51 kms south-east of Hassan, this is one of the most important Jain piligrim centres. Here is 17 m high monolith of Lord Bahubali - the world's tallest monolithic statue. Thousands of devotees congregate here to perform the Mahamastakabisheka - 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 Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2005 A.D.Shravanabelogola is 150 kms from Bangalore.
This quaint hamlet-38 kms from Hassan-is located on the banks of the river yagachi. It was once the capital of the Hoysala Empire today made unforgettable for its exquisite temples. The Chennakeshava Temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. It took 103 years to complete and the reason is evident. The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures and friezes with no portion left blank. Elephants... they are all there - awe-inspiring in their intricate workship. Inside are hand-lathe-turned filigreed pillars. The Kappe Chennigaraya Temple and the smaller shrines are well worth a visit.
It is 27 kms north-west of Hassan and 17 kms east of Belur. The temples of Halebid - like those of Belur - bear mute testimony to the rich, cultural heritage of Karnataka. The hoysaleswara Temple, dating back to the 12th century, is astounding for its wealth of sculptural details. The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of gods and goddess, animals, birds and dancing girls. Yet no two facets of the temple are same. This magnificent temple - guarded by a Nandi Bull - was never completed, despite 86 years of Labour.
The Hoysaleswara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva is the most imposing monument of Halebid. The most magnificent parts are its outer walls which have been covered over, almost every inch of them, with friezes of amazing variety. Kedareswara Temple is smaller but sculptures here are executed with equal fineness. The archaeological museum situated within the Hoysaleswara Temple premises displays masterpieces of stone craftsmanship.