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Belur - Karnataka
Belur and Halebid, are more of twin hamlets having many things in common between them. Both together complete the full square of the Hoysala temples along with Hampi and Hassan. Belur and Halebid, are more of twin hamlets having many things in common between them.

Both together complete the full square of the Hoysala temples along with Hampi and Hassan. Both have exquisite ancient temples built by the Hoysala dynasty and have at one point of the time been the capital city of the Hoysala dynasty. Although tiny hamlets today with rich cultural extarvaganza, the two villages once played a major role in the building of the dynasty.
History of Belur:
Belur was the early capital of the Hoysala Empire. With Halebidu which is only 16 km away, this is one of the major tourist destinations in Karnataka, India. Belur is located in Hassan district. According to inscriptions discovered here, it was also referred to as Velapuri.

Belur Temple Architecture which is the most fabulous temple in the world situated in Karnataka state. The main attraction in Belur is the Chennakeshava temple complex which contains the Chennakesava Temple (dedicated to Chennakeshava, meaning handsome Vishnu) as the centre piece, surrounded by the Kappe Chennigraya temple built by Shantaladevi, queen of king Vishnuvardhana.

The first moulding were the temple wall meets the jagati (platform) around the temple is made up entirely of a frieze of elephants There are two more shrines here that are still in use by devotees and there is a Pushkarni or stepped well to the right side of the main entrance. The Dravida style rayagopuram at the entrance which was a later addition by the Vijayanagar kings, who considered this deity as one of their Kuladevata or family god. The temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. It was built by king Vishnuvardhana in commemoration of his victory over the Cholas at Talakad in 1117 CE.

Legend has it that it took 103 years to complete and Vishnuvardhana's grandson Veera Ballala II completed the task. The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures and friezes with no portion left blank. The intricate workmanship includes elephants, lions, horses, episodes from the Indian mythological epics, and sensuous dancers (Shilabalikas). Inside the temple are a number of ornate pillars. Darpana Sundari (Lady with the mirror) carved on walls of Belur Temple is one of major attractions in the complex. The credit of carving most of the sculptures goes to Jakanachari. A legend says that Dankanachari(son of Jakanachari) found that the main statue of Lord Vishnu was faulty and had frog inside it.

Jakana, shocked to believe this, cuts his right hand. He will begin to build the other temple and contemplates the task. Later, the old temple(which had faulty statue) came to be known as kappechennigaraaya's temple (kappe=frog) This temple along with Hoysaleswara temple in Halebidu and the Jaina monuments at Shravanabelagola are being proposed as UNESCO world heritage sites.
Tourism :
Belur: Home to the Hoysala temple complex. The Chennakeshava temple here was completed in 1116 by Hoysala Vishnuvardhana. The temple is 37 meters tall and is standing on a platform which has exquisite art work on its outer walls and bracket figures of dancing girls in various poses in perfect proportion. There are shrines of Kappe Chenniga Andal, Saumya Nayaki etc. The temple here is a classic example of Hoysala art, and Belur was one of the Hoysala Capitals.

Halebidu: It is 16 km from Belur, was capital of Hoysala and it was formerly called as Dwarasamudra. It has one of the finest Hoysala temples said to have been started by Ketamalla, a commander of Vishnuvardhana in 1121. The twin Shiva Temples with a common platform and two garbhagrihas, one houses for Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleshwara Linga and the other for Shanthaleshwara Linga. In front of Hoysaleshwara is the Nandimantapa and behind that is shrine of Surya with a two-meter-tall image. Outer walls have rows of intricate figures narrating episodes from epics like Ramyana, Mahabartha, and Bhagavata.
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How to reach Belur
Tourist Attractions in Belur
5N/6D- Karnataka Heritage Tour