While Belur and Halebidu offer two of the most intricately sculpted temples in Karnataka Chikmagalur just 25 kms off Belur offer some of the best hillstations in Karnataka. Shravanabelagola the tallest monolith statue is 90 kms from from Belur towards the opposite direction.
Located about 225 kms from and 35 kms from Hassan Belur along with Halebidu is a fabulous destination for a heritage traveller or anyone who appreciates ancient temple architechture. The Chennakeshava temple complex the primary attraction of Belur has the Chennakesava Temple flanked by Kappe Chennigraya temple and two shrines which are still in use. The Chennakeshava temple complex in Belur also has a Kalyani Pushkarni or a stepped well near the temple.
Chennakeshava Temple - Belur
Chennakeshava temple the main temple of the temple complex is still in active use and you can actually worship in the temple. Poojas are performed in the morning and evening- a tradition being practiced for over 887 years. The most notable feature of Chennakeshava temple is the sculptures of 'madanikas' or celestial nymphs. The soap stone used for the construction probably aided in the clinical precision of the carvings in this temple.
Belur - Halebidu - Shravanabelagola
The Karnataka State Tourism Department offers a tour package (from Mysore) covering Shravanabelagola, Halebidu and Belur in one day. A 330 km round along with sightseeing can get slightly hectic but well worth the effort.
12th century capital of the Hoysalas Halebidu is located about 16 kms from Belur. Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara are the two main temples of Halebidu. There are Jain basadis in front of the temples with temples dedicated to Parsvanatha, Santhanatha and Adinatha. The Hoysaleswara temple was built by Vishnuvardhana Hoysala and King Ballala II built the Kedareswara temple