore – 222 km.
•        Mysore – 155 km.
•        Halebid- 16 km.
•        Sravanabelagola – 86 km.

Chennakeshava Temple
The main structure, which is star shaped, is a homogeneous architectural unit raised on a platform. Its three doorways facing east, north and south are masterpieces of craftsmanship. The stone image of Chennakesava in the sanctum of this temple and the Kappe Cheniga Raya idol an adjoining shrine within the same compound, are two of the finest examples of plastic art in medieval India.
Kappe Chennigaraya Temple
The inner structure has some of the most beautiful sculptured images of Durga, Ganesa and Saraswati. The Belur tank is said to have been constructed by the Hoysalas.

Veeranarayana Temple
 This temple situated to the west of Chennakesava temple. It has numerous finely carved figures of various Hindu Gods.

Halebid is 27 kms North West of Hassan and 17 kms, east of Belur. The temple of Helebid – like those of Belur - hear mute testimony to the rich, cultural heritage of Karnataka. The Hoysaleswara Temple built by Hoysala rulers in 1121 AD is astounding for its wealth of sculptural details. The walls of the temples are covered with an endless variety of gods and goddesses, animals, birds and dancing girls. Yet no two facets of the temple are the same. This magnificent temple – guarded by a Nandi Bull – was never completed, despite 86 years of labour.

There is a museum on the lawns of the temple with 12-13th century sculptures and the gold coins in use at that time.

Out the temple, there is a sculpture of Nandi, The mount of lord shiva, and the hillock where the place stood connected to the temple by a passage.

Kedareshvara Temple
Veeraballala and his consort Abinava Ketala Devi in 1219AD built this small temple.

Jain Bastis
, Bastihalli
1 km The Jain Basti temples are contemporaries of the Shiva temple.

13 km the home to the famous Trikooto temple.
3 km there has a Chatteshvara temple built in 120AD.

51 kms southeast of Hassan, this is one of the most important Jain pilgrim centres. Here is the 17 m high monolith of Lord Bahubali – the world’s tallest monolithic statue. Thousand of devotees congregate here to perform the Mahamastakabisheka – a spectacular ceremony held once in 12 years when the 1000 year-old statue is anointed with milk, curds, ghee, saffron and gold coins. The next Mahamastakabisheka will be held in 2005 A.D Shravanbelagola is 150 kms from Bangalore.

•        Haysala mahotsava - The dance festival held at Belur and Halebid is a magnificent event.
•        Annual Car Fastival
•        Mahamastakaabhisheka Ceremony

Belur and Halebid have no major shopping attraction. Small momentos of stone carvings can be purchase.

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