194 kms from Bangalore is the District Headquarters of
Hassan. This quiet and peaceful town is a convenient base to
visit Shravanabelagola, Belur and Halebid. Hassan offers a
wide variety of accommodations. It is well-connected by road
and rail to Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore.
Places of Interest
Halebid is 27 kms north-west of Hassan and 17 kms east of
Belur. The temples of Halebid - like those of belur - bear
mute testimony to the rich, cultural
heritage of Karnataka. The Hoysaleswara Temple, dating back
to the 21th century, is astounding for its wealth of
sculpture details. The walls of the temple are covered with
an endless variety of Gods and Goddesses, animals, birds and
dancing girls. Yet no two facets of the temple are the same.
This magnificent temple - guarded by a Nandi Bull - was
never completed despite 86 years of labour. The Jain basdis
nearby are equally rich in sculpture detail.
51 kms south-east of Hassan, Shravanbelagola is one of the
most important Jain pilgrim centres .The world's tallest
monolithic statue27 m. high monolith of Lord Bahubali is
situated here . Thousands of devotees congregate here to
perform the Mahamastakabhisheka a spectacular ceremony held
once in 12 years, when the 1000-year -old statue is anointed
with milk, curds ,ghee, saffron, and gold coins. The next
Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2005 A.D.
Shravanabelegola is 158 kms from Bangalore.
This quaint hamlet - 38 kms from Hassan - is located on the
banks of the river Yagachi. It was once the capital of the
Hoysala Empire, today made unforgettable for its exquisite
temples. The Chennakeshava Temple is one of the finest
examples of Hoysala architecture. It took 103 years to
complete and you can see why. The facade of the temple is
filled with intricate sculptures and friezes with no portion
left blank. Elephants, episodes from the epics, sensuous
dancers. they are all there - awe-inspiring in their
intricate workmanship. Inside are hand-lathe-turned
filigreed pillars. The Veeranarayana Temple and the smaller
shrines are well worth a visit.