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Belur Halebid Karnataka

Belur Halebid Shravanabelagola is the hub of Hoysala and Ganga culture and is the center for one of the best temple architectures not only in India but in the world. Shravanabelagola, a Jain pilgrimage center boasts of the Gomateshwara statue, the world's largest monolithic statue. Belur Halebid Karnataka also tops the list in the state's pilgrim circuit.

Belur and Halebid are both the erstwhile capitals of Hoysala Empire. The early Hoysala dynasty ruled from Belur while the later rulers shifted the capital to Halebid, earlier known as Dwarasamudra. Hoysala architecture bloomed during 11th and 14th centuries, when most of the Deccan Plateau was ruled by the Hoysala dynasty.
The Hoysala architecture can be seen in full bloom Chennakesava Temple and Hoysaleswara Temple at Belur Halebid respectively and the Kesava Temple at Somanathapura. The huge number of temples in Belur Halebid reflects the growing influence of the Hoysala kings, who wanted to outshine their predecessors, the Chalukya kings in terms of art and architecture.

The main temple of Belur is Chennakeshava, which was built during the reign of the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana. The idol of the primary deity Chennakeshava is about 3.7 meters high and is one of the first star-shaped temples of total 1117 such temples built during the Hoysala era. Every corner of the temple is adorned with breathtaking sculptures and is considered one of the greatest artworks in the world.

The Hoysaleswara temple complex is the main temple in Halebid and consists of Hoysaleswara temple, Kedareshwara temple and two Jain basadis. The government of Karnataka has also been maintaining an archeological museum in the temple complex. This site is now being proposed to be declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO on par with Hampi. Belur Halebid Karnataka together with Shravanabelagola is also touted as one of the seven wonders of India.
Shravanabelagola is one of the important Jain pilgrimage centers in India. This place received patronage under the Ganga dynasty of Talakadu with architecture and sculpture getting special attention. The monolithic statue of the Bhagavan Gomateshwara Bahubali stands 57 feet tall atop Vindyagiri and was erected by Chamundaraya, a general in the palace of King Gangaraya.

The rich sculptural details of the temples in Belur and Halebid with the intricate perfection in the art make these towns a favorite with art lovers and historians alike. There are many conducted tours from the state capital Bangalore that cover Belur Halebid Shravanabelagola in a single day. The nearest airport is Bangalore and the nearest railway station is Hassan. Halebid Belur is well-connected by public as well as private transport from Bangalore, Hubli, Mangalore, Shimoga and Mysore. There are also conducted tours to Halebid Belur from nearby states of Andhra Pradesh and Kerala

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