Hassan , Belur and Halebeid - A two day trip from Bangalore!

25th Dec 2020
Photo of Hassan , Belur and Halebeid - A two day trip from Bangalore! by Mitu Bhagat

After nine and a half months of staying at home in 2020, we planned a 2 day trip on Christmas, of course with utmost precautions which we could do. After a long discussion about where to go, which place to go, we zeroed down Hassan. Till then we didn't know what's there to visit. Since it was close to some 4 hours journey, we thought this would be minimum. Also, I wanted to visit to Kotilingeshwara for a long time but kept that for another time. So almost 10 or 11 pm we decided on a place, booked an Ola outstation, booked a one night stay at a Southern Star showing maximum hygiene in Goibibo, packed bare minimum required with no Google research on what to see and not, we slept asap to wake up early.

The next morning, even after lot of effort to leave early, we could only leave by 9am. And then we could see a lot of traffic everywhere as it looked everyone wanted to step out after such long time lockdown. We halted at a place around 10.30 am for breakfast in Bangalore-Mysore highway. Dosa and Chai, which was mostly our staple during weekends, was ordered. After finishing we quickly left and started researching. We found out a place called Sravanabalagola, is in way to Hassan. A little diversion from the main road but then we agreed to this. Since there was quite a traffic and so many tolls, we reached this place around 12.30 pm. It seemed beautiful small town at the base of temple which you generally find near any famous temple, small souvenir shops, puja item shops, some eateries. We got down from cab.

The Sravanabalagola temple and the Bahubali statue was at a height 57ft for which you have to go by 200 steps. Even though I had gone for few trekking trips but it was nightmare for me to climb those stairs as lockdown had made me quite unfit. So while climbing on those stairs, I decided on I will surely do brisk walk for at least half an hour every day. I could see a lot of people were in similar situations like me. There were not many people, and since less crowd and people were maintaining a good social distancing there. The view from top was quite mesmerizing. When we reached top we sat outside the temple for 10 minutes as it was very hot. The view from the top was amazing.

Day 1

View from Top - Sravanabalagola

Photo of Sravánabélagóla, Karnataka, India by Mitu Bhagat

Then, inside we stayed for around 15 minutes as it seemed enough to see the architecture and to get the feel of that place. It was a Jain temple and you could see few Digambar Jain followers there. Getting down from the stairs was not difficult but if you have knee problems, it would still be difficult, as I could see many old people were struggling but I could see the faith in their eyes which couldn't stop them. :)

After coming down we had tender coconut water and left for our hotel, it was almost 2pm. As we reached hotel, it was almost 3.30 pm, and they had closed their buffet. So we reached our room and ordered food from swiggy. The room was all sanitized and looked quite comfortable, it was very nice stay but we got it in good discount due to lower rates. Till that time, we took rest and called it a day.

Day 2

Next day morning, we got up early and enjoyed the breakfast buffet, stuffed ourselves with food. We were searching few places nearby, we could see few temples on google map. After breakfast we checked out and went to a nearby temple, Nageshwara Channakeshava temple in Mosale. There were just 2 more families in the temple and temple priests and people there were giving individual attention to everyone. Beautiful temples of Shiva and Vishnu. The ambience was quite beautiful as temple was situated in middle of greenery.

Beautiful Twin Temple - Nageshwara Channakeshava temple in Mosale

Photo of Hassan, Karnataka, India by Mitu Bhagat

Then again we searched few nearby places but every where it was closed. We then thought to return to Bangalore. Then our driver bhaiya gave us ideas to visit Belur and Halebeid as it is nearby. There was a famous abandoned church which is now a tourist spot - Senthihally Church which was 20kms from city center. We had to miss it as we thought of going towards Belur. It was another 55kms from where were. Another hour drive and we reached Belur.

The place had beautiful surroundings outside the temple compound. The very grand Chennakeshava temple in Belur is great example of Hoysala period. This temple was of lord Vishnu but again, since the temple compound was so big, there were multiple small temples of different gods.

Grand Compound - Chennakesava Temple

You can spend a minimum of 1 hour admiring the beautiful architecture of this temple and if you are a photo enthusiast, you could spend more, take pictures and make videos. No restrictions on camera, in the compound, though restrictions were there inside the temple. Again we could see less people, so social distancing could be maintenance properly.

Beautiful Architecture - Chennakesava Temple

Photo of Belur, Karnataka, India by Mitu Bhagat
Photo of Belur, Karnataka, India by Mitu Bhagat

From there we went to Halebeid which was again some 17-20 kms from Belur. After reaching Halebeid we first finished our lunch as it was almost 3pm, then we went to Hoysaleswara Temple which had similar Hoysala architecture but this was Shiva temple. This temple was had a big Nandi God statue. The compound was very big and quite beautiful. After staying half and hour we came outside and did a little souvenir shopping. We bought Shivling and Nandi miniature statues in black stone. The drive back to Bangalore was smooth as we left by 4 and didn't allow the peak traffic to start. It was a small but happy trip after a long stay at home lockdown.

Hoysaleswara Temple - Halebeid

Photo of Halebeedu, Karnataka, India by Mitu Bhagat