Belur, is a tiny town located in the Hassan district of Karnataka. The town was one of the most important places for the Hoysala kingdom of the 12th century, as it was one of their capital city along with the nearby city of Halebid. It is of no wonder that 12th century Hoysalan architecture embodies the place today as well. Located around the banks of the Yagachi river and given its historical and religious significance, the place is sometimes called the Benaras of the South. Belur is home to one of the most important Vaishnavite temples in the south – the Chennakesava Temple, built by the king, Vishnuvardhana. The temples in Belur are the epitome of Hoysalan ingenuity, complete with finely sculpted pieces of art, inscription, and friezes on the temple walls that tell a story that can only be sung by sages and mystics. Other places of interest in Belur that can unify you with the spirit of the deities here are the Veera Narayana temple, Darpana Sundari, and the Kappe Chennigaraya temple. Belur can also be combined with Halebidu, another important place of heritage and a place that was once part of the Hoysala Kingdom.
Chennakesava temple: Usually considered as one of the most important tourist spot in Belur, and in South India as well. The Chennakesava Temple, being a famous Vaishnavite temple is considered to be sacred place by many Hindus. It was erected by the Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana to celebrate a battle victory, and is a sight to behold as it shows the Hoysala empire in all its glory and fervor. The temple that was carved out of soapstone, consists of 48 pillars, and various sculptures that are sculpted on its pillars, walls and ceilings display various events from the various Hindu holy scriptures.
Veera narayana temple: The Veeranarayana temple is located on the west side of the Chennakesava temple along with a few other temples in the region. The temple is located atop a small platform, and is surrounded by various engravings and sculptures that are meant to glorify various gods and goddesses. The Hoysalan architecture in its pristine form can be visible here and the intricately carved interiors and exteriors of this temple are a proof of it.
Kappe chennigaraya temple: While on a trip to Belur don’t forget to visit this small temple located near the Chennakesava temple, on the Veeranarayana temple complex. The temple is adorned with sublime interiors and also shrines that are dedicated to gods and goddesses.
Darpana Sundari: The Darpana Sundari, also called as the lady of the mirror, is a sculpture located in the Chennakesava temple. The queen of Vishnuvardhana, Shantala Devi is the inspiration for the sculpture, and is one of the most important pieces of Hoysala art one can wish to see.
Mangalore to Belur Route:Mangalore to Belur route is Mangalore-Bantwal-Kottigehara-Belur. Mangalore to Belur distance is 155 km, covered in 3 h 45 min.
Mysore to Belur Route:Mysore to Belur route is Mysore-Holenarasipur-Hassan-Belur. Mysore to Belur distance is 155 km, covered in 3 h 10 km.
Bangalore to Belur Route:Bangalore to Belur route is Bangalore-Tumkur-Tiptur-Arsikere-Halebidu-Belur. Bangalore to Belur distance is 230km, covered in 5 h.
The nearest railway station is the Hassan railway station located at about 40 km away and is well connected to Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore.
The nearest airport to Halebidu is Mysore airport located at about 170 km away and the nearest international airport is the Bangalore international airport located at about 250 km away.
The winter season roughly between November to early March is the best time to visit Halebidu or Belur. During this period, the place has a cool and comfortable temperature ranging from 15 to 30° C.
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