Name was derived from King Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleshwara, who built this temple and Shantaleshwara for Shantala Devi – his Queen. Hoysaleshwara is the most beautiful ornately decorated temple I have ever seen. There are four porches for entry and each entry has extensively adorned actually bejeweled Dwarpalakas. There are more than thousand figurines around the wall.
Being Sunday, crowd was expected to visit Halebidu, many people come from Bangalore as a one day trip. Halebidu took my interest in architecture & carvings to another level beyond Hampi, it is a MASTERPIECE of carvings. Halebidu was the first capital of Hoysalas, later shifted to Belur. Most famous ornate temples are Hoysaleshwara & Kedareshwara Temples.These temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva. Around 500 mtrs away from Hoysaleshwara, there is one more beautiful Jain Basadi dedicated to Shantinatha & Parshavanatha built during 11th Century. Further to that is Kedareshwara. Both these are usually missed by regular tourist. The temples were built (completed) in 12thCentury and ransacked and destroyed in 14th century by invaders, however the artwork remained intact, thankfully. These temples were built from Soapstone (metamorphic rock), hence easier to carve fine details.Hoysaleshwara Temple is actually a Twin temple, built together, one as Hoysaleshwara & another as Shantaleshwara with respective huge Nandis opposite to shrines.
Halebeedu (or Halebidu)Halebeedu became the center of the Hoysala kingdom after the capital was shifted here from Belur. The highlight of the town without doubt is the Hoysaleshwara temple complex. Situated not more than 25 kms from Belur this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and also houses a gigantic Nandi structure. And just like the Chennakeshava temple in Belur this one is also intricately carved out and designed.
There are Hoysala Temples at Mosale, 34 Kilometers from Hassan. And then there is Gorur Dam at a distance of 21 kilometers and Ranganatha Temple and Ramanthapur Temples.
Hoysaleswara Temple complex is a paragon of stones sculptures studded with a plethora of beautiful carvings. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered to be one of the largest temples for Shiva in South India. The array of intricate sculptures depicts Hindu gods, the scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata, animals engaged in a war, decorative floral patterns and much more. The temple is also famous for exhaustive jewelry elements on sculptures. To fuel further astonishment, no two sculptures within the entire complex are the same.