Hoysaleswara Temple In Halebidu
Hoysaleswara temple simply referred to as the Halebidu temple, was built in the 12th century and dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed to be the largest Statue in Halebidu in the state of Karnataka.
Hoysaleswara Temple History
Hoysaleswara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located in Halebidu or Halebid, Hassan. The Hoysaleswara temple is situated at a distance of 150 Km from Mysore. The construction of the temple began in the 12th century by the King of Hoysala. This temple was then looted in the 14th century and it fell into ruins after that. The Halebidu is easy to reach and at a distance of 16 km from Belur and 31 km from Hassan.
Importance Of The Hoysaleswara Temple
The Hoysaleshwara temple is famous for its many features and plenty of images of Lord Ganesh in various positions. There are more than two hundred paintings and images of Lord Ganesha like as dancing image at the south entrance and ending with another image of the elephant God at the north entrance. Also, there is an 8-foot-tall statue of Ganesha is positioned at the south gate.
The roof of the temple is decorated with a small gallery and the top floor is in a state of ruins but still reflects the greatness of the temple. Every sculpture of the temple is well-defined and clearly visible, which speaks volumes about the builders of this magnificent structure.
The temple also has a museum within its premises, which is a treasure trove of uncovering sculptures, wooden crafts, paintings, maps and many other vestiges. It is a virtual treat for visitors who can spend time walking around campus and immerse themselves in the history that surrounds it.
Architecture Of Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebidu
The temple is an indication of classic Hindu architecture and some shading of Hoysala architecture. It consists of sophisticated carvings and numerous divine figures on its walls, all built in soapstone. The temple has four porches for entry and two shrines inside it, one for the king and one for the queen. The main shrine faces on the east.
The Hoysaleswara Temple is built from Soapstone and stands on a raised platform which provided the architect enough space both horizontally and vertically to showcase small and large sculptures that are the real gems of the temple. The exterior walls are adorned with thousands of carvings and inscriptions picturing Mahabharat and Ramayana and some other forms of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Inside it are various sculptures around 240 the highest in any temple in the country and paintings and there is also an image of a dancing Lord Ganesha the elephant God and son of Lord Shiva at the entrance of the temple.
The main highlight of the temple is that no two sculptures are the same. The sculptures describe different designs such as childhood images of Lord Krishna and all his activities such as him lifting Govardhan mountain, Bhishma Pitamah dying on the bed of arrows, Lord Ram killing the deer and many more different sculptures. The lake Dwarasamudra near the temple also provides a scenic backdrop to the temple and offers a terrific spot for photography, prayer and music.
Tips For Visiting Hoysaleswara Temple
- If you are not an expert on Hoysala architecture, it’s best to hire the services of a guide to walk you through the stunning temple. A guide can also help you get through the large group of tourists.
- Photography at the temple is prohibited so be careful with the cameras.
- The temple has a pretty big garden complex. So, after completing your sightseeing, you can enjoy a nice picnic lunch under the shady trees near the temple.
- Late mornings or early afternoons in this part of the region can be really harsh. So, take a hat, sunscreen and a bottle of water with you.
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How To Reach Halebidu Hoysaleswara Temple
Hoysaleswara Temple is open to visitors between 6:30 AM and 9:00 PM every day, on all days of the week. There is no entry fee applicable.
Halebidu, where the temple is located, is close to various major cities in Karnataka which are in turn well connected to cities across India as well as other parts of the world. The city can be reached by Air, Rail or Road.
By Air – The nearest big airport to Halebidu is Mysuru’s domestic airport around 150 Km away to travel within India and the Kempegowda International Airport at Bengaluru around 230 km, for international travel as well as domestic. Visitors can reach these airports from any part of India or the world and can hire a cab, bus or autorickshaw from here to reach the Hoysaleswara temple in Halebidu.
By Rail – The nearest railway station to Hoysaleswara temple is the Hassan railway station which is 30 Km away. This can be reached from cities in Karnataka such as Bengaluru and Mysuru which are all easily accessible from various major cities in India and visitors can hire a cab, bus or autorickshaw from here to reach the temple.
By Road – People can also travel to Halebidu by road by bus, auto-rickshaw or cabs from nearby cities to reach the temple.