3 Magnificent Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas In Karnataka

Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas In Karnataka

Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas in Karnataka is the 42nd UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting Belur, Halebeedu & Somnathapura temples.

Magnificent Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas In Karnataka

The Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Karnataka, which is an ode to the artistic mastery of the craftsmen of the Hoysala Empire. True to its tagline, Karnataka is a fascinating amalgam of different worlds, a treasure trove of heritage, and a hotspot of wildlife and nature. It is a heady potpourri of culture, with a rich repertoire of folk dances and music.

When it comes to heritage, Karnataka is home to thousands of monuments that bear witness to the grand era in history. Of all the treasures of Karnataka’s heritage, the great temples that sprung up during the reign of the Hoysala dynasty, stand out with their artistic and architectural brilliance.

The Great Temples Of The Hoysalas

Magnificent Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas In Karnataka

Before discussing the great temples of the Hoysalas, it is important to understand who the Hoysalas were. The Hoysalas were a dynasty that held sway over most of the region that we know as Karnataka, between the 10th and 14th centuries.

They established and then expanded what we know today as the Hoysala Empire. The Hoysalas were undoubtedly well-honed in military and administrative prowess, but the enduring legacy by which the world remembers them is the great temples they built across their empire. Thousands of temples, big and small, many in ruins, stand as silent testimony to the artistic genius of the Hoysala temple builders.

Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas – Pride of Karnataka

Belur Chennakeshava Temple

The Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas is the 42nd UNESCO World Heritage Site in India. It is a group of three temples built during the rule of the Hoysala Dynasty in Karnataka. These temples are representative of the exquisite architecture, sculpture, and carvings exhibited by these remarkable temples.

Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas Unesco World Heritage Site

Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas In Karnataka - Belur Kar

The three temple complexes that have been recognized under the group, Sacred Ensembles of The Hoysalas are:

  1. Chennakeshava Temple of Belur
  2. Hoysaleshwara Temple of Halebeedu
  3. Chennakeshava Temple of Somanathapura

Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas In Karnataka

Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas In Karnataka Belur

The three Hoysala temples that have been recognized as  UNESCO World Heritage Sites are the finest and grandest of the temples. The Hoysala Dynasty which had legendary beginnings in a humble village named Angadi, not far from Sakleshpur of today, later on had as its capital cities, Belur and Halebeedu. The first of the Hoysala temples were built near Angadi and later at Talakadu.

The temple building spree of the Hoysalas reached its zenith at the Chennakeshava Temple in Belur, and the  Chennakeshava Temple in Somanathapura was one of the last temples that was built. In between thousands of temples were built across Karnataka, remains of which are still scattered across the state.

Chennakeshava Temple Belur – Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysala Temples

Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas In Karnataka - Belur.

The artistic mastery of the temple builders of the Hoysala Empire climaxed with the building of the Chennakeshava Temple in Belur. The temple was built in the 12th century and was commissioned by Vishnuvardhana, the most prolific of the temple-building kings of the Hoysala Empire. The temple took 103 years to be completed and spanned three generations.

The Chennakeshava Temple is dedicated to Keshava, a form of Vishnu, and active worship continues in this centuries-old temple to this day. Though the main temple is the Chennakeshava Temple, there are many smaller temples enclosed within a large courtyard bound by a wall. The courtyard is massive and measures 443.5 X 396 Feet. The entrance to the temple complex is through a large Gopuram or Tower.

In the centre of the courtyard stands the Chennakeshava Temple on a high platform known as Jagati. Inside the Garbagriha or sanctum is the idol of a standing Keshava on a 3-foot-high pedestal. A halo with the carvings of the 10 Avatars of Vishnu can be seen above the idol.

The exterior walls of the temple are covered with exquisite carvings of different Hindu Gods and Goddesses and also depict vignettes of everyday life.

Hoysaleshwara Temple — Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysala Temples

Hoysaleshwara Temple -- Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysala Temples

The second temple which is part of the Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas is a temple to the Hindu God Shiva and is located in Halebeedu, at a distance of about 17 kilometres from Belur.

The Halebeedu temple is known as the Hoysaleshwara temple and is actually a twin temple with two Shiva Lingas in the twin sanctums. The male and female aspects of divinity are worshipped respectively as Hoysaleshwara and Santhaleshwara. Apart from the main temple, there is also a temple dedicated to the Sun God, Surya. The temple is embellished with beautiful carvings and sculptures.

The most iconic images of the Hoysaleshwara temple in Halebeedu are those of the Dwarapalas or Doorkeepers that can be seen near the entrance of the temple.

Somanathapura – Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysala Temples

Somanathapura - Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysala Temples

At a distance of about 134 kilometres from Bangalore in a village called Somanathapura is the third of the temples that comprise the Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas. This temple too, like the temple in Belur is a Vaishnavite temple dedicated to Vishnu who is worshipped as Chennakeshava. According to inscriptions the temple was built by Somanatha Dandanayaka, a general in the army of the Hoysala King Narasimha III. The temple was consecrated in the year 1258 CE.

It is believed that the Somanathapura temple was one of the last of the great Hoysala temples. The beautiful and intricate carvings had evolved to near perfection by the time this temple was built. The temple consists of three sanctums, for three different forms of Vishnu, namely Janardhana, Venugopala, and Keshava.

Quick Facts About Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas

Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas In Karnataka Belur

  • Three temples, Chennakeshava Temple Belur, Hoysaleshwara Temple Halebeedu, and Chennakeshava Temple in Somanathapura
  • Belur and Halebeedu can be visited together and can be done as a day trip from Bangalore
  • Belur is about 220 kilometres from Bangalore and about 38 kilometres from Hassan
  • Halebeedu is about 210 kilometres from Bangalore and about 30 kilometres from Hassan
  • Somanathapura is about 134 kilometres from Bangalore and 36 kilometres from Mysore

The Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas stand as magnificent edifices of history that tell silent stories of another era. They stand as enduring icons to the heights of excellence that Man can scale in terms of artistic endeavour.

We hope you found our post about this UNESCO World Heritage Site of India interesting and informative. Stay tuned to our social media channels for regular updates about our travels and travel stories. And do subscribe to our blog and newsletter, if you have not already done so.

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter, “Postcard From India,” to embark on captivating adventures that will immerse you in the rich tapestry of India.

Our mission revolves around fostering connections. Stay connected with us through our lively social media channels, connect with fellow enthusiasts, and savour the joy of exploring a multitude of cultures.

We are a reader-supported site. This means, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission if you book a flight or hotel, or make a purchase through one of our affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Are you planning a last-minute Holiday?
Below are some useful resources to help you book flights, hotels, and tours! And also clothes, luggage and accessories for your trip!

Flights –  Cleartrip or Makemytrip or IndiGo or Cheapair or Priceline

Tours –  Click to book top tours around the world. Book tours and activities here.

ExperiencesBook your next unforgettable experience here, with flexible bookings and free cancellations. Reserve tours and activities now and pay later.

Hotels – Click to book the best hotels/resorts. Choose the best stay options with TripAdvisor or Cleartrip or  makemytrip or  goibibo or  Booking.com or  HotelsCombined or  Agoda

Travel Insurance – Click to book Travel Insurance that covers a range of travel insurance and safety services including medical emergencies, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more

Visas and Travel Documents ApplicationClick here for Online Travel Visa Check

Online Passport PhotoGet Your Passport Photo Online here

Pinit
Pinit

Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas In Karnataka

Do You Love Traveling?

Do you want to know how to travel the world? We have put together a very useful travel resources page with the best travel tips. Go check it out now. Thanks for visiting our site Voyager - imvoyager.com and taking the time to read this post! If you wish to collaborate/work with us then reach us at [email protected] We’d love it if you’d comment by sharing your thoughts on this post and share this post on social media and with your friends. Follow our journey on our social media channels: Facebook  X  Instagram  Pinterest  YouTube 

Start dreaming about your next adventure with Tripadvisor. Book your next unforgettable experience here with flexible bookings and free cancellations.

Start dreaming about your next adventure with Tripadvisor

If you enjoyed reading this, join our community and subscribe to Voyager's site to receive great content delivered right to your inbox.
JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
And get notified everytime we publish a new post.

60+ Million Users Trust TripAdvisor With Their Travel Plans. Shouldn't You?

 TA CJ

3 Magnificent Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas In Karnataka

9 thoughts on “3 Magnificent Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas In Karnataka”

  1. Your post on how to reach The Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysala temples in Karnataka was so fascinating! The information shared is very helpful in planning a memorable trip to these beautiful temples. I am glad the temples have weathered time well.

  2. Wow. Love the intricate carvings, detailed sculptures, and exquisite craftsmanship, of the Hoysaleshwara Temple. They truly showcase the rich cultural and artistic heritage of the Hoysala dynasty in South India. Thank you for taking us on a virtual trip to these magnificent temples.

  3. These Hoysala temples are like time machines! Belur’s Chennakeshava Temple is so intricate, and Halebeedu’s Hoysaleshwara Temple is stunning. Somanathapura’s Chennakeshava Temple is the perfect finale. I would love to explore these wonders someday!

  4. Haleebedu Is what I have been to this year itself, and it was a sight to behold, will try and visit the other 2 next time I am in and around Bangalore, your detailing is quite interesting to read

  5. I absolutely loved the detailed information about the dynasty and the temples in their empire which is also an UNESCO heritage site. Completely amazed by the architecture

  6. I love to travel but never had the means. I am going to be financially independent soon and I am bookmarking this post. Thank you for sharing such a detailed itinerary with cost of the trip.

  7. To be in a place that transports you to ancient era is truly remarkable. Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas are magnificent in form of art and culture. Good to know history behind Hoysalas.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top