Halebid situated at a distance of about 27 Kms. north-west of Hassan town and about 7 Kms. east of Belur, was once the regal capital of the Hoysala Empire. The place was known as Dorasamudra or Dwarasamudra founded in the early 11th century A.D. It came to be known as ‘Halebeedu’ after it was plundered by the Delhi Sultan’s armies two times in 1311 and 1327 and deserted. Halebeedu means ruined city.
The ornate Kedareshwara and Hoysaleswara temples here are remarkable monuments of Hoysala architecture. The Kedareshwara temple is Trikutachala built by Ballala II and his consort Abhinava Ketala Devi in 1219.
Hoysaleshwara and Shanthaleswara temples were built by Ketamala to attributed Vishnuvardhana, the Hoysala ruler. It enshrines Hoysaleswara and Shantaleswara, named after the temple builder Vishnuvardhana Hoysala and his wife, Queen Shantala.
Halebidu temple complex with Hoysaleshwara and Shanthaleswara temples has four entrances which are elegantly wrought with beautiful sculptured lintels, and the temples are cross shaped joined at their inner arms. The outer walls of Hoysaleshwara temple have a marvelous display of art, superb bracket figures and typical Hoysala features. This is the largest existing structure of Hoysala times built by Kedaraja, the master builder of Hoysala period.
The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of depictions from Hindu mythology, animals, birds and Shilabalikas or dancing figures. Yet no two sculptures of the temple are the same. Soap stone or Chloritic Schist was used for the construction of these temples. This magnificent temple guarded by a monolithic Nandi Bull was never completed, despite 86 years of labor going into it. Number of sculptures in the temple has been destructed by invaders.
In front of these temples there is a big lake. The town had got its name from the lake, Dhwara samudhra which means entrance from the ocean.
There are three Jain basadis nearby, Adinatheswara (1138 A.D.), Shanthinatha (1192 A.D.) and Parshvanatheshvara, (1133 A.D.), the last one being the largest and is known to have been built by General Bopanna, son of Gangaraja.
The Veerabhadra temple to the south-east of the town is another notable monument. A Vishnu temple rebuilt by the Vijayanagara rulers using the old materials, and the temples of Mallikarjuna and Parvati are remarkable. There is also a small museum here. About 3 Kms. south of Halebidu, there is Pushpagiri hill which has a round pillared pavilion.
Halebid Temple Timings07.00 am - 07.30 pm
Halebid Temple Entry ChargesFree Entrance
How to Reach Halebid TempleHalebid Temple is 16 kms from Belur, 27 kms from Hassan, 149 kms from Mysore and 226 kms Bangalore.
Halebid is well connected by road and rail to Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore. There are regular buses to Hassan.