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Belur Tourism and Travel Guide

History of The City

BelurTravel to Southern Banaras Belur, the temple town is located 34 kms from Hassan. Famous for its exquisite temple, Belur is known as the Dakshina Varanasi or Southern Banaras. The serenity of Belur is attributed to the celebrated Chennakesava Temple built by the Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 A.D to commemorate his conversion from Jainism to Vaishnavism.

The main structure of the temple, which is star-shaped, is a homogenous architectural unit on a raised platform. Inside, even in the darkness, you can see the hand-lathe turned shining pillars, each unique in its own splendour.

Prime Attractions: Chennakesava Temple - The ornamental gopuram of the Chennakesava Temple appears unexpectedly surround a bend. Hawkers sell antique jewellery. In a corner of the vast courtyard are tossed a golden horse and a temple chariot. The winged figure of Garuda, Lord Vishnu's carrier, stands at the entrance, facing the temple palms touching in homage. Everything is carved in a gleaming, polished black stone, which looks like metal. The breathtaking temple reigns on a star-shaped pedestal. Every possible surface is covered with the most perfectly proportioned figures.

Pillars - Inside, in the startling darkness gleam the beautiful handlathe-turned rounded pillars, each unique in its filigreed splendour. The Narasimha Pillar once revolved on its ball bearings. A small space has been left on it to be sculpted by anyone who has the talent. It remains untouched.

Madanikas (Bracket Figures) - The four famous bracket figures on the ornate ceiling have been inspired by Shantala Devi's voluptuous beauty. One sculptured beauty communicates with a pet parrot whose tail is peacock-like while another wrings water from her long hair and one can see the drops collected on hair-ends. The 650 elephants charging on the frieze around the walls outside are all different from each other. The 38 Bracket figures on the walls are beautiful, pensive, playful and amorous women, lifting the temple to unprecedented heights of excellence.

Shantala Devi - On the smooth circular platform in front of the shrine, stands the sculpture of the beautiful Shantala Devi, queen of King Vishnuvardhana. The jewellery is hollow and movable. The delicacy and attention to the tiniest details here are incredible. Each feature, bangle, strand of hair is carved with care.

BelurHow to get there:

By Air: Bangalore is the nearest airport.

By Rail: Hassan is the nearest rail head.

By Road: The place is connected with Hassan (34 kms), Mysore (149 kms), Bangalore (222 kms).

Fair and Festivals of  Karnataka

Apart from the many festivals celebrated in India, Karnataka has its own set of festivals which have a special significance for the people of Karnataka.

Pattadakkal Dance Festival

Delicately carved temples rich in detail, stand still at Pattadakkal, the ancient capital of the chalukyan kings. A festival of dance celebrates this marvelous heritage. It is celebrated in the month of January.

Makar Sankranti

It is a celebration of the occasion of the 'ascent' of the sun to the north (Uttarayana). In Maharashtra, Karnataka as well as parts of Andhra, Makar Sankranti is a day of goodwill and friendship. Sesame Ladoos and sugar drops are distributed as a symbol of the need to be generous and kind to everyone. Women wear new clothes, new glass bangles and hold get-togethers to share sweets and gifts. A new bride is given ornaments made of sugar drops and her new relatives are invited to meet and welcome her at a haldi kumkum celebration.

Hoysala Mahotsava (Belur - Helebid)

The dance festival held at Belur and Helebid is a magnificent event. The Splendid Hoysala temples with their sculptural extravaganza, make the perfect venue for this cultural feast. It is celebrated in the month of March.

Ganesh Chaturthi

This day is dedicated to the Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of all good beginnings and success. Held annually, this festival is a ten day long event. The images of Lord ganesha are installed and worshipped and on the last day these are taken in processions to be immersed in flowing water. The sea front, packed with people, is a spectacular sight. It is celebrated in September.

Hampi FestivalBelur

The magnificent ruined city of Hampi, once the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, comes alive once again during this lively festival of dance and music, held in the first week of November. 

Hotels in Belur

Sri Raghavendra Tourist Home
Sri Annapoorna Lodge
Sri Vishnu Lodge
Sri Gayathri Bhawan
Travellers Bungalow
Hotel Mayura Velapuri

3 Star Hotels
Hotel Hassan Ashok

2 Star Hotels
Hotel Southern Star

Other Star Hotels
Hotel Suvarna Regency
Hoysala Village Resort