Once the flourishing capital city of the Hoysala rulers, the historic temple town was known as Dwarasamudra, before coming to be known as Halebidu meaning ‘ruins’. The city got the name after it was damaged, deserted, ransacked and looted twice by Islamic forces of the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th-century. Halebidu in Karnataka is just 16km away from Belur, and about 27km north-west of Hassan town. Also Read - Karnataka Not To Reopen Schools, Pre-University Colleges in December
The intricate work on the Halebidu temple is praiseworthy; especially, the two identical temples built on a common platform but connected internally. Monolithic Soapstone or Chloritic Schist was used in the construction of these temples. It is said that the temples were built by renowned architect Jakkanna Acharya, and took more than 80 years to reach completion. Also Read - Karnataka NEET Mock Allotment Result 2020 Likely To Release Today At kea.kar.nic.in
The temple complex has an impressive museum in three parts; two of these are open galleries. Exhibits include wall sculptures, friezes, lintel units, inscribed pedestals, miniature figurines, gold coins, copper plates and wood carvings besides other excavations from around the area. Also Read - After Tamil Nadu, Karnataka Govt Mulls Banning Online Gambling Games | Decision Soon
The main attraction here today however, is the famous Hoysaleswara Temple situated at the banks of the artificial lake Dwarasamudram, as a testament to the splendid Hoysala architecture. There’s a mandapa with a huge Nandi image in front of the temple, and at the back there’s a shrine of Surya with seven horses. The walls are adorned with intrinsically carved sculptures of God and Goddesses from The Hindu mythology, sages, birds, and animals.
The 12th century temples at Belur, very close to Halebidu are known for their South Indian architecture as well. The temple there have carvings from the Puranas, Upanishads and other mythological characters from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. They also have dancing figures on them; whereas, different pillars have different designs on them.
Halebid is well connected by road and rail to Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore. The nearest airport is in Bangalore about 216km away.