Halebidu, formerly known as Dwarasamudra, is a city adorned with beautiful collection of temples, shrines and sculptures, it is home to some of the best examples of Hoysala architecture. Most notable are the ornate Hoysaleshwara and Kedareshwara temples. During the 14th century, it was looted and plundered by Malik Kafur of the Delhi Sultanate twice. Hence it got its name ‘Halebid’ which translates to the ‘old city’.
Attractions in Halebidu
Hoysaleswara temple, also spelt Hoysaleshwara, is a temple dedicated to Hindu god Shiva. It was built during the rule of King Vishnuvardhana of the Hoysala Empire from around 1120 CE and 1150 CE. During the early 14th century, Karnataka was sacked and looted by Muslim invaders from northern India and the temple fell into a state of ruin and neglect.
This Nandimantapa situated just in front of the Hoysaleswara temple. The mantapa also has a shrine of Surya which houses a 2 m tall figurine of the deity. The Parswanatha Halli with polished pillars is a prime attraction which shows distorted reflections of the onlookers.
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, depicted in the form of a Shivlinga of Krishnashila, a black stone. This was the first temple in the Hoysala reign which was built by a woman, namely Ballala II’s queen, Ketaladevi. The temple is a site to behold in all its glory.
The Parshvanatha Basadi Halli (or Jain Mandir) is situated between Hoysaleshwara Temple and Kedareshwara Temple. There are three Jain temples at Basadi Halli – Parshwanatha Swamy Temple, Adinatha Swamy Temple and Shantinatha Swamy Temple. Parshwanatha Swamy Temple is an important structure with wonderful carvings.
The Parshwanatha Swamy figure is made out of black stone and it is 14 feet in height. A seven-headed serpent carved at the head of this figure appears to be guarding the deity
The Archeological Museum of Halebidu
This open air museum, situated in the primary temple premises, houses countless sculptures, exhibits, inscriptions and has its displays represent Indian Art at various foreign exhibitions. Established in early 1970s, this museum has more than 1500 sculptures & inscriptions of historical significance recovered in and around Halebidu. It has on displays coins, idols, figurines and anything and everything of historical or cultural importance from the Hoysala reign
The collection is displayed in a closed sculpture gallery as well as in an open air museum with a large reserve collection. It also display 18 feet Tirthankara image from the ruined tank of one of the Jaina basadis. Most of the artifacts exhibited in the museum are from 12th – 13th century.
Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM, Closed on Fridays
Entry Fee: Rs. 5 for Person
How to reach Halebidu
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
How to reach Halebid by Air
The nearest domestic Airport from Halebidu is Mysore Airport, roughly three hour drive from Halebidu town. The airport is well connected to many major cities of the country. The nearest International Airport is Bengaluru International Airport, Bangalore, roughly four hour drive from Halebidu. Frequent Flights to various national and international destinations take off from here.
How to reach Halebid by Rail
The nearest railway stations from Halebidu is Hassan. Smet Mysore Express, Mys Shimoga Express, Sharavati Express, Mysore Express, Sharavathi Express, Kannur Express and Dwr Mysore Express are the major trains for the all stations of Hassan district area.
How to reach Halebid by Road
Halebidu is about 200 Kms from Bangalore and is connected through Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and some private travel services.