4th Day on Golden Chariot - The Luxury Train through Belur, Halebidu and Shravanbelagola

After brilliant 3 days on Golden Chariot around Mysore, Kabini & Srirangapatana , we woke up at Hassan Railway station on 4th day morning. Plan was to visit Belur temple of Vishnu, Halebidu temple of Shiva and Shravanabelagola. So the day was planned to experience some of the historic places in Karnataka state of India. All these 3 are some of the main places to visit in Karnataka in south India. It was raining in the morning, so everyone was wondering how do we go out for exploring these places.

After brilliant 3 days on Golden Chariot around Mysore, Kabini & Srirangapatana , we woke up at Hassan Railway station on 4th day morning. Plan was to visit Belur temple of Vishnu, Halebidu temple of Shiva and Shravanabelagola. So the day was planned to experience some of the historic places in Karnataka state of India. All these 3 are some of the main places to visit in Karnataka in south India. It was raining in the morning, so everyone was wondering how do we go out for exploring these places. 

Last night, there was announcement to be ready by 8:30am for Shravanabelagola and as everyone assembled at Madira bar, it started raining heavily. Train staff got to know that rain is happening at Shravanabelagola as well, where we were supposed to hike for 30 minutes for reaching the main jain temple on top of the hill. So it was delayed for few minutes to check the situation. Finally the plan changed and we chose to visit Belur temples & Halebidu temples in first half.

Last night, there was announcement to be ready by 8:30am for Shravanabelagola and as everyone assembled at Madira bar, it started raining heavily. Train staff got to know that rain is happening at Shravanabelagola as well, where we were supposed to hike for 30 minutes for reaching the main jain temple on top of the hill. So it was delayed for few minutes to check the situation. Finally the plan changed and we chose to visit Belur temples & Halebidu temples in first half.

We went to Bellur temple first, which was 30 minutes drive from Hassan Railway station. Bellur temples is a campus with various temples inside it. Belooru is a taluka in Hassan district of Karnataka state of south India. Belur town is renowned for its Chennakeshava Temple one of the finest examples of Hoysala workmanship. There are two more shrines in this temple compound that are still in use by devotees and there is a Pushkarni or stepped well to the right side of the main entrance. The Dravida style rayagopura at the entrance which was a later addition by the Vijayanagar  kings, who considered this deity as one of their Kuladevata or family god.
We went to Bellur temple first, which was 30 minutes drive from Hassan Railway station. Bellur temples is a campus with various temples inside it. Belooru is a taluka in Hassan district of Karnataka state of south India. Belur town is renowned for its Chennakeshava Temple one of the finest examples of Hoysala workmanship. There are two more shrines in this temple compound that are still in use by devotees and there is a Pushkarni or stepped well to the right side of the main entrance. The Dravida style rayagopura at the entrance which was a later addition by the Vijayanagar  kings, who considered this deity as one of their Kuladevata or family god.


Belur Temple is located in the middle of a market. We shall be sharing separately about Belur Temples in an exclusive post, as there is lot of share about these beautiful temples and the carvings on the interior walls of Vishnu temple.

Belur Temple is located in the middle of a market. We shall be sharing separately about Belur Temples in an exclusive post, as there is lot of share about these beautiful temples and the carvings on the interior walls of Vishnu temple. 

Apart from main temple are there smaller temples in same compound but equally beautiful. In above photograph, you see Chennakeshava temple on the right and main entrance to the temple on the left. The yellow coloured temple is called gopura tower, which is just above the main entrance.   The main Vishnu temple is surrounded by the Kappe Chennigaraya temple which was built by Shantaladevi, the queen of king Vishnuvardhana . It is also said that Shantaladevi herself danced in front of the main shrine during its installation and her dance inspired the poses of the designs on the temple walls. One needs to visit the temple to witness the fine sculptures all around the place.

Apart from main temple are there smaller temples in same compound but equally beautiful. In above photograph, you see Chennakeshava temple on the right and main entrance to the temple on the left. The yellow coloured temple is called gopura tower, which is just above the main entrance. 

The main Vishnu temple is surrounded by the Kappe Chennigaraya temple which was built by Shantaladevi, the queen of king Vishnuvardhana . It is also said that Shantaladevi herself danced in front of the main shrine during its installation and her dance inspired the poses of the designs on the temple walls. One needs to visit the temple to witness the fine sculptures all around the place. 

Belur was the early capital of the Hoysala Empire and also a major tourist destination in Karnataka state of India. According to inscriptions discovered in Belur, it was also referred to as Velapuri.

Belur was the early capital of the Hoysala Empire and also a major tourist destination in Karnataka state of India. According to inscriptions discovered in Belur, it was also referred to as Velapuri.

As we came out of the temple, there were lot of hawkers outside who started following each of us to show stone-work. Those art-works were certainly beautiful but those were heavy and I was not sure if I had luggage space to bring those to Delhi. At the same time, they quote very high price and then you need to negotiate. I am little bad at negotiations when I like something.   Belur temple of Vishnu, along with Hoysaleshwara Temple in Halebidu and the Jain  monuments at Shravanabelagola  are proposed as UNESCO world heritage sites.

As we came out of the temple, there were lot of hawkers outside who started following each of us to show stone-work. Those art-works were certainly beautiful but those were heavy and I was not sure if I had luggage space to bring those to Delhi. At the same time, they quote very high price and then you need to negotiate. I am little bad at negotiations when I like something. 

Belur temple of Vishnu, along with Hoysaleshwara Temple in Halebidu and the Jain  monuments at Shravanabelagola  are proposed as UNESCO world heritage sites.

Near Bellur temples, we took tea-pakora break and it was best suited for the weather. Rain had brought smiles on everyones face as it was not that hot. More than everything, most of the guests were relatively happy about the cleanness of washrooms here.

Near Bellur temples, we took tea-pakora break and it was best suited for the weather. Rain had brought smiles on everyones face as it was not that hot. More than everything, most of the guests were relatively happy about the cleanness of washrooms here. 

After quick snacks, we headed towards Halebidu Temples. It took 30 minutes from Bellur to Halebidu. These temples are surrounded by beautiful lawns and trees. Shiva temple of Halebidu has brilliant carving work on outer walls. The Halebidu temple complex comprises two Hindu temples, the Hoysaleshwara and Kedareshwara temples and two Jain basadi.

After quick snacks, we headed towards Halebidu Temples. It took 30 minutes from Bellur to Halebidu. These temples are surrounded by beautiful lawns and trees. Shiva temple of Halebidu has brilliant carving work on outer walls. The Halebidu temple complex comprises two Hindu temples, the Hoysaleshwara and Kedareshwara temples and two Jain basadi.  


We were accompanied by a KSTDC guide and he was awesome. He showed us some of the important craved arts and told us about their significance.

We were accompanied by a KSTDC guide and he was awesome. He showed us some of the important craved arts and told us about their significance. 

In front of these temples there is a large lake. The two Nandi  images on the sides of the Hoysaleshwara temple are monoliths and you can see one of them in above photograph. Soapstone  (chloritic schist) was used for the construction of these temples.

In front of these temples there is a large lake. The two Nandi  images on the sides of the Hoysaleshwara temple are monoliths and you can see one of them in above photograph. Soapstone  (chloritic schist) was used for the construction of these temples. 

We shall share a separate post about Halebid Temple. Beware of the hawkers when you move out of the temple.

We shall share a separate post about Halebid Temple. Beware of the hawkers when you move out of the temple. 

After visiting both these places and came back to Golden Chariot for lunch. Lunch menu included - Grilled Pepper with Cheese, Carrot and Leek Chowder, Chicken breast in mushroom fennel sauce, Murgh Saagvala, Cabbage Peas Prial, Malai Kofta, Dal Hara Moong Mughlai, Palak Methi Parantha, Makai oil rice, Aloo Raita and Black current mousse.

After visiting both these places and came back to Golden Chariot for lunch. Lunch menu included - Grilled Pepper with Cheese, Carrot and Leek Chowder, Chicken breast in mushroom fennel sauce, Murgh Saagvala, Cabbage Peas Prial, Malai Kofta, Dal Hara Moong Mughlai, Palak Methi Parantha, Makai oil rice, Aloo Raita and Black current mousse.

After lunch & a quick break, we headed towards Shravanabelagola. It was 1 hr drive from Hassan Railway station to Shravanabelagola.

After lunch & a quick break, we headed towards Shravanabelagola. It was 1 hr drive from Hassan Railway station to Shravanabelagola. 

Bus dropped us at the entry gate of Shravanabelagola Temple. There are 648 stairs to reach the temple. Most of the stairs are comfortable, but it’s recommended to go slow. I had a little issue halfway. I was feeling dizzy and sat for 10 minutes. There were few doctors in our group, who suggested to take deep breath and I was ok after a while.

Bus dropped us at the entry gate of Shravanabelagola Temple. There are 648 stairs to reach the temple. Most of the stairs are comfortable, but it’s recommended to go slow. I had a little issue halfway. I was feeling dizzy and sat for 10 minutes. There were few doctors in our group, who suggested to take deep breath and I was ok after a while. 

Finally I could reach the temple and saw the huge idol (he statue of Gommattesvara Bahubali) in main temple. The main statue was under renovation and hence these wooden pillars all around the statue.

Finally I could reach the temple and saw the huge idol (he statue of Gommattesvara Bahubali) in main temple. The main statue was under renovation and hence these wooden pillars all around the statue. 


Here is another view of the statue of Bahubali at Shravanabelagola. This was clicked from outside the main temple but from same hill.

Here is another view of the statue of Bahubali at Shravanabelagola. This was clicked from outside the main temple but from same hill. 

Sun was setting and our guide was also asking us to start the back journey towards the place where bus was parked. It was relatively easy to descend. These beautiful colors in the sky were motivating to take frequent breaks and capture these views in my Travellingcamera.

Sun was setting and our guide was also asking us to start the back journey towards the place where bus was parked. It was relatively easy to descend. These beautiful colors in the sky were motivating to take frequent breaks and capture these views in my Travellingcamera. 

Many of the co-travellers also wanted me to click their photographs, which I am not sharing here. But this was the perfect light and view for good photographs.

Many of the co-travellers also wanted me to click their photographs, which I am not sharing here. But this was the perfect light and view for good photographs. 

Just across the Shravanbelagola, one can see Chadragiri hill temple complex. It's on the other side of white pond. The Pond you see in above photograph is the place from where one needs to climb up for the main Jain temple.

Just across the Shravanbelagola, one can see Chadragiri hill temple complex. It's on the other side of white pond. The Pond you see in above photograph is the place from where one needs to climb up for the main Jain temple. 

After coming down, he had coconut water and then boarded the coach for coming back to the Golden Chariot. The water pond you see in above photograph is called white pond and the same was visible from main temple on hill top. You would have noticed this pond in most of the photographs taken from main Jain of Shravanbelagola.

After coming down, he had coconut water and then boarded the coach for coming back to the Golden Chariot. The water pond you see in above photograph is called white pond and the same was visible from main temple on hill top. You would have noticed this pond in most of the photographs taken from main Jain of Shravanbelagola. 

After reaching Golden Chariot train, ladies assembled at the bar for heena as some local heena artists were on the train. Heena artists were on board till 8:40pm as train had to start for the next destination.

After reaching Golden Chariot train, ladies assembled at the bar for heena as some local heena artists were on the train. Heena artists were on board till 8:40pm as train had to start for the next destination. 

Dinner Menu for the day included - Beetroot & Horseradish salad, Creme Broccoli, Penne Marinara, Roast Lamb, Murgh Masala, Khubani Kofta, Bhawaan Shimla Mirch, Methi Malai Mutter, Palak dal, Parti Parantha, Badami Pulao, Burrani Raita, Exotic Fruit Tart and Makai Jhajharia.

This was the time when I took shower and then headed towards the Restaurant for dinner.

Dinner Menu for the day included - Beetroot & Horseradish salad, Creme Broccoli, Penne Marinara, Roast Lamb, Murgh Masala, Khubani Kofta, Bhawaan Shimla Mirch, Methi Malai Mutter, Palak dal, Parti Parantha, Badami Pulao, Burrani Raita, Exotic Fruit Tart and Makai Jhajharia.

Dinner Menu for the day included - Beetroot & Horseradish salad, Creme Broccoli, Penne Marinara, Roast Lamb, Murgh Masala, Khubani Kofta, Bhawaan Shimla Mirch, Methi Malai Mutter, Palak dal, Parti Parantha, Badami Pulao, Burrani Raita, Exotic Fruit Tart and Makai Jhajharia.

Dinner Menu for the day included - Beetroot & Horseradish salad, Creme Broccoli, Penne Marinara, Roast Lamb, Murgh Masala, Khubani Kofta, Bhawaan Shimla Mirch, Methi Malai Mutter, Palak dal, Parti Parantha, Badami Pulao, Burrani Raita, Exotic Fruit Tart and Makai Jhajharia.

A photograph of roast lamb served on Golden Chariot on the 4th day around Hassan district of Karnataka state.

A photograph of roast lamb served on Golden Chariot on the 4th day around Hassan district of Karnataka state. 

I preferred Exotic Fruit Tart over Makai Jhajharia. After dinner, it was time to socialize in Madira bar of Golden Chariot. Chef Deepak, GM Verma, Jagga ji and Mr Rathore used to sit late in the bar/restaurant. It was the time to know more about the train and their unique experiences of this journey with Golden Chariot. Kudos to this team for bringing together such a brilliant experience.   This night train was moving and I was eagerly waiting for the next day in Hampi. Stay tuned to know about Hampi, Badami and Goa experience with Golden Chariot.

I preferred Exotic Fruit Tart over Makai Jhajharia. 

After dinner, it was time to socialize in Madira bar of Golden Chariot. Chef Deepak, GM Verma, Jagga ji and Mr Rathore used to sit late in the bar/restaurant. It was the time to know more about the train and their unique experiences of this journey with Golden Chariot. Kudos to this team for bringing together such a brilliant experience.   This night train was moving and I was eagerly waiting for the next day in Hampi. Stay tuned to know about Hampi, Badami and Goa experience with Golden Chariot.

After dinner, it was time to socialize in Madira bar of Golden Chariot. Chef Deepak, GM Verma, Jagga ji and Mr Rathore used to sit late in the bar/restaurant. It was the time to know more about the train and their unique experiences of this journey with Golden Chariot. Kudos to this team for bringing together such a brilliant experience. 


This night train was moving and I was eagerly waiting for the next day in Hampi. 

Stay tuned to know about Hampi, Badami and Goa experience with Golden Chariot


Comments

Ani Paul said…
Amazing pics of all three places,especially the one of the flight of stairs at Sravanbelegola
Hemant Joshi said…
The pictures are amazing.
Deep said…
Excellent photography. I love it.
Very well written and stunning photographs.