Hassan ( Karnataka, South Indian State )
A calm and peaceful place situated 196 kms away from Bangalore, Hassan connects many places around and the coastal regions of Mangalore. It is the most convenient base for visiting many interesting places around. The Hoysala dynasty ruled the southern part of Karnataka from 11th to 14th century. They built more than 150 temples, each being a masterpiece of sculpture, mainly inspired by Chalukyan style but enriched with intense decorative creation. They are built on a star shaped pedestal and one centered around a pillared hall. The walls and niches are filled with genius and delicate work.
BELUR: 38 kms away from Hassan, it was originally the capital of Hoysala kings. The main attraction of the place is the Keshava Temple built by Vishnuvardhana. The artistic greatness of the temple attracts large number of visitors from all parts of the world. The charm of the sculptures, the variety of ornamental details and minute and delicate carvings on the pillars, panels, doorways and ceilings are magnanimous and makes an onlooker spell-bound.
DODDAGADDAVALLI: 20 kms from Hassan, is famous for the Lakshmi Devi Temple which represents typical example of Hoysala architecture. It is a quadruple- four celled temple, perhaps the only one such building of its kind in Karnataka. Lakshmi is a fine standing figure flanked by attendants. The other cells have Bhuthanatha, Vishnu and Kali. It is popularly called as the Abhinav Kollapura.
HALEBID: 15 kms away from Hassan, is known as Dwarsamudra. Halebid was once the seat of Hoysala Empire. Like Belur, there are two famous temples here- Hoyasaleshwar and Santheshwara, both dedicated to Shiva. They are star shaped and stand unrivalled in the region for their sheer magnitude of plan and exuberance in carvings. On the outer walls are carved innumerable figures and groups, rising from basement and following its contours. Kedareshwara Temple is another temple worthy of visit. There are a few Jain Basadis in this area with exquisitely sculptured pillars and ceilings.