About Belur

Country: India | State: Karnataka

Ideal Trip Duration: 2-3 Hours

Nearest City to Belur: Bangalore (217 Kms), Mysore (154 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Belur: October to March

Peak Season: October to March

At a distance of 25 km from Chikmagalur, 40 km from Hassan, 165 km from Mangalore, 154 km from Mysore and 217 km from Bangalore, Belur is very famous temple town situated in Hassan District of Karnataka State. It is renowned for the grand Hoysala Temple dedicated to Lord Chennakesava, an incarnation of Vishnu. It is the best of three Hoysala temples nominated for UNESCO World Heritage Sites (other two being the temples at Halebid & Somnathpur). The Hoysala temples are known for minute & intricate carvings and sculptures with metal like polishing. It is one of the best heritage sites in Karnataka, situated on Bangalore to Chikmagalur route. Belur is one of the well known Karnataka tourist places and among the most popular tourist places to visit near Bangalore.

Belur was the early capital of the powerful Hoysala Empire on the banks of River Yagachi. As per inscriptions found here, Belur was formerly called as Velapuri. Hoysalas were initially under the control of Chalukyas and build their own kingdom after the fall of Chalukyas. The Hoysala dynasty originally had their capital at Halebid where they ruled for over 150 years. However, it was invaded by Malik Kafur in 14th century, plundered to poverty and ruins. Thus, the Hoysalas shifted their seat of power to Belur. Belur is among the must include place in your Chikmagalur tour package.

The Chennakesava temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. It was built by king Vishnuvardhana to celebrate his victory over the Cholas at Talakad in 1117 CE. It took 103 years to complete the temple and Vishnuvardhana's grandson Veera Ballala II completed the task. Standing on a star-shaped platform, the temple has three doorways. There are two more shrines for Soumyanayaki and Ranganayaki, consorts of Sri Chennakesava. There is a Pushkarni or stepped well to the right side of the main entrance. The dravida style rajagopuram at the entrance was a later addition by the Vijayanagar kings.

The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures and friezes with no portion left blank. There are about 48 pillars of various sizes, shapes and designs, bearing testimony to remarkable artistry. Narasimha Pillar is an example of the fine art work done by Hoysala artists. The main highlight of the temple is Darpana Sundari or The lady with the mirror. There are four well-known bracket figures on the ornate ceiling that are inspired by Shantaladevi's well-endowed beauty. Visitors can see several carvings depicting episodes of Mahabharata, Ramayana and the Upanishads. Sculptures of birds and animals also can be seen. The beautiful sculpture of Shantaladevi is placed on the circular platform in front of the shrine. It is unique for its hollow and movable jewellery. The extensively carved doorway of the sanctum and the large life size sculptures of Lord Vishnu and other gods inside the temple exhibit wonderful workmanship.

Mangalore Airport is the nearest airport, which is 174 km from Belur. Nearest Railway Station is at Hassan, which is about 24 km from Belur. It has trains from Dharwar, Cannanore, Bangalore, Mysore, Shimoga and Arsikere. Regular buses ply from Bangalore, Chikmagalur, Halebid, Kadur, Hassan, Mangalore and Mysore to Belur.

Temple Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM.

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Other Info
Internet Availability: Poor
STD Code: 08177
Languages Spoken: Kannada, Hindi, English
Major Festivals: Details Not Available
Hassan is the base station to travel to Belur and there are frequent buses between Hassan & Belur.

Hoysala Mahotsava, a dance festival held in the temples of Belur and Halebid is celebrated in the month of March. It is one of the important festivals in Belur and Halebid. This place can be visited throughout the year. Usually it takes 2-3 hours to visit Belur.

How to Reach Belur

By Air

Nearest Airport: Mangalore - Mangalore Airport (174 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Hassan Railway Station (40 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Belur Bus Station (0 Kms)

Top 10 Places to Visit in Belur


#1 of 8 Places to Visit in Belur

At a distance of 0.5 KM from Belur Bus Station, Sri Chennakesava Temple (also known as Vijayanarayana temple) built in 1117 AD is the main attraction of Belur. The temple is very famous for extensive carvings, stone sculptures, art work and its unique architecture. The temple is listed as UNESCO World heritage Site.

Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple was built by King Vishnuvardhana of Hoysala Dynasty. A six feet tall idol of Lord Vishnu is placed in the temple. This temple was built in Hoysala style of architecture with main shrines being built on a star shaped platform. The temple has one hundred feet high magnificent gateway tower.

The raw material used in the construction of the temple was gray-green chlorite. The main temple is surrounded by the Kappe Chennigaraya Temple and two more shrines. The outer walls of the temple have 645 unique elephant carvings. It took about 103 years to complete the temple construction.

Timings .....

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#2 of 8 Places to Visit in Belur

At a distance of 2.5 km from Belur Bus Stand, Yagachi Dam is an earthen gravity dam situated near Belur in Hassan district of Karnataka. Famous for its water sports, the dam is one of the beautiful dams in Karnataka and also one of the popular places to visit in Belur.

The Yagachi Dam is built in 2001 across the River Yagachi, a tributary of River Kaveri. The length of the dam is 1280 m and the height is 26 meters. Situated at an altitude of 965 feet, the dam was constructed with the objective to harness water resource for the purpose of irrigation and to meet the demands for drinking water in Belur, Chikmagalur and Hassan districts.

The natural beauty of the landscape mesmerizes visitors. Tourists flock in large numbers to enjoy the beauty of the dam and the surrounding areas. The place is ideal to spend time away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. The cool breeze of the dam rejuvenates the mind and the body. Just sitting near the reservoir and watching the calm .....

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#3 of 8 Places to Visit in Belur

Situated inside the Chennakesava Temple complex in Belur, the Narasimha Pillar is a magnificent stone pillar with a height of about 30 feet. All sculptures of the temple are carved on this pillar in a miniature form.

The pillar is made with soapstone. The base of the pillar is cubical in shape with floral decoration. It is believed that this pillar was once capable of rotating on its axis.

Note: This place is inside Chennakesava Temple complex

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#4 of 8 Places to Visit in Belur

Inspired by Shantala Devi, Queen of King Vishnuvardhana, there are 42 Bracket Figures called as Madanikas (or Celestial Nymphs) carved out of soap stone placed in different corners of the Chennakesava Temple. All Madanikas are found in different postures of Bharata Natyam and carved to the minute detail.

Among these, four bracket figures placed inside the temple's ornate ceiling have become very famous and represent the true beauty of Hoysala's sculpture work. These four madanikas are known as Darpana Sundari - The Beauty with a mirror, The lady with the parrot, The Huntress and The Bhasma Mohini. There are 38 bracket figures placed on the outer walls which are the highlight of the temple's magnificent architecture. All the sculptures are carved with utmost care and clinical precision.

Note: This place is inside Chennakesava Temple complex

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#5 of 8 Places to Visit in Belur

At a distance of 25 Kms from Belur & 15 Kms from Hassan, Doddagaddavalli village is known for the Lakshmidevi Temple built by the Hoysalas in 1114 AD.

Situated between Hassan & Belur, the temple was built during the rule of King Vishnuvardhana. Set amidst lush coconut plantations, there is a lake adjacent to the temple. It is one of the earliest known temples built in Hoysala style and is built with soap stone. The temple does not stand on a platform which became popular in later Hoysala temples.

The main temple is located at the center of the compound. The main shrine faces east with tall image of Lakshmi enshrined in the sanctorum. There are four shrines in the temple complex facing each other and sharing the common hall within the temple. The shrines contain both Vaishnava and Shaiva deities that are Lakshmi, Siva, Vishnu and Kali. At the eight cardinal quarters of the ceilings are carved with the guardian deities.

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Pilgrimage | Heritage

#6 of 8 Places to Visit in Belur

At a distance of 140 Kms from Bangalore, 50 Kms from Hassan & 83 Kms from Mysore, Shravanabelagola is one of the most popular Jain pilgrimage center in South India. This place is named after the pond in middle of the town (Bela-Kola means White Pond). This is one of the popular 2 day trip from Bangalore and a major heritage / historical site not to miss in a Karnataka tour packages.

Shravanabelagola is famous for the Bahubali Statue which is supposed to be the tallest monolithic stone statue in the world with a height of 58 feet carved out of a single block of granite. The Gomateswara temple is built on top of a hill at an altitude of 3347 feet, called as Vindhyagiri hill (also known as Doddabetta or Indragiri). About 620 steps provide access to this .....

Distance (From Belur): 92 Kms
Trip Duration (From Belur - Including Travel): 1-2 Days

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#7 of 8 Places to Visit in Belur

At a distance of 17 km from Belur, 34 km from Chikmagalur, 32 km from Hassan, 148 km from Mysore & 211 km from Bangalore, Halebidu is located in Hassan District of Karnataka State. Halebidu (or Halebid) is famous for the beautiful Hoysala Temples of Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara built in 1121 AD. It is one of the three Hoysala temples nominated for UNESCO World Heritage Sites, other two being the Belur temple & Somnathpur temple). The Hoysala temples are known for minute & intricate carvings and sculptures with metal like polishing. Halebidu is among the most popular tourist places in Karnataka.

Halebidu was the glorified royal capital of the Hoysala kingdom in 12th Century. Halebidu, which was previously called Dorasamudra or Dwarasamudra, .....

Distance (From Belur): 17 Kms
Trip Duration (From Belur - Including Travel): 4 Hours/Half Day

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#8 of 8 Places to Visit in Belur

At a distance of 82 km from Kemmangundi, 64 km from Chikmagalur, 27 km from Belur & 12 km from Halebid, Belavadi is a village situated in Chikmagalur District and is famous for Sri Veera Narayana Temple built in Hoysala architectural style. The place is described as Ekachakranagara of Mahabharata and is said to be the place where Pandava prince Bheema killed the demon Bakasura and protected the village and its people.

The Veera Narayana temple was built in 13th century by the Hoysala King Veera Bhallala II. This temple is dedicated to Load Vishnu in three different forms. While Belur and Halebid are famous for their intricate sculpture, this temple is one of the best examples of Hoysala architecture. The west side of the temple consists of a square garbhagriha, a sukanasi, Ranga mandapa and square maha mantapa. The whole structure has been constructed on a raised platform. The entire .....

Distance (From Belur): 27 Kms
Trip Duration (From Belur - Including Travel): 2 Hours

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Top 3 Belur Tour Packages