Belur is 26 kms from Chikmagalur and Chennakesava temple at Belur is an ancient Vishnu temple build in 12th century. The temple was built for 103 years and the artistic nature of the sculptures are amazing. They are so well sculptured that the original posture of any human shall aptly match the sculpture. The pillar that is in front of the temple just "stands". There is no support to the pillar, neither it is planted/set with concrete. It just stands !
We checked out in the morning and planned to explore the historical places to visit in Chikmagalur called Belur and Halebidu on our way back.These towns are a must visit for Ancient Architecture enthusiasts. The 12th century Hoysala Empire have left behind these intricate architectural marvels. It was a delight to have explored these places to visit in Chikmagalur.
- Another 'have to' for history and ancient architecture buffs is the Hoysala Temples in Halebidu and the Chennakeshava Temples in Belur. These are beautiful complexes and rich with history. One thing we missed seeing is the Museum in the Halebidu Complex. Unfortunately it is closed on Fridays. I sincerely urge you to read this article explaining more about it before you decide to visit so you are aware of what you are seeing, because if you go there clueless about what each building is and their respective background stories, you will end up paying INR 200 at each of the complexes for a guide.
Some basic information before the pleasant architectural spell hits you. Hoysalas are almost 1000 year old dynasty. The kings who shaped this dynasty are Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleshwara & Veera Bhallalla (Grandson). They separated from Chalukyas to build their own independent state. More than 1500 temples were built in 958 centres during their period, most famous of them are Belur, Halebidu & Somnathpur. Main connection to these places is Hassan, which is a 11th century town dedicated to Hassanamba, represented by an Ant Hill. Belur was originally called as Velapuri and was capital (later) of Hoyasalas, located on banks of River Yaguchi. First capital was Halebidu.
How quickly do you plan your trip ???I did mine in less than 12 hrs time, It was completely unplanned yet one of the best trips.Well initially this trip was planned to Chikmagalur but we visited Halebeedu 1st and then headed to Chikmagalur.