Welcome to Belur, a town and taluk in the Hassan district of Karnataka, India. Belur is renowned for its Chennakeshava Temple, one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture and the largest Hindu temple complex that has survived from pre-14th-century Karnata-Dravida tradition. Belur has been a Vaishnava Hindu pilgrimage center since at least the 12th century and is a historic site inspired by the teachings of Ramanujacharya. Belur was also the first capital of the Hoysala dynasty, before they built Dwarasamudra (modern Halebid).
Belur is situated on the banks of Yagachi River in the Hassan district of south Karnataka. It is about 40 kilometres northwest of Hassan and about 16 kilometres west from the famous Hindu and Jain temples in Halebid. The town is about 200 kilometres west of Bengaluru (IATA Code: BLR), about a 3.5 hours drive accessible with a four lane NH75 highway through Hassan. Belur has an elevation of 979 metres above mean sea level, making it the highest town in Hassan district. NH-73, its subsidiary NH-373, SH-57, SH-110 & SH-112 pass through the town of Belur.
Belur is home to several monuments, including the Chennakeshava Temple, Belur – a large Vishnu-related Hoysala Hindu temples complex from the early 12th century. The main temple was originally called the Vijaya-Narayana temple built by the king, which is surrounded by many smaller temples built by a Hoysala queen, generals and merchants of Hoysalas, an attached monastery, Brahmins residences, a simple pushkarini (temple water tank), a pilgrims choultry, kitchen and grains storage. The towering Belur gopura is visible from a distance. Sankaresvara temple – the oldest temple in Belur, predates the Vishnuvardhanas Chennakeshava temples complex. Also called Shankaralingeshwara temple, dedicated to Shiva, it is about 400 metres northwest of the Chennakeshava temple gopura. The temple has a phamsana style shikara, square architectural plan, notable sukhanasi, much simpler artwork, with ruins of its mandapa scattered nearby. Pathaleshwara Temple – a small Hoysala style Shiva temple with fine artwork, about 600 metres east of the Chennakeshava temple gopura. Amrutheswara temple ruins – a temple with a large temple tank, it was restored and expanded with a mandapa during the Vijayanagara-Nayaka period, but damaged and its parts scattered after the fall of Vijayanagara. The temple is about 800 metres south of the Chennakeshava temple gopura. It provides a contrast between the Hoysala and Vijayanagara architectural styles.
Belur is a small town and most hotels are near Chikmagalur and Hassan city on the Belur road (State Highway 57), Halebidu road (State Highway 21). There are regular buses to Belur from Bengaluru (222 km), Chikmagalur (25 km), Halebidu (16 km), Kadur (62 km), Hassan (40 km), Hospet (330 km), Mangalore (124 km), Mysore (149 km), Shivamogga (132 km) to Belur. Belur is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, and Hinduism. Come and explore the rich cultural heritage of Belur, Karnataka!