The capital of the Hoysala Kingdom during the 12th century was called Halebid. It was a centre of some of the country’s finest architectural structures. Situated around 33 km from Hassan, is Halebid, famous as a spiritual tourist attraction in Karnataka. Halebid is famous for the remnants of the exalted Hoyasala period in Indian History.
The prime tourist attraction in Halebid is the Hoyasaleswara temple. Although incomplete in its construction, this temple is the most outstanding example of Hoysala art and architecture. Excursions from Halebid can be made to Shravanbelgola, located around 48 km off Hassan and is famous for the statue of Lord Bahubali. The Mahamastakabhisheka of the statue of Bahubali in Shravanbelgola after every 12 years is a memorable event.
Shopping in Halebid
Halebid, the temple town in Karnataka is a must see place for the spiritual tourist. Shopping in Halebid can be fascinating for tourists looking for stone idols, sculptures and terracotta items. Hassan enroute to Belur is also a good place for shopping for curios, which are typical of the state of Karnataka.
Karnataka has a rich tradition of handicrafts and silk sarees, sandalwood, ivory brassware and wooden toys that you can buy in Bangalore from the government-sponsored emporia or from the numerous shopping malls in Bangalore.
The prime tourist attraction in Halebid is the Hoyasaleswara temple. The construction of the Hoyasaleswara Temple was started in AD 1121 and continued for around 90 years, but never completed. Nevertheless, even in its incomplete form, this temple is the most outstanding example of Hoysala art and architecture. The temple comprises of two temples standing on a single platform. The walls of the temple have detailed friezes and sculptures depicting scenes narrated in Mahabharatha and Ramayana.
The temple is enclosed by a garden and there is a museum -the Archaeological Museum, located in the temple premises displaying sculptures, woodcarvings idols, coins and inscriptions of 12th and 13th centuries also nearby.
Tourist Destinations Near Halebid
There are also smaller temples like Kedareswara and three Jain temples at Basadi Halli, a group of Jain temples, famous for their highly polished blackstone pillars and carved ceilings. Shravanbelgola is located around 48 km off Hassan and is famous for the statue of Lord Bahubali. The place is an important Jain pilgrimage center with an ancient history. The 17-m-high statue of Bahubali is said to be the tallest monolithic structure in the world.It overlooks the small town of Shravanbelgola from top of the rocky hill known as Indragiri, which you can reach after climbing 614 rock -cut steps. It was also known as Dwarasamudra-gateway to the sea – indicating the numerous water bodies that must have been there at the time.