A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu

Tripoto
23rd Sep 2018
Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah

Yesterday we had a fatiguing yet a fascinating trek to Bandaje falls. We had good rest at night and all rejuvenated for today. Today's planned activities were rather easy on the body. We were to visit the historical towns of Belur and Halebeedu today, a chance to have a glimpse into the world of Hoysala architecture.

The Hoysala empire had a lasting impression on the governing of South India. They prioritized art, architecture and its illustrious impact can be seen in many places such as the Belur and Halebidu temple complexes. The intricate carvings on their complexes signifies their dedication to skilled craftsmanship. Grand is an understatement to their stellar efforts to popularize art and architecture.

Day 1

Chennakeshava Temple Complex, Belur

Want to know and feel what and how the Hoysala architecture feels like? Head to the Chennakeshava temple in Belur. Belur was the erstwhile capital of the Hoysala empire, before it was shifted to Halebeedu. Situated on the banks of river Yagachi, it an astonishing 100+ years for the completion of the entire complex. The same is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the striking details of every aspect of the temple reflects the zenith of the Hoysala empire.

Photo of Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, Karnataka, India by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, Karnataka, India by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, Karnataka, India by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, Karnataka, India by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, Karnataka, India by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, Karnataka, India by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of Chennakeshava Temple, Belur, Karnataka, India by Hrishikesh Baruah

We had a lazy, late start to our day at our homestay. From Kelagur its around 65 kms to Belur. Its a hot, sultry day and we tried to kill time in the TT by playing Connect. Upon reaching Belur we left our footwear inside the vehicle, and were hopping around on the hot temple pavement. There were renovation work going on the golden gate, at the entrance to the temple.

Once inside the complex you will be amazed by the detailed constructions. We got scattered, intrigued by the grandeur. The complex is a photographers delight.

Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah

Spent almost 1.5 hours walking around on a hot tava-like surface. Our next stop was to Yagachi dam.

Yagachi Dam

Built on the river Yagachi it is not very far from the Belur town. The dam was shut when we were there. The dam was mainly designed to tap in water for agriculture as well as distribution to nearby villages. Owing to the proximity to the Chennakeshava temple tourist inflow is slowly rising to this spot.

Photo of Yagachi Dam, State Highway 57, Attalgere, Karnataka, India by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of Yagachi Dam, State Highway 57, Attalgere, Karnataka, India by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of Yagachi Dam, State Highway 57, Attalgere, Karnataka, India by Hrishikesh Baruah

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.

Photo of Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebeedu, Karnataka, India by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebeedu, Karnataka, India by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebeedu, Karnataka, India by Hrishikesh Baruah

Walking barefoot within the temple complex invited wrath on my feet due to the heat. Although the temple and the town was ransacked during the siege by Mughal sultanate, still a lot of the complex is in a good shape and pulls in a lot of devotees and tourists. If you're planning to go on a sunny day then ensure to put on breathable cotton clothes and carry sun-glass, cap, and lots of water.

Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah
Photo of A Day in The Hoysala Empire: Belur and Halebeedu by Hrishikesh Baruah

Out of the temple complex and we drove ourselves back to Bengaluru. On way back we had a sumptuous lunch before entering the rustic city life. There are lot of Mangalore fish curry restaurants (and you wouldn't believe all their highway signboards looks exactly the same), where you can gorge on some spicy fish curries and fish fries.

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