Belur is a small town in Karnataka, but it is popular for its intricate craftsmanship. One can still see glimpses of the majestic Hoysala workmanship in the handicrafts and architecture. The town is home to ancient temples that have stood strong through the test of time. Fine architecture and exquisite architecture is a proof of engineering genius of locals. The town is rooted in culture and has a magical old world charm. Walking across the narrow bylanes will take you back in time. Experience the richness of culture and confluence of traditions and heritage in Belur. The people are amicable and will make your holiday experience all the more enjoyable. Some of the main tourist attractions of Belur include a cluster of beautiful Hindu and Jain temples.
Chennakeshava Temple, Hoysaleswara Temple, Lakkundi Temple, Halebidu Temple, Belur Museum
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Belur is a small town situated on the bank of river Yagachi in Hassan district of Karnataka. Belur and its twin town, Halebid are repository of exquisite temples and monuments of the yore, which exemplify the expertise that Indian artists had in temple building techniques. The town is popular across the world for the Chennakeshava Temple, which is the finest example of Hoysala workmanship.
Inscriptions discovered here, refer Belur as Velur or Velapuri, which was the capital of Hoysala kings in 11th-century. The city had great esteemed then, by the Hoysalas, and was termed as "earthly Vaikuntha" or Lord Vishnu's abode on earth. The engineering genius and expert workmanship of the people of this town of the bygone era is still witnessed in the temples that stand tall today.
Fondly named as the 'jewels of Indian cultural heritage' Belur & Halebid are decorated with the endowment of the rich past and culture. Belur is popular for its Chennakesava Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. As history says, thousands of skilled artisans had put in unflinching hard-work for 103 years to complete this magnificent piece of work. The temple is constructed on a “Jagati”, a circulation path outside the mantapa with star shaped 8 corners or ashtabhadra.
This is a unique style of the Hoysala architecture. The temple is built with soap stone, with 48 pillars that are decorated with the celestial beauties. Each pillar is an outstanding piece of craftsmanship. These are hand chiseled to perfection. Right next to this temple, is Kappe Chennigaray Temple, which was built by Shantaladevi, the wife of then Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana. Apart from these, there are two more temples in the complex that exhibit intricate work on the walls.
Other places nearby that have also attracted tourists from far & near lands are Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebidu, which is group of Hindu and Jain temples of 12th century with Hoysala architecture and artwork.; Kesava Temple at Somanathapura is a 13th century Hoysala temple dedicated to Krishna; and the Shravanabelagola at Channarayapatna is a very important Jain pilgrimage site with colossal Gommateshwara statue.
Exploring the Hoysala architecture and artwork at Belur takes tourists down the lanes of India’s deep rooted culture, heritage and expertise in architectural and carvings. A place that unveils the richness of India, less explored & least discussed.
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