The world famous twin cities of Belur and Halebidu, strongholds of the Hoysalas from the mid-11th to the mid-14th century, are best known for their temples with highly intricate carvings.
The rulers of South India’s Hoysala dynasty were great patrons of art and architecture. They were recognised for introducing vast improvements to the Chalukyan rulers’ pursuits in this area. Halebidu served as the first capital of the Hoysala’ s before Belur replaced it as their seat of power.
The large and highly decorative temples of these cities serve as the citadels of the local histories and of course represent astonishing works of stone art of Hoysala-style of art and architecture.
Why you will love it
- An opportunity to explore some of the most splendid examples of a newly introduced Hoysala-style of Hindu temple architecture and stone carving in the region.
- Soaking up the rich atmospherics of time travel to the 16th century through these ornate temples.
- Being blown away by the timeless celebration of the divine with this exquisite stone craft which makes the scenes in the images almost come alive.
What you will experience
You will explore first- hand the amazing engineering and artisan skills that went into building the temples at Belur and Halebidu. While both temple sites have common features such as massive courtyards and incredibly intricate stone carvings in the walls, ceilings, pillars, etc., there are many local stories to discover about their making that have survived to this day.
Did you know it took over a century to complete the extraordinary Chennakesava Temple in Belur? Just imagine the narratives linked to this exceptional journey of temple building that would stimulate the history buff in you!
At Halebidu, the primary shrine is the Hoysaleswara Temple, which reflects the amazing skills of master architects and sculptors who were patronised by the Hoysalas. The work of the sculptor was not just confined to the temples. Near Halebidu you can find a fantastic example of their finesses in what has been recognised as one of the most ornate of temple ponds.
On the way to Bangalore, if time permits, we could take a detour to the holy town of Shravanabelagola, a pilgrimage site for devotees of the Jain faith. Dominating the hills is the massive 47- foot-high statue of Bahubali, a revered Jain saint. Carved out of a single block of granite, Bahubali, who was the son of Adhinatha, the first Tirthankara of Jainism attracts great throngs of devotees all year round. Having bested his half-brother Bharata for control of the kingdom, he gave up everything in disgust and renounced the world to find the peace of Nirvana.