Skip to main content

Belur - Insights of Hoysala Architecture

Since ages, Karnataka has been rich in culture, heritage and architecture. To have an insight of this, one must visit Belur. Even after a lapse of ten centuries, the art lovers of the whole world can adore this heritage center recognized by UNESCO.

Highlights :

  • [caption id="attachment_3279" align="alignright" width="300"]belur-chennakeshava-temple-hassan-hoysala-01 Hoysala emblem[/caption]

    Distance from Bengaluru : 250 km

  • Places to explore : Belur Chennakeshava temple

  • Mode of transport : Car

  • Type : Architecture, Sight-seeing

  • Ideal for : Friends & Family

  • Budget : Fuel and Food.

Mode of Transport

Started off an early morning with friends to explore the Hoysala architecture. Belur is just 4 hours drive from Bengaluru ( around 250kms), which can be covered as a leisure weekend trip. The drive through the National highway (NH4) takes you all the way to Hassan (Tumkur road take left after Nelamangala).The closest city to Belur is Hassan. One can stop by to have breakfast.


When we arrived at Belur - Chennakeshava temple, a mighty Gopura with Garuda sthambha and  chirping birds welcomed us to the era of Hoysalas. This Gopura, however is built by Vijayanagara empire.

[caption id="attachment_1505" align="alignnone" width="1000"]Gopura Gopura[/caption]

Once we entered the premises, the Chennakeshava temple at the center captured us with its magnificient beauty.

[caption id="attachment_3280" align="alignnone" width="1000"]belur-chennakeshava-temple-hassan-hoysala-02 Belur Chennakeshava temple front view[/caption]

The temple has a history of centuries together. The construction of the temple took 103 years. The Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana had commissioned for the construction of this temple and was completed during the period of  his grandson.

[caption id="attachment_3281" align="alignnone" width="1000"]belur-chennakeshava-temple-hassan-hoysala-03 Belur Chennakeshava temple side view[/caption]

The temple is star shaped and houses the main deity of Hoysala kingdom - Sri Chennakeshava -Hindu Lord Vishnu. The Kannada word "Chenna" refers to handsome and "Keshava" refers to Vishnu. The deity was sculptured by the famous sculptor "Jakkannachari".

The temple has three entrances and have sculptures of dwara palakas (guards) at each entrance.

One can buy tickets for taking photographs of the art work inside temple except the main deity.

[caption id="attachment_3283" align="alignnone" width="1000"]belur-chennakeshava-temple-hassan-hoysala-05 Ranga mantapa Ceiling architecture[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3284" align="alignright" width="300"]belur-chennakeshava-temple-hassan-hoysala-06 Ugra narasimha on the ceiling architecture[/caption]

The temple has a ranga mantapa at the center on which the dancers used to perform. The above view is a fine piece of art with various patterns and at the center, one can notice the carving of Narasimha avatar of Vishnu.

The sculptures of Shilabalakis/dancers can be found on the four corners of Ranga mantapa. These includes the main dancers  who performed on ranga mantapa.







The interior of the temple houses several pillars and each of them are unique in design.

[caption id="attachment_3297" align="alignnone" width="1000"]belur-chennakeshava-temple-hassan-hoysala-19 Pillars - each one of them are unique and none of them are alike[/caption]

The most attractive and famous pillar is Narasimha Pillar. The carvings on this pillar are too intricate and beautiful.

[caption id="attachment_3288" align="aligncenter" width="683"]belur-chennakeshava-temple-hassan-hoysala-10 Narasimha Pillar[/caption]

The exterior of the temple includes carvings and sculptures depicting the mythology, Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Wars, Gods and Godesses.

[caption id="attachment_3289" align="alignnone" width="1000"]belur-chennakeshava-temple-hassan-hoysala-11 Exterior temple carvings[/caption]

The sculpture depicting  lifestyle of people during the era.

[caption id="attachment_3290" align="alignnone" width="1000"]belur-chennakeshava-temple-hassan-hoysala-12 Carvings depicting lifestyle[/caption]

The carvings of horses, lions and elephants found at the bottom of the temple. Each of them are unique meaning, no two elephants look alike.

[caption id="attachment_3296" align="alignnone" width="1000"]belur-chennakeshava-temple-hassan-hoysala-18 Horses, lions and elephants - War strategy[/caption]

The Incarnations of Vishnu. The architecture is so perfect till date.

[caption id="attachment_3291" align="alignnone" width="1000"]belur-chennakeshava-temple-hassan-hoysala-13 Dashavathars of Vishnu[/caption]

The sculpture of Ugra Narasimha - avatar of Vishnu. The most intricate sculpture.

[caption id="attachment_3292" align="aligncenter" width="643"]belur-chennakeshava-temple-hassan-hoysala-14 Ugra Narasimha sculpture[/caption]

The whole temple exterior is covered with innumerable sculptures and carvings, which is a feast to eyes of an art lover.



Towards the right, there is also another temple - Kappe Chennigaraya temple built by Shantala Devi, queen of king Vishnuvardhana. A Pushkarni is found at the left of the temple.

[caption id="attachment_3293" align="alignnone" width="1000"]belur-chennakeshava-temple-hassan-hoysala-15 Kappe Chennigaraaya temple[/caption]

The place just took us the kingdom of Hoysalas. The history has presented us with such an architecture, hope we all preserve and praise it. After this, one can visit to Halebidu (13kms), if time permits. For accomodation/stay , prefer Hassan as there are wide options.

With the memories of Hoysala architecture, we drove back to Bangalore.

History repeats !! :)  Like , Share and add your thoughts.


  1. you done a great job, i went there at 8 years ago when i studied fine art, now i'm deeply researching hoysala history, the embalm you have share called pulikadi mal, sangam Tamil literature says about it, Hoysala are velir descendant, you can see this kind of mural, sculptures widely in hoysala, vijainagara ( hoysala truned as vijainagara after veeravallala 3) architects. there is interesting story about this killing tiger.

  2. Thanks Surendhra Kumar :). Glad to know that you are a history buff!! Keep sharing your knowledge.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Did you just create your new Facebook page? Do you want your page to look a little more "established"? I found a service that can help you with that. They can send organic and 100% real likes and followers to your social pages and you can try before you buy with their free trial. Their service is completely safe and they send all likes to your page naturally and over time so nobody will suspect that you bought them. Try the service for free here: Unsubscribe here:


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Gokarna Beach trek blog - Complete trek experience

Gokarna Beach trek blog - Complete trek experienceHola people, Ever wondered how's the beach trek look like? Ever curious how do beach and trek are related? Well, if you have the curious question then this blog post is for your curious mind. Gokarna is a beautiful blend of beaches and hills. It is well known for its clean beaches of Arabian sea and series of western ghats hills surrounding them. In short - Gokarna beach trek is all about hiking from one beach to another to find new horizons through the rocky and rustic trails of forests. Ready to explore Gokarna beaches? Here we go :)
Gokarna beach trek is a DIY trekYes, you heard it right! Gokarna is a complete Do It Yourself trek. With that I mean, you can choose any trekking company like Thrillophilia to do this simple trek. A group of friends or even solo backpackers can hike without any hassles. The trek trails are well defined and there is no chance of missing out. Moreover, you will get to more freedom to explore the charm o…

Jobra - The dream campsite of Hampta Pass trek blog

Jobra - The dream campsite of Hampta Pass trek blog
This blog series is dedicated to Hampta pass trek - a crossover trek from Kullu to Lahaul and Spiti valley at an elevation of 14,380 ft which is the best monsoon Himalayan trek. This blog post is the experience at first campsite - Jobra Hampta pass trek.

Hampta pass blog series pitstops How I prepared for Hampta pass trekJobra - the dream campsite of Hampta pass trek / Jobra Hampta pass trek (you're here)and more to write.
Bengaluru to Delhi via a flightIt was August 10th evening, I had rechecked the packing list for the 3rd time. I made sure everything is packed and I'm all set! (Consider reading How I prepared for Hampta pass trek) Well, with all the dilemmas, I could not believe I am finally leaving to embrace the Himalayas. With very little sleep, I woke up when the clock ticked 2 am-midnight, prayed to God for my first ever flight journey and safe trek to the Himalayas. I bid bye to my equally tensed mom :D. Boarded a cab wi…

Sindhi cuisine - Food trails at Sindh Kitchen

Sindh Kitchen, Malleshwaram

Positive - Decent fine dining place, Sindh cuisine

Recommended - Aloo Tuk, Dal pakwaan, Palak pathha chaat, Kadi chawal

The food trails of India are infinite and one among them is Sindhi cuisine. The Sindh, though not a part of modern India, but has its food roots widespread in India and beyond. Sindhi cuisine has numerous signature recipes curated long ago and the food culture is still favorite of many. This was my first introduction to Sindhi cuisine at Sindh Kitchenand I was curious & ready for a Sindhi palette.

Sindh Kitchen, Malleshwaram

Located in Malleshwaram, near to Mantri mall - A metro ride led me to this place. A lift to the 3rd floor opened up an ethnic ambiance of Sindh Kitchen. The well-arranged seatings with the windows curled up with curtains overlooking the streets of Malleshwaram. The aptly chosen ceiling lightings with subtle interiors and jaali partitions were pleasing to me. They do have a private dining area well maintained rustic look…