This is another 12th century temple built by Hoysala kings dedicated to Lord Shiva. Halebidu was former capital of the Hoysala Empire. It is 12km from Belavadi and 16km from Belur. It is the largest temple build by Hoysalas, took approx. 40years to complete, was attacked twice by Mughals but the intrinsic designs are largely intact. It has two Nandi shrines outside each facing the respective Shivlinga inside. Numerous smaller friezes narrate Hindu texts such as the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavata Purana.
The temple is built with soapstone, which is soft when quarried and easy to carve the intrinsic patterns and hardens when exposed to air. The temple outer walls is intricately carved. Its lowest layers consist of bands with friezes that consist of (from bottom to top) elephants, lions, horses,scrolls with nature and miniature dancers. The episodes of Ramayana, Mahabharat and Bhagvat Gita are depicted, we could see Abhimanyu’s Chakravyu, Swamvar of Draupati, Durga killing the Buffalo Demon, Prahlada-Hiranyakasipu-Narasimha legend scenes on the wall.
The doors have dvarapals wearing jewellery, above there is Nataraja along with other dancers and musician. The pillars and ceilings have Madanakai sculptures in pillar bracket, same on the outer walls too. The roof of inner sanctum is decorated intricately with Hindu deities. There is a imaginary animal with Peacock feather, crocodile head, elephant trunk, body of lion carved around the temple. This temple signifies one of the finest work by Indian artist.