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Belur Tourism And Travel Guide
17° C / 62.6° F
October to February
3 to 4 Days
Mangalore International Airport (172 kms)
Hassan Railway Station (40 kms)
The ancient temple town of Belur, synonymous with the most significant tourist places of India, is located in the Hassan district of Karnataka. Also known as Velapuri or Velur, Belur was the capital of the Hoysala Kings, round about the 11th century, before King Vishnuvardhana shifted the capital to Dwarasamudra.
The Hoysalas’ passion for art and architecture is seen in the inimitable styles they had used in the temples they built. The Hoysalas’ use of Karnata Dravida pattern is a fusion of Western Chalukyan and Dravidian styles. It’s believed that the Hoysalas built around 1,500 temples covering about 950 places. Plundered by the armies of the Delhi Sultanate and by ravages of time, only about 300-400 of them still remain as magnificent mute memories of history. Our travel and tourism guide will help you plan a memorable trip to Belur, the earthly Vaikuntha of the Hoysalas.
How to Reach
The easiest way to reach Belur would be by train.
Belur does not have an airport. Book a flight to Mangalore, which serves international and domestic flights. From Mangalore, hire a cab to Belur.
Hassan has the railway station nearest to Belur and has trains from Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, Mumbai, Goa and Hyderabad chugging in. Travel by train to Hassan and take a bus or cab to Belur. You can keep Hassan as your base, and travel to Belur for sightseeing.
You can hire a cab from Bangalore, Mysore or Mangalore or use a KSRTC bus that runs to Belur from these cities as well as from Hassan and Chikmagalur.
You can drive your car around town, or hire a taxi for sightseeing from the metro you are coming from. Otherwise book a sightseeing tour from KSTDC.
Weather and Best time to Visit
The best time to visit Belur is from October to February.
After visiting the Chennakeshava temple, you can get away to explore the nearest towns and that might be difficult if the weather’s hot. Belur’s summers are off-season.
Monsoon’s a beautiful time to go sightseeing and trekking around Belur, especially a trek to Mullayanagari Hills in Chikmagalur. But the rains might drown your plans. Choose a clear day for travel. But the magnificent Chennakeshava temple looks most majestic on a monsoon day.
Winter’s the right time, for sightseeing and for all types of outdoor activities, including trekking and zipping off on a speed boat on the Yagachi river.
Things to Do
Baba Budan Hills:
These are the hills where Lord Chennakeshava Swami’s companion is said to live. According to legends, Chennakesava Swami visits here often and the locals present him with a pair of slippers, for the Lord's get worn out after all that trudging through the forest to meet his wife. Trek to Mullayanagari Peak, which is a part of the Baba Budhan hills.
Visit the Nageshwara, Chennakeshave temple complex in Mosale, about 13 km from Belur. According to legends, Sage Jamadagni, the father of Parashurama, had his hermitage in Mosale.
Visit Belur in summer (March-April) for the Hoysalamahotsava, the grand festival of dance and music, held in Belur and Halebidu. It’s a marvellous showcase of various dance forms of India and dancers as well as tourists throng to Belur on the event.
Veeranarayana Temple in Belavadi is said to be one of the largest of the Hoysala temples. Known as Ekachakranagara in ancient times, Belavadi is believed to be the place where Bhima of the epic Mahabharata, killed Bakasura in order to rid the people off the evil asura. Belavadi is about 27 km from Belur.
The Museum in Halebidu has more than 1500 sculptures and engravings dating back to the 12th -13th centuries of the Hoysala rule. Visit the Gallery and the open air museum for the ancient treasures that were salvaged out of ruins and put up for exhibit.
You’d find yourself feasting on the delicious Malnad cuisine that is so special to the areas around the Western Ghats. Locally available produce like bamboo shoots, baby mangoes and colocasia leaves often find their way into the pot. Malnad cusine serves up a variety of chutneys and pickles like Halasinakkai and Nallikaai Uppina Kayi, and dishes like Pandi Curry or Pork in a spicy gravy, Patrode and Tallipittu.
And of course, begin your day with a steaming cup of the filter coffee grown in Chikmagalur, the town that is home to lush coffee plantations!