Hassan

194 kms from Bangalore is the District Headquarters of Hassan. This calm and peaceful town is a convenient base to visit Shravanabelagola, Belur and Halebid. You can visit these places from Bangalore and Mysore too. But if you'd rather explore them at leisure, Hassan offers a wide variety of accommodation. It is also well connected by road and rail to Bangalore, Mysore and Mangalore.

Shravanabelagola: 51 kms south-east of Hassan, this is one of the most important Jain pilgrim centers with the 17 m. high monolith of Lord Bahubali. This is said to be the world's tallest monolithic statue. 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. Shravanabelagola is 158 kms from Bangalore.

Belur: 28 kms from Hassan is Belur with its exquisite temples. The Chennakeshava Temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. It was built over 900 years ago and 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.

Halebid: 27 kms north-west of Hassan and 17 kms east of Belur is Halebid. The Hoysaleswara temple is a masterpiece of Hind art. What astounds one about this Temple is the wealth of sculptural 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 labor. Belur and Halebid are 222 and 216 kms from Bangalore.

Karnataka