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Chronicles of Southern Benaras : Belur

In the cradle of the city of Hassan, stands the beautiful architectural mystery of the Hoysala Dynasty. All the grandeur and mesmerizing historical structures in the city of Belur, just 155km away from the coastal land. 

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The Temple town of Belur has several surprises in its bosom, hence popularly known as the Southern Benaras.

The journey across dimension of time, to know the story behind the structures in the temple one must start the visit from the open-air museum of Halebidu. Being a home for various exhibits, structures and other historically important artifacts you would find yourself teleported to history. The breathtaking statues of dancing Shiva-Nataraja and Veena Saraswati, also the beauty of the Thirthankara will make you lose your sense of time. 

Halebidu part of Belur is land of History. Being the Royal capital of the Hoysala empire, the land of Halebidu is decked with intricate carvings, grand sculptures, detailed adorned temples and architectural beauty of 12 th century Hoysala craftsmanship. The complete depictions of Indian mythology carved delicately into life like forms can be seen in the Hoysaleshwara temple, built on the star shaped foundation. Indeed the Royal capital portrays the demeanor of the Hoysala dynasty. 

Next on the list is the Hoysaleshwara temple, standing firm in its 12 th century glory. In this temple Lord Shivani aura prevails. Dedicated to the Neelkant himself, this temple is considered to be the landmark of the Hoysala empire. Also it stands as the largest shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. 

A place with a legendary tale and a getaway spot is the 13th century wonder of Belavadi. A short bus ride from Chikmagalur will lead you to the Hoysala architecture based Pilgrim site of Belavadi.Here is the abode of Lord Sri Veera Narayana. The legend tells a more interesting tale and is believed that in this place the Rakshas Bakasura was killed by the Mighty Bheema, to protect the village from the demon. 

The must visit place in the vicinity is the 100 years old Channakesava temple, located just around the corner. A 500m from Belur bus station stands the soapstone carved structure. Built by King Vishnuvardhana of the Hoysala dynasty, the entire structure is made up of soft soapstone, with a 100 ft high gateway. A 6 feet tall idol of Lord Shiva resides inside the temple. 

A diversion from daily routine can be achieved by visiting the dormant city of Belur. The feel of rich history and stories that awe us, with a serene environment is indeed found in the Benaras of South. Elderly and teens both can enjoy and be found here.

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