Hoysalesvara Temple in Halebidu or simply Halebidu Temple is a sacred 12th-century Hindu temple devoted to Lord Shiva. Situated in Halebidu, in the Hassan district of Karnataka, Hoysalesvara Temple is an outstanding example of Hoysala architecture. It owes its name to the illustrious King Vishnuvardhana Hoysalesvara, who initiated the construction of this magnificent temple. This twin-shrined temple is said to be the largest Shiva Temple constructed by the Hoysala dynasty.
Along with the Chennakeshava Temple in Belur and the Keshava Temple in Somanathpur, the Hoysalesvara Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is believed that the Hoysalesvara Temple which is a Shiva Temple was built to compete with the Chennakeshava Temple that was concurrently under construction as a Vaishnava temple.
Nestled beside a vast man-made lake and surrounded by a meticulously landscaped garden, the Hoysalesvara Temple is a stunning architectural marvel that rests upon a star-shaped platform. The temple is adorned with a multitude of finely carved sculptures and intricate reliefs. These sculptures depict various Hindu deities, mythological stories, celestial beings, and scenes from the everyday life of Hoysala kings. What truly sets it apart is the imagery from revered epics like the Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Bhagavad Gita that grace its outer walls, complemented by highly ornate temple doorways. It is often said that no other temple in the country captures the essence of Indian epics as elegantly and artistically as the Hoysalesvara Temple in Halebidu.
6:30 AM to 9 PM.
Best Time to Visit:
October to March.
- Hoysala Mahotsav - It is celebrated every year in the month of March or April.
There is no strict dress code enforced at the Hoysalesvara Temple in Halebidu. But, it's advisable to dress modestly and respectfully while visiting religious sites.
- The Hoysalesvara Temple in Halebidu is considered one of the best temples in the country in gracefully depicting Indian epics.
- It is a part of the "Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas" which is inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, recognizing its architectural and historical significance
- A noteworthy feature of Hoysalesvara Temple is its Garuda Sthamba, a rare pillar which pays tribute to the bodyguards who served the kings in ancient times and, in some cases, chose to end their lives upon the death of their master. The Garuda Sthamba specifically commemorates the death of Kuruva Lakshma, the bodyguard of Veera Ballala II.
- The Hoysalesvara Temple in Halebidu boasts an astonishing collection of over 240 intricate sculptures, making it one of the most sculpturally rich temples in India.
- The temple houses an Archaeological Museum, maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) which showcases an extensive collection of over 1500 sculptures and artefacts from the Hoysala era.
Ways to Reach:
By Air: Mangaluru (Mangalore) International Airport is 174.8 Km away from the temple. From the airport, you can avail of public transport or get a cab/ taxi to reach the temple.
By Rail: Hassan Railway Station is 31.8 Km away from the temple. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the temple.
By Road: Hoysalesvara Temple is easily accessible by road. You can avail of public transport or get a cab/ taxi to reach the temple.