Belur is one of the most popular destinations in Karnataka. Located in the Hassan district, this temple town is 220km away from Bangalore. Set on the banks of the river Yagachi, Belur is also known as the Benaras of the South or the Dakshina Benaras a reference to the numerous temples that dot its landscape.
Historically, Belur is significant because it was the capital of Hoysala Empire. Sixteen kilometers away from Belur is the ancient city of Halebid, which was also the capital of the Hoysalas. The two cities are famous examples of Hoysala architecture and are often clubbed together during tours.
The grandest temple complex in Belur is undoubtedly Chenna Kesava Temple. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it is remarkable for its towering gateway that looms large in its height. The temple has innumerable sculptures which are so vibrant that they seem to come alive.
The temple exemplifies the beauty of South Indian architecture. Legend has it that the complex took more than a century to be completed. Other important sights to see at Belur include the Lakshmi Devi temple at Doddagadavalli and the Jain monuments at Shravanabelgola.
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Belur is well connected by road and rail. The nearest railway station is at Hassan, which is 38 kilometers from Belur. There are also plenty of state transport buses between Hassan and Bangalore, Mangalore and Mysore.
Winter is the best time to visit Belur