Best Places to Visit in Halebidu – Explore the Ruin City of Hoysala Empire

Halebidu is a famous location in the Hassan district, Karnataka, and the hidden meaning of the Halebidu is known as old capital, encampment. This place was an important regal capital of the Hoysala Empire known by the name of Halebeedu, which was also called as Dwara Samundra in the 12th century.  This location is well developed and famous for some of the great architectures in the area. Tourists visit this place from around the world to spend some time and explore the brilliant ornate work of the Hoysaleswara Temple and Kedareshwara Temple. These are the best places to visit in Halebidu.

Halebidu (An amazing combination of art and nature)

The city was named as Halebidu because the site was damaged several times and deserted into the old capitals. This place was looted twice by the Islamic forces of the Delhi Sultanate in around the 14th Century. The town is also famous for its incredible temple built by the Queen Vishnuvardhana and queen, Shantala Devi. The construction of this temple took around 105 years to finish. The temple is the most important attraction of the town and the best place to visit in Halebidu. The architecture is said to be the epitome of beauty for the tourists, with a good amalgamation of art and historic stories. The temple is very intricately designed with fine details of stonework on the walls and pillars of the temple. Even the entrance gate is nicely designed. You will also find some of the small miniature shrines that are adorned on the temple walls.

Previously the surrounding place was grassland which is now a well-maintained lawn along with a stunning water lake, Dwara Samudhra Lake. The surrounding area of the temple looks extremely stunning with brilliant villages that will give you a peaceful view of nature. People with an interest in archeology will admire the place because there are a lot of alluring environs to explore. This location is quite famous and also listed under the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Art at the Hoysaleswara Temple

There are many interesting pieces in the Hoysaleswara temple and they are the creation of Ketamalla done by the commander of King Vishnuvardhana accordingly to the inscription of 1121 A.D. The temple is placed on a raised platform with a Linga on one of the sanctum. The navaranga in this temple has some of the intricately carved pillars, monolithic which is around 16 feet in height. These structures reflect the talented artisans of the early times. The artistry and craft finish these structures display shows the architectural skills of the people in the olden days. This is definitely one of the best places to visit in Halebidu. You will fall in love with every brick and piece of these temples and the surrounding beauty of the town.

Museum in the temple complex beside the lake

Apart from the temple area in the complex, there are other Halebidu tourist places to explore. A museum in the complex displays some of the important sculptures and architectural pieces from the Hoysala era. The museum is managed by the Archeological Survey of India that was started in the year 1962. These interesting things are taken from the Belur, somanathapura, Halebidu, and other nearby areas.

History of how Dwara Samudra became Halebidu

The history behind how Halebidu came into existence will be very interesting. Here are some historical details about this town.

In the early times when Dwara Samundra was known as the regal capital of the Hoysala Kingdom, there were a lot of differences that became the center of a lot of problems. The complication and fight started between two brothers turned into a fierce battle, Ramanatha from Kannanur and Narasimha III who ruled from Dwara Samudra were not in good terms with each other. These two brothers fought over Dwara Samudra when Narsimha III’s son sat on the throne. But unfortunately, he became the last king of this Dynasty because the place was attacked by Alauddin Khilji’s general called Malik Kafur who invaded the south in the 14th century.

The invasion of this time is known as the cruel blow because the invaders gave the king a cruel death. The king was captured, slain, skinned, and his skin was stuffed and hanged by the walls of Madurai. As the invasion ended the dynasty, Dwara Samundra disappeared. This is when the Halebidu came into existence over the Dwara Samundra and found its spot on the map as well. The soul of the Hoysala Dynasty lies in the Hoysaleswara temple. When you get a clear view of this temple, you will be able to get a glimpse of the kingdom and many interesting things about this place. Halebidu has a lot of attractions and the Hoysaleswara temple is one of them. The beauty and detailing of the Hoysala architecture can be reflected by the Hoysaleswara temple.

How to reach Halebidu?

People who plan to travel to Belur generally pass by Halebidu as well. This area is around 18 km (11 miles) away from Belur and many district busses will help you travel without much hassle. This area can be easily covered if you are traveling from Bangalore to Hassan district first and then to Belur.

Bangalore-Hassan is about 176 km (109 miles), and another 36 km (22 miles) from Belur to Halebidu. This distance can be covered with the help of public transport, follow the travel tips to avoid some of the unwanted issues on the way.

Travel Tips:

If you are planning to visit Halebidu tourist places to explore the beauty, then being familiar with some of the important details are very important.

•  You are recommended to visit Halebidu during the day. You can either stay in Belur or Hassan.
•  Make your transportation and lodging arrangement from beforehand, because frequent buses aren’t available.
•  You must explore the lakeside to get a glimpse of the nearby temple complex.
•  You must try coconut water to beat the heat.
•  The surrounding villages in the area have a very brilliant view of the lush green timberland. The scenic beauty of the lake will bring a soothing feel to your eyes.
•  Be careful while taking a stroll in the field as some of the places might have muddy patches and rubble in the area.


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