Places to Visit in Belur

Belur is known for the heritage tourism it offers. Once the capital of the Hoysala Empire, Belur is famous for its exquisite temples and sculptures of the Hoysala period. Belur is also known as Dakshina Varanasi or Southern Banaras.

Places to See in Belur

Chennakesava Temple

The prime tourist attraction in Belur is the Chennakesava Temple built by the Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana in 1117 A D to commemorate his conversion from Jainism to Vaishnavism. The temple took 103 years to build and is a classic example of the Hoysala style. Standing on a star-shaped platform, it has three doorways and bracket figures or 'Madanikas' representing the masterpieces of craftsmanship. The pillars of the temple are richly carved. The Channekeshava Temple is unique as it is said that every Hindu deity has been represented in the temple. There are intricate sculptures all around and no portion in the temple is left blank. There are sculptures of elephants, episodes from the epics, sensuous dancers suggesting various themes and many more to enchant the travelers. On the smooth circular platform in front of the shrine, stands the sculpture of the beautiful Shantala Devi, queen of King Vishnuvardhana. The four famous bracket figures on the ornate ceiling have been inspired by Shantala Devi's voluptuous beauty. Everything in the temple is made with black stones.

Veeranarayana temple

Situated on the west of the Chenna Kesava Temple is Veeranarayana temple. This temple houses the shrines of Kappe Chenniga, Andal, Saumya Nayaki, and other deities.

Tourist Destinations Near Belur

Excursions can be made from Belur to Halebid, which can be enlightening for those on spiritual tourism in Belur. Halebid, 16 km from Belur is famous for the Hoyasaleeswara temple. There are also smaller temples like Kedareswara and three Jain temples at Halebid. One can also visit Shravanabelagola, situated 50 km off Hassan, an important Jain pilgrimage center and famous for the 17 m high statue of Bahubali (Gomateshwar).

Last Updated on : 3/09/2013