Places to See in Halebid
The prime tourist attraction in Halebid is the Hoyasaleswara temple. The construction of the Hoyasaleswara Temple was started in AD 1121 and continued for around 90 years, but never completed. Nevertheless, even in its incomplete form, this temple is the most outstanding example of Hoysala art and architecture. The temple comprises of two temples standing on a single platform. The walls of the temple have detailed sculptures depicting scenes narrated in Mahabharatha and Ramayana. Two massive monolithic bulls are also carved inside the temple. The temple is enclosed by a garden and there is a museum - the Archaeological Museum, located in the temple premises displaying sculptures, woodcarvings idols, coins and inscriptions of 12th and 13th centuries also nearby.
This is one of the main pilgrim centres of Jains which is located on the top of a hillock and at an altitude of 3,000 feet above sea level. The temple is famous for the 18 metres high monolith of Lord Gomateshwara on the Indragiri hill.
Once in every 12 years, Mahamastakabhisheka festival is held in which devotees can reach the statue by climbing 614 rock-cut steps.
This temple is one of the many religious shrines in Halebid. Tourists can find Chalukyan style of architecture in this temple. In the basement of the temple, there is a plethora of carvings which depict various epics like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita.
The Archaeological Museum
This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Halebid. The Archaeological Survey of India has maintained the repository which was established during the 1970s. Tourists can find various sculptures and inscriptions in this museum.
The Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
The Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 102 sq km and is located in the Western Ghats. It is one of the most visited places by tourists in Halebid. There are numerous wildlife species in this sanctuary, which is a treat to the eyes of the wildlife enthusiasts.
Tourist Destinations Near Halebid
There are also smaller temples like three Jain temples at Basadi Halli, a group of Jain temples, famous for their highly polished blackstone pillars and carved ceilings. Shravanbelgola is located around 48 km off Hassan and is famous for the statue of Lord Bahubali (Gomateshwar). The place is an important Jain pilgrimage center with an ancient history. The 17-m-high statue of Bahubali is said to be the tallest monolithic structure in the world. It overlooks the small town of Shravanbelgola from top of the rocky hill known as Indragiri, which you can reach after climbing 614 rock-cut steps. It was also known as Dwarasamudra-gateway to the sea - indicating the numerous water bodies that must have been there at the time.