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Dwarasamudra Lake, Halebidu

India has a heritage of various wonders where you can see ancient architectural supremacy in every state. Not just the north but south India, too, have captivating architectural and natural wonders. Dwarasamudra Lake, Halebidu, is one of them.

Background & History

Halebidu, meaning ‘old capital,’ is a village situated in Hassan district of Karnataka, India. In the past time, Halebidu was known as Dwarasamudra which was the capital of Hoysala Empire in the 12th century. There were many splendid architectures have been built in the village. Along with magnificent temples and designs, the king had fulfilled necessities of his villagers too. Dwarasamudra Lake is one of the examples of such necessities.

Back in the 11th century, the Rashtrakuta King Dhruva Maharaja had constructed Dwarasamudra Lake. Initially, he established his kingdom and named it Dwarasamudra. Later on, he came to know that villagers are facing a problem as available water was not sufficient for the year. So, he decided to build a lake that can be used for drinking and field irrigation purposes. In ancient scriptures, it is mentioned that the lake was giving an appearance like the never-ending ocean when it was full to the brim. That’s the reason it is named ‘Dwarasamudra,’ i.e., ’Gate of the Ocean’.

Hoysala kings attempted various methods and ways to rejuvenating water of Dwarasamudra Lake. Also, King had tried to develop this lake for better irrigation system. King had constructed bridges to Kodihalla by using huge boulders. Even the visionary King had created a catchment area near Ranaghatta. It was developed to feed water from Yagachi River, in Belur permanently. King not only desired to provide water to fulfil necessary activities but also for drinking purposes. So, he always ensured that water in the lake should be clean, pure and drinkable throughout the year.

Hoysaleswara Temple

There is a beautiful ‘Hoysaleswara Temple’ located at banks of Dwarasamudra Lake. This attractive masterpiece of architecture is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is an old construction that took near about 105 years to complete. The temple fell into a disrepair state and was neglected by villagers after Muslim invaders sacked and looted it in 14th century.

Incredible Architecture around

Hoysaleswara temple is made up of potstone and built on a platform familiar to Hoysala architecture. In the 11th century, Dwarsamudra lake is formed at one side of the temple. You can see two shrines in the temple, one is dedicated to the King of Hoysaleswara and the other is to his queen Shantaleswara. These superstructures are the most captivating tourist attractions of Halebidu. These shrines are placed next to each other and facing to the east. The whole temple shows the best example of architectural perfection.

Inside every shrine, there is a lingam (symbolic idol of Lord Shiva). Also, four pillars have a built-in font of each shrine. These pillars are ornate with intricate carvings. The exterior of the temple is more intricate carvings that multiply the beauty of the temple. Art critics in the world state that, ‘the temple as second to none in India’. Temple has four porch entrances, with the most intricate carvings and sculptures on the south and eastern doorways. The temple did not use the old tradition of 5 molding construction. It has incorporated the 'horizontal treatment' having eight mouldings.

The worldwide tourists visit here to experience these magnificent sculptures and artwork along the temple and Dwarasamudra Lake.

Entry Fees for Foreign Tourists
No fee
Visiting Time
6:30 am - 9:00 pm
Expected Wandering Time
Approx. 2 to 3 hours
Best Time to Visit
October to March

Location: Halebidu, Hassan district, Karnataka state, India

How to reach Dwarasamudra Lake?

•  Mysore is the nearest domestic airport from Halebidu. So, you can take flight up to Mysore, and later on, to reach from Mysore to Halebidu, you can opt for the following options.

Mode of Transport
Distance (Miles)
Duration (Hours)
Fare (INR)
Mysore Airport (MYQ)
Dwarasamudra Lake
2,200 - 2,700
1,100 - 1,700
2,000 - 2,800
Mysore Airport (MYQ)
Mysore Junction
230 - 320
Mysore Junction
Train (every 4 hours a day)
105 - 120
480 - 600

Along with Dwarasamudra Lake Halebidu is famous for its magnificent architectural attractions. There are several beautiful temples locate in and near Halebidu. To witness this outstanding beauty of south India, you must visit the place. So, fly for India as soon as possible and visit Dwarasamudra Lake!