Belur is a town in the Hassan district of Karnataka. The town is known for the Chennakeshava temple which is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture in the country. Belur was one of the most important centers during the Hoysala Empire. With reference to the inscriptions belonging to the 11th century that was found here, the place was also called “Velur” or “Velapuri”. It remained the second capital from 11th century to the 14th and was also “Dakshin Varanasi” (southern city of the Hindus). Now its name is taken from beryl originally because of the mineral beryllium that is found here.
Filled with lush greenery and pure air and treasured with the rich history of the Hoysala empire, Belur is a fascinating place and attracts a huge amount of footfall every year. The scenic beauty is sure to melt anyone’s heart. Belur has a lot to offer to its visitors, starting right from the beautiful landscapes to the iconic temples and the magnificent architectures that portray the Hindu mythology at every point. The best time to visit the place is from October to March when the weather stays a bit cool.
Belur was the holy place of the Hoysala empire and as a result of this, it has many temples standing till this day. These temples were carved out of rocks with beautiful sculptures that are done on the pillars of the temples here. These temples serve as a reference to many archaeologists and historians for a study on the styles of the Indian empires.
The temple of Belur followed the Karnataka Style of architecture. The themes of the temple in Belur follow the Shaivism or the Shaktism ideology. A few of these iconic temples have been recognized as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Belur Temple carvings
The temples in Belur, Karnataka are rich with resources of the history that portray the culture and heritage with every carving that were done on the walls of these temples. These temples were built between 1106 to 1117 AD during the Hoysala empire and were commissioned by the King Vishnuvardhana.
The temples had witnessed many wars and were partially plundered by foreign invaders like Malik Kafur and Alauddin Khilji for gold. They were again repaired and reconstructed by the Vijaynagara Empire. The works on the temple show the various beliefs of people and the images of gods and goddesses. A strong of Shaivism and Shaktism are also propagated through these carvings.
Belur Temple Timings
The Chennakeshava temple in Belur opens at 7:00 a.m. in the morning and closes at 1:00 PM. and again reopens at 2:00 p.m. and closes at 8:00 p.m. to be reopened for the next day.
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