Aug 18, 2009
Most of you would have heard of the temples carved in stone in Belur and Halebeedu. These temples built by the Hoysala Kings are known for their fine architecture and intricate carvings. They are also among the well known tourist destinations in Karnataka. If you are living in Bangalore or elsewhere in South India, it is very likely that you have already visited these places. But did you know that there are dozens of equally beautiful temples around Belur and Halebeedu? The monuments spread around Belur and Halebeedu do not show up prominently on the tourist map, and hence rarely visited.
Take the Veeranarayana temple in Belavadi for instance. It is just 12km from Halebeedu and you see hardly any visitors there. But it is a fine structure with an array of 108 pillars, all of them polished to perfection and each one carved differently. Not very far from Halebeedu are a bunch of Jain Temples huddled together, again built with many round pillars adorning the front porch.
There are countless such temples to see, like the four-shrined temple in Doddagaddavalli or the temple with a round front-porch in Arasikere. The Hoysala Kings had built nearly a thousand temples during their four hundred years of rule. Nearly a hundred have survived even today, many of them restored to their old glory by ASI.
Travel Wise, an initiative formed by me and a fellow travel writer aims to show these centers of perfection in stone to the curious travellers. We do occasional weekend trips from Bangalore with small groups. Our next tour is scheduled on August 29th. See http://www.travelwise.in for more details.
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The Hoysala Heritage
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