India

Halebidu

At a distance of 17 km from Belur, 34 km from Chikmagalur, 32 km from Hassan, 148 km from Mysore & 211 km from Bangalore, Halebidu is located in Hassan District of Karnataka State. Halebidu (or Halebid) is famous for the beautiful Hoysala Temples of Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara built in 1121 AD. It is one of the three Hoysala temples nominated for UNESCO World Heritage Sites, other two being the Belur temple & Somnathpur temple). The Hoysala temples are known for minute & intricate carvings and sculptures with metal like polishing. Halebidu is among the most popular tourist places in Karnataka.

Halebidu was the glorified royal capital of the Hoysala kingdom in 12th Century. Halebidu, which was previously called Dorasamudra or Dwarasamudra, got the name ‘Halebidu’ literally meaning ‘The Old City’ because it was ruined two times during the invasion of Malik Kafur. The temple town comprises two Hindu temples, the Hoysaleswara, Kedareswara temples and two Jain basadis. There is an archeological museum in the temple complex. These temples are surrounded by a big lake. The town gets its name from the lake. Soap stone / Chloritic Schist was used for the construction of these temples.

The Hoysaleswara temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is built on a star shaped platform. This temple enshrines Hoyasaleswara and Santaleswara. Ketumalla, a minister of Vishnuvardhana the Hoysala ruler, built Hoyasaleswara temple during 1121 AD and attributed to his king Vishnuvardhana and Queen Shantala Devi. The construction of the temple took about 105 years to complete. The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of depictions from Hindu mythology, animals, birds and dancing figures. Each sculpture in the temple is unique and beautifully carved.

The Kedareswara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is built in Chalukya style. This was built by King Ballala II is considered to be a gem of architecture. It was decorated with sculptures and panels in typical Hoysala style. The basement shows the rows of Elephants, Horse, Lion and an imaginary animal called Makara.

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