Belur was known as Velapuri during Hoysala period and its main attraction is the Chennakesava temple complex. The presiding deity of this temple is Chennakesava, also known as Lord Vishnu and this temple is surrounded by Kappe Chennigraya temple which was built by Shantaladevi who was the queen of famous king Vishnuvardhan. Chennakesava templeis a famous tourist destination and is marked by 48 pillars carved in different designs.
Belur was the capital of Hoysala kingdom for some time and was constructed to celebrate the victory of King Vishnuvardhan of Talkad against Cholas.
CONNECTIVITY TO BELUR-HALEBID:
The nearest railway station is Hassan which is 27km from Halebid. Mangalore is the nearest domestic airport, which is 168 km away and Bangalore is the nearest international airport, which is 222 km away. It is connected to all major cities nearby, including Bangalore, which is 222 km away from Halebid.
ATTRACTIONS IN BELUR HALEBID:
BASAI HALLI: It is a group of Jain monasteries with pillars as polished as mirror. Basadi Halli is in close proximity to Hoysaleswara temple. Though there are threetemples in this complex, the most famous temple is Parshavanathaswamy Temple which has a 14 ft figure made of black stone. There is a seven headed serpent inscribeedon the head of this figure. Adinathaswamy (central mandir) and Shanthinathaswamy (located at east of Shanthinathaswamy) are the other two temples here.
HOYSALESHWARA TEMPLE: This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the building of this temple was begun in 12th century. It is marked by intricately carvedscriptures. The temple is a structured splendour in itself standing on a platform enriched with fine detailed scrollwork in stone. This star-shaped temple is a pair of two similar temples with separate sanctuaries and mandapams next to each other. On the outside is situated the Nandi Bull, the chariot of Shiva and a hilltop. The ramparts are adorned with carvings of animals, gods and goddesses, birds and dancing girls. Garuda Stambha is a peculiar feature of Hoysaleshwara Temple. On the southern side one can view a pillar with inscription of heros cutting their heads thus commemorating Kuruva Lakshma, the bodyguard of Veera BallalaII.
KEDARESHWARA TEMPLE: is a Chalukyan style temple with two Hoysala emblems. This temple was built in 1319 AD and it is a dilapidated structure. The basement of thetemple showcases a wide variety of sculptured friezes highlighting stories of epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagwad Gita. The sanctorum houses a Kedareshwara (Shiva) Linga made by Krishnashila, a variety of black stone. To the south of it is Brahma linga and the statue of Janardhana at the north.
SHANTALESWARA TEMPLE: has shrines placed next to each other and facing east. They are dedicated to dedicated to Hoysaleswara and Shantaleswara, composed ofsoft Soapstone known as Potstone. There is a Shiva Lingam in the sanctorum and the temple structure is highly appraised as a prototype of Hindu style ofarchitecture. The exteriors are complex and interiors are very simple. The exterior walls of the temple have a wide range of sculptures composed of stone.