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Exploring the Halebidu Temple: A Holy Tour

7 mins. read

In the heart and soul of Halebidu is the Hoysaleswara Temple, a mystical holy place that is also an architectural marvel, leaving you in awe. This temple is dedicated to lord Shiva and beautifully showcases myriad themes of Vaishnavism, Shaktism, and Jainism. The intricate carvings that are now turned into ruins will take you back in time, narrating the stories of Gods and brave Hoysala soldiers. It is one of the most important monuments that you should include in your Karnataka tour packages. On approaching the temple, you will witness lush greenery and a large man-made lake at the banks of which this temple was made.

Also known as the Halebidu Temple, the construction of this temple was sponsored by King Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleswara, a preceding ruler of the Hoysala dynasty. It accommodates two main shrines, a 7-ft. tall image depicting Lord Surya, and a massive sculpture of Nandi. When you plan a trip to Belur, also visit the Halebidu Temple to let your spirit soak in the peace this temple offers. Many people from around the world, visit this temple to witness the incredible architecture. Although the temple was sacked by the Muslim armies in the late 14 century, the temple remains intact and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2023. Here is everything you need to know about the Halebidu Temple:

Historical Background

The temples of Belur and Halebid have a significant history that fascinates many individuals globally. One of these temples is the Halebidu Temple which is located almost 17 kilometres from Belur. It was during the rule of the Hoysala dynasty that this temple was constructed in the 14th century. The temple was named after the king Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleswar who built this magnificent temple.

The Hoysala dynasty was known to build many temples in Belur and Halebidu throughout its rule in Southern India. However, when the armies of Muhammad Tughlak and Allauddin Khilji defeated the Hoysalas, they ruined and looted these temples. One of the few temples that survived the devastation of the raid was the  Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebidu. On your next trip to Karnataka, make sure you book a stay near Halebidu Temple and check out this wonderful attraction with your family. The inscriptions on the temple will tell you the stories of that era and will leave you wanting to know more.

Architectural Features

The highlight of Halebidu Temple is its extraordinary architecture. This temple gives an illusion of hovering over a star-shaped base which is considered a marvel in itself. The whole design and structure of this tourist attraction are inspired by the Hoysala style of architecture which is considered one of the best types of Indian architecture. Surrounding the temple, you will find a lake, a park, and lush green palm trees on a grassy field that beautifies this attraction.

The Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebidu features two shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva that were made for the king and the queen. The detailed sculpting is done on soapstone that depicts the scenes of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Intricacies in the design show phenomenal details that boast elephants, lions, horses, and flowers. To showcase the lifestyles of the Hoysala kings, there are many embellishments on the walls that you can spot here and there. The specialty of this temple is that no two sculptures are the same and boast more than 240 images.

Information for Tourists

If you are planning to go to the Halebidu temple, then there are a few things that you should keep in mind. The timings to visit the Halebidu Temple usually start from 6:30 AM to 9 PM. It is best to visit the temple early in the morning as you will be able to cover the whole temple with minimal crowd around you. Apart from this, the best timing (in terms of months) to visit the Halebidu Temple is from November to March when the weather is pleasant in Karnataka.

How to reach Halebidu

By Rail: The nearest railway station to reach the temples of Belur and Halebid is Hassan. If you want to go to the Halebidu Temple, then the nearest station is Banavara, located 30km away from the temple.

By Road: The bus service in Halebidu is great and many locals and tourists prefer it over other transportation. You can find a regular bus or taxi service here, to reach the temple directly.

Places to stay near Halebidu Temple

You will find numerous accommodations to stay near the temple. With a reputed travel agency, you can book a comfortable stay at affordable rates without any hassle.

Interesting Facts About Halebidu Temple

  • The temple is the largest monument in the entire town of Halebidu
  • It was sponsored by the King Vishnuvardhana
  • The construction of this temple started in 1121 CE and ended in 1160 CE
  • Many temples take inspiration from the design of this temple, such as the Keshava temple at Somanathapura

Belur: A Nearby Destination that You Should Definitely Explore!

Belur, just like Halebidu, was the capital of the Hoysala dynasty and was known as Velapur. Many tourists visit this town in Karnataka for its famous Chennakeshava Temple. Whoever makes a Belur Halebid itinerary, they ensure to include this temple to take a look at the fine Hoysala workmanship. The Chennakeshava Temple was also constructed by King Vishnuvardhana to mark his victories against the Cholas. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and depicts the stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata, another similarity between the Belur and Halebidu Temple. The Chennakesava temple is another example of a quality work of art done in soapstone. With more than 80 Madanika sculptures, this temple will keep you enchanted wherever you look!

Some nearby sites that you can cover while you take a tour of the Belur and Halebidu Temple are Belavadi, Doddagaddavalli, Hoysala Mahotsava, and more. Belur is a great destination featuring many religious sites that beautifully capture the history of this place.

Make sure you check out the glorious past of the former capital city of Halebidu at the Halebidu Temple. Apart from that, when you plan a vacation, do not forget to include the pristine beaches in Karnataka to make your trip memorable. Additionally, ensure to book a trip package from a reputed travel agency.

March 03, 2024


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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