Belur Travel Guide - How to reach Belur, where to stay & main things to do/explore

Many times when tourists search best or top Indian States to explore, Karnataka doesn't come or comes at the bottom of these lists. And even in those lists, not much in Karnataka is highlighted. Hampi takes out all the spotlights in Karnataka and then places like Mysore. But when I spent a week in the Karnataka state on a fast paced tour, I realized that there is a lot to explore in Karnataka state of India and I need to visit the state few times to know it better. During one of my visits to the state, I spent some time around Belur and in this post we are trying to share some relevant details around how to reach Belur, how to do local commute, where to stay and what all can be explored w.r.t. time available.

Many times when tourists search best or top Indian States to explore, Karnataka doesn't come or comes at the bottom of these lists. And even in those lists, not much in Karnataka is highlighted. Hampi takes out all the spotlights in Karnataka and then places like Mysore. But when I spent a week in the Karnataka state on a fast paced tour, I realized that there is a lot to explore in Karnataka state of India and I need to visit the state few times to know it better. During one of my visits to the state, I spent some time around Belur and in this post we are trying to share some relevant details around how to reach Belur, how to do local commute, where to stay and what all can be explored w.r.t. time available. 

Let’s try to understand how Belur is place w.r.t. main cities in Karnataka and how it’s connected.   1. Belur is 150+ km from Mysore and 210+ kilometers from Bangalore.  2. Hassan is main railway station around Belur.  3. Taxi can be an a good options to move between the places around Belur.  4. There are enough buses available for Belur from Mysore, Banglore & Hassan. Nearest airport is in Banglore. 5. By road it takes approximately 4 hrs to reach Belur from Banglore.

Let’s try to understand how Belur is place w.r.t. main cities in Karnataka and how it’s connected. 

1. Belur is 150+ km from Mysore and 210+ kilometers from Bangalore. 
2. Hassan is main railway station around Belur. 
3. Taxi can be an a good options to move between the places around Belur. 
4. There are enough buses available for Belur from Mysore, Banglore & Hassan. Nearest airport is in Banglore.
5. By road it takes approximately 4 hrs to reach Belur from Banglore. 

Winters time is good season to explore this part of Karnataka. Belur is popularly known as city of temples in Hassan district and it's not only for folks who love visiting temples, but also for travellers who like to understand a geography, history, architecture and the culture. Now that you know some fundamental things about Belur, let's talk about some of the main places to see now.

Winters time is good season to explore this part of Karnataka. Belur is popularly known as city of temples in Hassan district and it's not only for folks who love visiting temples, but also for travellers who like to understand a geography, history, architecture and the culture. Now that you know some fundamental things about Belur, let's talk about some of the main places to see now. 

Sri Chennakeshava Temple : This temple of Belur is located in the middle of all hustle bustle of Belur market. This temple is the most important to visit and impresses with it's artistic heritage, sculptures, architecture and the magical environment. This temple showcases the taste of dravidians and the intricate arts.

Sri Chennakeshava Temple : This temple of Belur is located in the middle of all hustle bustle of Belur market. This temple is the most important to visit and impresses with it's artistic heritage, sculptures, architecture and the magical environment. This temple showcases the taste of dravidians and the intricate arts. 
  This temple is dedicated to Vishnu and the name signifies beautiful Vishnu, as chenna means beautiful and keshava is Vishnu. It seems lot of time was spent to build this whole campus which has multiple temples. The temple complex looks simpler from outside, but it's equally intricate from inside.

This temple is dedicated to Vishnu and the name signifies beautiful Vishnu, as chenna means beautiful and keshava is Vishnu. It seems lot of time was spent to build this whole campus which has multiple temples. The temple complex looks simpler from outside, but it's equally intricate from inside. 

Above photograph shows Pushkarni, which is a stepwell inside Chennakeshava temple of Belur. It was closed and hence there was not a good place to view it properly. This is certainly huge, which I guess by looking at the wall around it.   You would find a water body in almost all temples in South India or even other regions of the country. These were mainly for cleaning the temple and devotees would clean their hadns/feet before entering into the temple. That's why Pushkarni is just next to the entry gate of Chennakeshava temple.

Above photograph shows Pushkarni, which is a stepwell inside Chennakeshava temple of Belur. It was closed and hence there was not a good place to view it properly. This is certainly huge, which I guess by looking at the wall around it. 

You would find a water body in almost all temples in South India or even other regions of the country. These were mainly for cleaning the temple and devotees would clean their hadns/feet before entering into the temple. That's why Pushkarni is just next to the entry gate of Chennakeshava temple. 

During my visit one of the guides also told that Belur & Halibid are also proposed for UNESCO world heritage because of it's 10th century heritage.

During my visit one of the guides also told that Belur & Halibid are also proposed for UNESCO world heritage because of it's 10th century heritage. 

There are multiple important things to explore inside Chennakeshava Temple and here are some of them -   Gravity Pillar (Lampost)  Andal (Ranganayaki) Temple  Veera Narayana Temple  Observe Miniature Shrines  Lintels around temple enterances  Narasimha Pillar   Madanikas   And lot more... There are are plenty of things to observe closely at Hoysala marvel Chennakeshava temple.

There are multiple important things to explore inside Chennakeshava Temple and here are some of them - 

Gravity Pillar (Lampost)

Andal (Ranganayaki) Temple

Veera Narayana Temple

Observe Miniature Shrines

Lintels around temple enterances

Narasimha Pillar 

Madanikas 

And lot more... There are are plenty of things to observe closely at Hoysala marvel Chennakeshava temple. 

Apart from the magnificent ChennaKeshawa Temple  one can visit  Yagachi Dam, Doddagaddavalli, Halebidu, Belavadi &  Shravanbelagola .

Apart from the magnificent ChennaKeshawa Temple  one can visit  Yagachi Dam, Doddagaddavalli, Halebidu, Belavadi &  Shravanbelagola .

Shopping - Frankly speaking, I am not much into shopping but can certainly share about one thing which you can buy for your house or dear ones. Just outside Chennakeshava temple, you would find group of people selling stone creations especially various kinds of Budhha. Folks travelling with me bought lot of them and they loved those. Even when we meet, they talk about that shopping because it was well worth the money they spent in Belur.

Shopping - Frankly speaking, I am not much into shopping but can certainly share about one thing which you can buy for your house or dear ones. Just outside Chennakeshava temple, you would find group of people selling stone creations especially various kinds of Budhha. Folks travelling with me bought lot of them and they loved those. Even when we meet, they talk about that shopping because it was well worth the money they spent in Belur. 

Shopping - Frankly speaking, I am not much into shopping but can certainly share about one thing which you can buy for your house or dear ones. Just outside Chennakeshava temple, you would find group of people selling stone creations especially various kinds of Budhha. Folks travelling with me bought lot of them and they loved those. Even when we meet, they talk about that shopping because it was well worth the money they spent in Belur.

Yagachi Dam is one of the main places to explore around Belur. This water reservoir is approximately 3 km away from Belur bus-stand and also known for water sports it offers. Yagachi river is a tributary of Kaveri river. It takes care of water requirements of Belur, Chitmanglur and Hassan.   Timings of boating at Yagachi Dam - 7am to 6:30pm  Cost of various watersport activities :  Speed Boat - 600 Rs (Max 4) Banana Ride - 500  Rs (Max 6) Jet Ski - 300 Rs per person Kayaking - 200 Rs per person  Apart from watersports, one can watch interesting birds around the water, especially early in the morning and late evening.

Yagachi Dam is one of the main places to explore around Belur. This water reservoir is approximately 3 km away from Belur bus-stand and also known for water sports it offers. Yagachi river is a tributary of Kaveri river. It takes care of water requirements of Belur, Chitmanglur and Hassan. 

Timings of boating at Yagachi Dam - 7am to 6:30pm

Cost of various watersport activities : 
Speed Boat - 600 Rs (Max 4)
Banana Ride - 500  Rs (Max 6)
Jet Ski - 300 Rs per person
Kayaking - 200 Rs per person

Apart from watersports, one can watch interesting birds around the water, especially early in the morning and late evening. 


There is a place called DoddaGaddavalli on the way from Hassan to Belur, which is famous for it's Lakshmidevi Temple, which is built with soap stone and one of the early temples built in Hoysala style. There is a lake near Lakshmidevi temple in Doddagaddivalli.

There is a place called DoddaGaddavalli on the way from Hassan to Belur, which is famous for it's Lakshmidevi Temple, which is built with soap stone and one of the early temples built in Hoysala style. There is a lake near Lakshmidevi temple in Doddagaddivalli. 

Another place called, Shravabelaboga in this region, is one of the most popular jain pilgrimage in South India. Supposedly this place has world's highest monolithic statue of Bahubali. This one is situated on a hill and one needs to climb for 20 minutes to reach the place where this statue is situated. This place is named after a water pond in the town which is called Bela-kola and that means white pond.

Another place called, Shravabelaboga in this region, is one of the most popular jain pilgrimage in South India. Supposedly this place has world's highest monolithic statue of Bahubali. This one is situated on a hill and one needs to climb for 20 minutes to reach the place where this statue is situated. This place is named after a water pond in the town which is called Bela-kola and that means white pond. 

Shravanbelagola is famous for it's 2 hills - Vindhyagiri & Chandagiri where most of the monuments are located. These hills are on 2 sides of the water pond. We shall soon be writing a detailed post on Shravanbelagola.

Shravanbelagola is famous for it's 2 hills - Vindhyagiri & Chandagiri where most of the monuments are located. These hills are on 2 sides of the water pond. We shall soon be writing a detailed post on Shravanbelagola. 

Another important and must visit place in this region is Halebidu, which is popularly know for Hoysala temples called Hoysaleswara & Kedaresavara. Hoysala temples are popular for the intricate/fine artworks and sculptured polished like metals. These are one of the popular tourist destinations in Karnataka state of India.

Another important and must visit place in this region is Halebidu, which is popularly know for Hoysala temples called Hoysaleswara & Kedaresavara. Hoysala temples are popular for the intricate/fine artworks and sculptured polished like metals. These are one of the popular tourist destinations in Karnataka state of India. 

Belur region in Hassan district of Karnataka has diverse things to experience and if you want to explore them well, plan for 3 days, although many folks form Bengaluru come here during the weekend & are able to explore it well.

Belur region in Hassan district of Karnataka has diverse things to experience and if you want to explore them well, plan for 3 days, although many folks form Bengaluru come here during the weekend & are able to explore it well. 

Comments

Shoma Abhyankar said…
Karnataka still eludes me. Lovely pics.
sunil deepak said…
Beautiful images. Brought back memories of my visit to Shravanbelagola
so so so beautiful i cant praise in wordings
Shrinidhi Hande said…
Very useful for visitors... stunning photos as usual
VJ Sharma said…
Shoma , Sunil, Pushpendra, Gayathri & Shrinidhi - Thanks for your encouraging comments. Travellingcamera loves shooting architecture :)

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