The name Hoysala comes from the words Hoy Sa’la, meaning “strike Sa’la”. This was the legendary comment Guru Sudatta Muni said to his student, Sala who was in combat with a tiger. As the tiger attacked them both, Sala struck the animal with one blow and both were immortal. Sala became the first ruler and founder of the Hoysala dynasty.
Hoysala’s were master craftsmen invoking spectacular architectural details into their buildings. Centuries old temples still exist around various areas in the state of Karnataka. Two key areas where travelers can view well preserved examples of Hoysala work are in the small towns of Belur and Halebid, west of Bangalore.
Hassan Hoysala Temple Circuit is perfect for weekend warriors looking to get out of the city or tourists on a limited time frame. Although set for 2 days, it is possible to scrunch all activities into one very full, very long day.
Depart Bengaluru for Shravanabelagola. Climb more than 600 steps to the top of Vindhygiri Hill to view the largest monolithic statue of India. Read More…
Continue on to Hassan for an overnight stay. Hotels of all budgets can be found within the city. For a special experience try Hoysala Village Resort located a few miles from Hassan.
After breakfast, depart for Chennekesava Temple of Belur. Start here rather than Halebid as guide services originate from Belur. Visit the temple. Afterward take a stroll along main road where numerous vendors line up to sell everything from puzzles to hand carved stone figures. Break for lunch or continue on to Halebid.
At Halebid, visit Hoysaleswara Temple. If you haven’t already taken lunch in Belur there are terrific shade trees inside the temple complex where locals enjoy sack lunches.
Continue to Halebid’s hidden gem Kedareswara Temple. Few guide books will direct travelers here leaving the place free of touts and pesky tourists. A series of 3 Hoysala Jain temples lies adjacent to the Hindu temple.
Return to Hassan or direct to Bangalore.
After breakfast return to Bangalore.
Cost & Moving About
Car and Driver- Individual costs vary based on type of vehicle (compact, SUV, A/C, non A/C) and amount of passengers.
Cost: Starting at Rs 1000 and up from Bangalore. Tip: Cut costs by starting service from Hassan.
Train- Yesvantpur Kawr Express (#16515) is the best option. Depart Bangalore at 7:30 am, arrive Hassan at 11:40 am. Service runs Monday, Wednesday, and Friday only. Hire a car and driver from here or use KSRTC local buses to move about.
Cost: AC Chair Car Rs 293 or Second Seating Rs 93.
Bus- KSTDC offers a daily bus tour of Belur, Halebid and Sravanabelagola. Depart Bangalore at 6:30 am, return to Bangalore at 10 pm.
Cost: Rs 935 AC Volvo; Rs 825 Non AC
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