Belur is very famous temple town situated in Hassan District of Karnataka State. It is renowned for the grand Hoysala Temple dedicated to Lord Chennakesava, an incarnation of Vishnu. It is the best of three Hoysala temples nominated for UNESCO World Heritage Sites (other two being the temples at Halebid & Somnathpur). The Hoysala temples are known for minute & intricate carvings and sculptures with metal like polishing.

Belur was the early capital of the powerful Hoysala Empire on the banks of River Yagachi. As per inscriptions found here, Belur was formerly called as Velapuri. Hoysalas were initially under the control of Chalukyas and build their own kingdom after the fall of Chalukyas.

The Chennakesava temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. It was built by king Vishnuvardhana to celebrate his victory over the Cholas at Talakad in 1117 CE. It took 103 years to complete the temple and Vishnuvardhana’s grandson Veera Ballala II completed the task. Standing on a star-shaped platform, the temple has three doorways. There are two more shrines for Soumyanayaki and Ranganayaki, consorts of Sri Chennakesava. There are four well-known bracket figures on the ornate ceiling that are inspired by Shantaladevi’s well-endowed beauty

There is a Pushkarni or stepped well to the right side of the main entrance. The dravida style rajagopuram at the entrance was a later addition by the Vijayanagar kings.
Narasimha Pillar is an example of the fine art work done by Hoysala artists.

How to reach Belur

How to reach Belur by Air

Bangalore airport is around 220 kilometers away from Belur. All the major domestic airlines connect Bangalore with other major and minor cities in India. Mangalore International Airport is another airport close to Belur which offers direct flights to Middle East countries as well as major cities in India such as Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.

How to reach Belur by Rail

As such, there is no railway station in Belur. Hassan Railway Station is considered as the nearest railhead to Belur which is located at a distance of around 40 km. Hassan Railway Station is well linked to major Indian cities and other nearby towns such as Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore.

How to reach Belur by Road

I was on a circular route that started from Bangalore and ended at Bangalore. I travelled from Bangalore to Chitradurga Fort , then did the twin cities of Halebidu & Belur, followed by visiting the Sunken Church at Shettihalli and then back to Bangalore

There are a number of regular KSRTC buses that connect Belur to Bangalore (221 km). If you are coming to Belur via roadways then take NH4 through Bangalore-Tumkur Road (155 km). Further, you have to turn left side at Nelamangala (192 km) and take NH48 which will connect with Mangalore (154 km).

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