Halebeedu
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Halebidu (literally "old city") is located in Hassan District, Karnataka, India. Halebidu previously called as Dorasamudra or Dwarasamudrawas the regal capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century. It is home to one of the best examples of Hoysala architecture in the ornate Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara temples. This name is given because this city was ruined two times by Bahmani Sultanate.

The temple complex comprises two Hindu temples, the Hoysaleshawara and Kedareshwara temples and two Jain basadi. In front of these temples there is a big lake. The town gets its name from the lake, Dwarasamudhra which means entrance from ocean. The two Nandi statues which are on the side of the Hoysaleshwara temple are monolithic.Soap stone or Chloritic Schist was used for the construction of these temples. However a number of sculptures in the temple are destroyed by invaders. So the temple is incomplete. Halebid means old abode. There is an archeological museum in the temple complex.

The Hoysaleswara temple, dating back to the 1121 C.E., is astounding for its wealth of sculptural details. The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of depictions from Hindu mythology, animals, birds and Shilabalikas or dancing figures. Yet no two sculptures of the temple are the same. This magnificent temple guarded by a Nandi Bull was never completed, despite 86 years of labour. The Jain basadi nearby are equally rich in sculptural detail. Belur and Halebid are 222 and 216 km from Bangalore, respectively. This temple is now being proposed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Photography: [Divakar Hiriyadka]


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