Things to Do in Belur

Chennakesava Temple

A fantastic model of the Hoysala architecture, the Chennakaseva Temple is an architectural marvel, built in the 12th century. Despite its grand history and popularity, this little wonder of Belur remains one of the lesser-visited sites in Karnataka.

The temple features a beautiful stepwell (Pushkarani), right near the entrance. This well was used in the olden days for taking a bath before offering prayers and other rituals, as was customary at the time. A 42-meter high pillar called the Gravity Pillar has also been installed in the middle of the courtyard.

Not an ordinary pillar, this one does not have a foundation, implying that it stands by itself! This pillar is a testament to the marvellous design and architecture skills of the Hoysala. The temple is adorned with amazingly intricate carvings depicting scenes from the Mahabharata and Rayamana. You don’t want to miss that.

Distance from Belur: 850 m

Yagachi Dam

Yagachi Dam is an earthen gravity dam, built over Yagachi river, one of the tributaries of Kaveri. One of the most popular spots for water sports in Karnataka, the dam is situated at a height of 965 feet above sea level, and is 1,280 meters long.

Shaded from the constant hustle and bustle of the busy streets, Yagachi dam is also a great place to delve into some water-sports and adventure! Get your adrenaline pumping by indulging in activities like speed boating, kayaking, jet-skiing, and many more!

While it may be one of the most famous tourist places in Belur, a quiet evening sojourn to Yagachi, especially during sunset, promises to restore your spirits!

Distance from Belur: 2.5 km

Narasimha Pillar

One of the most magnificent creations and designs of the Hoysala era, the Narasimha Pillar is a stone pillar looming at a height of 30 feet. This pillar, crafted out of soapstone, is situated inside the complex of the famous Chennakesava Temple.

Amongst the fifty different pillars located inside the temple, the Narasimha Pillar is something of an artistic marvel. It carries, in a miniature form, all the unique architectural features of the temple. You can spot all the sculptures of the temple carved onto this pillar, too. The Narasimha Pillar is another thing that makes the Chennakaseva Temple one of the most fascinating places to visit in Belur!

Amongst the fifty different pillars located inside the temple, the Narasimha Pillar is something of an artistic marvel. It carries, in a miniature form, all the unique architectural features of the temple. You can spot all the sculptures of the temple carved onto this pillar, too. The Narasimha Pillar is another thing that makes the Chennakaseva Temple one of the most fascinating places to visit in Belur!

Distance from Belur: 850 m


Yet another reason the Chennakaseva Temple is one of the most frequented tourist places in Belur - the Madanikas! Also known as Celestial Nymphs, the Madanikas are beautifully carved Bracket Figures that grace the walls of the temple. These structures are designed with utmost precision.

These Madanikas can be found depicting various forms and postures of Bharatanatyam, crafted to perfection! There are 42 of these Madanikas in the temple, four of which can be seen in the temple’s ceiling and reflect the true brilliance of the Hoysala designs. The remaining 38 figures dot the exterior of the temple, enriching the architectural beauty of the temple.

Distance from Belur: 850 m


Located about 15 km away from Hassan, the quiet little village of Doddagaddavalli is one of the most offbeat places to visit in Belur. Doddagaddavalli is best known as the home of the Laksmidevi Temple, built by the Hoysalas in 1114 AD.

Shaded by lovely coconut plantations, the temple carries stark reflections of the era of King Vishnuvardhana, in whose rule the temple was erected. As is typical of the Hoysala architecture, the temple is built with soapstone and stands independent of a platform.

This style of temple architecture was later incorporated into the following Hoysala structures. The highlight of the temple is the striking image of the goddess Lakshmi which stands in the Sanctorum. Shrines of Lakshmi, Shiv, Vishnu, and Kali can also be found in this temple.

Distance from Belur: 24.2 km


Halebidu is a historically and culturally rich town, cocooned in the Hassan District of Karnataka. What was once, in the 12th century, the regal capital of the Hoysala kingdom, is now home of the architectural splendours of that era.

The town harbours a beautiful collection of temples and shrines, of which the Hoysaleshwara and Kedareshwara temples are the most iconic. The once-grand town is now mostly in ruins, but it still retains a lot of the history. All one needs to do is explore a little to unfold the pages of history itself.

To say that it is just another one of the famous tourist places in Belur would be an understatement. A visit to Halebidu is as good as taking a trip back in time, to the Hoysala era!

Distance from Belur: 17 km


Home to the famous Veer Narayan Temple that dates back to the 1200s, Belavadi is a place steeped in history and Hindu mythology. It is a sleepy little hamlet, which is an ideal contrast to the bustling city lanes. You won’t find many tourists here, which means you can explore the place in peace and to the fullest. Go for the rich architecture, the carvings, the shrines, and solitude.

It is also said to be the place, as mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, where Bhima defeated the demon Bakasura to protect the village. It may not be one of the most out-there tourist places in Belur, but it is definitely worth a visit, if only for the Veer Narayana Temple.

Distance from Belur: 28 km

Paathaaleshwara Temple

The Paathaaleshwara Temple may not be one of the most renown tourist places in Belur, but don’t let that fool you.

If you’re an admirer of everything rustic, historic, and raw, you will not want to miss a trip to this understated little wonder. Marked by ancient jet-black Hoysala pillars, the temple is set amidst dense bushes and stands in near ruins- a truly poetic setting. Explore the halls of the temple and you can spot the characteristics of the Hoysala architecture staring right back at you.

Distance from Belur: 650 meters

Hoysala Mahotsava

Held annually in the month of March or April, the Hoysala Mahotsav is a grand celebration of the rich Indian culture and heritage. It is a stellar festival of dance, art, and music, hosted against the glorious architecture of the Hoysala temples of Halebidu and Belur.

An experience that is truly one of its kind, the festival marks the beginning of a new season and celebrates it with a divine combination of music, dance, and art. Artists, both old and young, from all over the country flock to Halebidu every year to be a part of this epic festival.

This commemorative festival is held to honour the military achievements of the Hoysala King, and is a prestigious event for Hindus. There is also a great feast that follows the dance gala! If you’re a connoisseur of the various forms of art and dance, this festival is a must-see!

Distance from Belur: Haledidu sits about 17 km away from Belur.

Shantaleswara Temple

Another brilliant creation of the Hoysala, the Shantaleshwara Temple was built in the 12th century as a tribute to Lord Shiva. Housed in Halebidu, it is one of the most religious places to visit in Belur, and has two identical temples inside the complex, known as Shantaleshwara and Hoysaleshwara.

The temple is named after Queen Shantaladevi, wife of King Vishnuvaradhana Hoysala, both of whom are known to have been enshrined in the temple. One of the most striking characteristics of the temple is that its basal structure of the temple resembles a star!

Besides that, each temple is enriched by intricate carvings playing out various significant stories from Hindu mythology. If you appreciate architecture, the Shanatleshwara temple is a no-miss for you!

Distance from Belur: Shantaleswara Temple is located 17 km away from Belur.

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