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Old 12th June 2015, 19:48   #1
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Default Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!

I always love traveling and clicking amidst nature. It gives me a sense of peace, serenity and above all enjoy Mother Nature. This was first time that I actually wanted to explore a place with historic monuments and sculptures. Lepakshi was a long due between @Atul and me, so this Sunday we initially thought of planning a trip out to that place via Devanahalli Fort. Then came one of Atul's friend, Arun, who first tried convincing Atul to go to Belur and Halebidu rather than Lepakshi. I have no clue how he managed to turn Atul around and then in middle of my work, Atul tells me we are going to Belur and Halebidu – they are much better places when it comes to architectural monuments photography. Well, trust me girls can’t be convinced so easily. I did some solid Googling for the next ten minutes and I was impressed with what I saw. Chennakesava Temple in Belur and Hoysaleswara Temple in Halebidu are amazing masterpieces of human sculpturing. With those snaps floating across Google, I immediately called Atul and confirmed lets go.

Riders – 2, Atul and Arun
Pillion – 1, Me
Bikes – 2, Pulsar 200NS and KTM Duke 390
Meeting point – BTM Udupi Garden signal
Start time – 5:15 am
Route – NH48 old / NH75 new (BTM > Nice Road > Nelamangala > Hassan > Belur > Halebidu > Hassan > Nelamangala > Nice Road > BTM)

5:20am Atul and me left home, were 10 mins delayed than our decided meeting time. In front of the HP petrol bunk at around 5:22ish and our Mr. Punctual man was already there. Did quick hi hello and we started journey towards Nice Road via Bannerghatta Road. Next 15 mins ride and we reached Nice Road toll junction, paid Rs 48 as toll per bike and then both the guys started throttling hard. Nice Road is really an awesome stretch of tarmac, especially in the early morning hours with very minimal traffic. The morning sky was looking heavenly and I was overly tempted to take some sunrise snaps. We stopped, did some clicking, relaxed and then by 6:15am started again.

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Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!-dsc_7818.jpg

A continuous ride till 7:10am and we reached our breakfast destination, Hotel Nisarga somewhere around NH48 – don’t remember the exact location but was definitely before Adichunchunagiri Institute of Medical Science. We had our breakfast – kesari bath, upma, puri and the famous of all – Idly Vada. So when we were busy filling our stomach we could hear roaring sound of huge beasts – no! Not that we spotted tigers, lions or even dinosaurs. They were some dozens of super bikes zoomed across the highway – they were in Kawasaki Ninja ZX 10R, Aprilia RSV4, Honda CBR1000RR, Yamaha R1, the mighty BMW R1200 GS, Triumph Bonneville, Harley Davidson Street 750, KTM Duke 390, KTM RC 390 and few others, couldn’t recognize them. After some moments of admiring these machines we were back with our food. It took us some 30 mins to be done with breakfast and freshening up, we continued our journey forward. We took couple of photography breaks as well in between. The weather was very warm but while we were riding it wasn’t that comfortable and definitely the blue sky running along with us was an added advantage.

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Atul and Arun did a quick pit stop in a HP petrol bunk to fill in their tanks. So around 9am we entered Hassan town. Being an early Saturday morning we didn’t face much traffic and took the deviation towards Belur. To reach Chennakesava temple we need to take Belur road for almost 40kms. This is a pleasant two lane state highway, not much vehicle flow, so ride until the temple was quite smooth. We reached Chennakesava temple at around 10:20am.

I was completely mesmerized by the sight of the temple, too awesome sculpturing and artwork. For people who don’t know, this was a temple built by Hoysala Empire King Vishnuvardhana some 1000 years ago dedicating it to Lord Vishnu. It is fantastic with its architecture and minute detailing. I felt the intricate carvings on each stones, pillars are the show stealer. The place is very well maintained as well with clean floors, walls and surroundings. You may also take a guide who would give you an extensive tour of the temples, the carvings and sculpturing details. We didn’t take one and decided to look around and yes, click! I was super delighted with this temple as I haven’t seen anything so magnificent till now – so basically I was floored. So guys, I think this should definitely be in your ‘to-go’ destination list and trust me you won’t regret. It can be a little hot out there now but I think it is manageable. After all, to enjoy something you have to give up on few things.

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After admiring the temple we decided to head back to our bikes and start our ride towards Halebidu. We had some tender coconut to beat the heat. Around 12 noon we left Belur and took deviation towards Halebidu. It is about 16kms away from Belur but the road we took was very bad – patchy, broken, dusty and lot of potholes. I guess they will start with construction real soon as saw materials all along the way. With much difficulty we reached Halebidu around 12:40pm.

The Hoysaleswara temple is somewhat similar to the one in Belur, built by the same King Vishnuvardhana dedicating it to Lord Shiva. This place is a marvel too however, some sculptures and carvings are damaged. It is well maintained with a huge garden for tourists to rest and relax. There is an ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) site as well for old carvings and sculptures discovered during excavation. This kind of places give people a good insight into ancient times when temples were used not only as a place of worship, but as an entertainment center, and a school in the times of the Hoysala dynasty. You can see scenes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana on the walls of these temples and this temple has been listed by UNESCO as a heritage site. There are guides as well to run you through the history, once again we opted out of it and decided to go around ourselves. I simply loved both these two temples.

Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!-dsc_7997.jpg
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Around 1:50pm we were done with sightseeing and decided to reach Hassan and have our lunch. We started for Hassan. This time we took a different route which connected us to the Belur Road, this was much better than the previous one – smooth ride all along. After some 40 kms ride, we reached NH48 junction through Belur Road. We stopped by at a place called ‘SK Fishland Restaurant’ for our lunch as it was already 2:45pm and we all were super hungry. We ordered egg chilli fry, prawns fry, and schezwan fried rice, ghee rice, daal fry, rotis, cold drinks and lime juice. Looks like lot of food right? Though the food was not all that great we hogged out heart out. This is a very crowded place and was my second visit – have visited them once when I was on my way back from Chikamagaluru. At around 3:45pm we were done with lunch and decided to move ahead.

Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!-dsc_8065.jpg
Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!-dsc_8070.jpg

Now after a full stomach lunch, crazy heated afternoon and sunlight directly on top of you, with nothing else to do and just ride – what will happen to 2 riders and one pillion?? Well, all three of us were literally falling sleepy while riding. We just couldn’t keep out eyes open due to so much of drowsiness. We took couple of quick breaks for snaps and stretching ourselves but to no relief, so somehow we dragged the ride till 4:45pm and stopped by a tea shop to have chai. A power break of 15 mins with some strong ginger tea, we were back on track and ready to cover the next 120 kms away from our home. The tea did do the trick, we reached Nelamangala junction at around 6. The traffic from Nelamangala to Nice road junction was terrible – bumper to bumper ride. We were bullied(at least that’s what they thought so) as well by some local college going kids on Yamaha RX 100/135’s, doing all sorts of bike stunts, honking, roaring – simple thing to do, ignore!!

Around 6:50pm we reached Nice road toll, paid again Rs 48 per bike and did a final pit stop. A chit chat for 10 mins, we started our journey back home. Braving through the city traffic on the Bannerghatta road we reached home at around 7:30pm. Arun reached around 8:15.

Total distance covered for the entire trip was close to 512kms. And another good thing for bikers, apart from Nice Road, you needn’t pay any extra penny for toll gates – free riders!

Finally, an awesome day trip came to an end – this was a very well planned ride with no hiccups at all, unlike the last one (touch-wood!!). Sharing some pics I took during the ride/trip – hope you all like them.

Until I come back with yet another write-up, keep riding/drive safe and enjoy your life!
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Old 12th June 2015, 20:24   #2
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Default re: Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!

Thank you Nandita for another very nice and crisp travelogue with an excellent narration interlaced with enchanting photos.

Your first shoot of the morning sky was, well heavenly. Such day rides in the lap of nature is the perfect medicine for our dreary and weary mind. I can see that the sky too on that day shared the mood of the riders and turned a magical shade of blue.
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Old 13th June 2015, 01:44   #3
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I thought I had just finished reading the yercaud trip and the adventures a day or two back and here's this one that's come up from you. You guys really hit the roads, don't you.

Nice read. Thanks for sharing. 👍😊
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Old 13th June 2015, 19:35   #4
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Default Re: Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!

Awesome pictures and nice write up, had visited Belur last month but could not visit Halebidu. After going through this thread am feeling like I should visit both Belur and Halebidu again

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Originally Posted by nandita_bayan21 View Post
The traffic from Nelamangala to Nice road junction was terrible – bumper to bumper ride.
From Hassan road after Kunigal you could have taken a right towards Magadi >>Tavrekere and joined NICE road and headed towards BTM. This road is single lane but very less traffic and the travel distance will also be less .
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Old 13th June 2015, 19:47   #5
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Default Re: Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!

Nice Travelogue and amazing pictures!!
Could you also please let me know which Nikon is that!!
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Old 13th June 2015, 20:02   #6
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Default Re: Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!

Terrific snaps and great architecture! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 14th June 2015, 21:56   #7
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Default Re: Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!

Brilliant snaps and amazing places. I did cover both Belur and Halebeedu during my KA trip last year and both the places are mind-blowing. The intricate stone work has to be seen in person to believed. Paid some 150 Rs for a guide at Halebeedu and have to say those are the best spent 150 Rs of my life.
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Old 14th June 2015, 22:38   #8
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Default Re: Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!

Quote:
Originally Posted by arunkumarsarat View Post
Thank you Nandita - turned a magical shade of blue.
Absolutely, that day the sky wore a dramatic look all throughout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrishnakj View Post
I thought - You guys really hit the roads, don't you.

Nice read. Thanks for sharing. 👍😊
Trying to cover as many places in India by our rides/drives

Quote:
Originally Posted by prguru View Post
From Hassan road after Kunigal - traffic and the travel distance will also be less .
Will try this route next time for sure, thanks!

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Originally Posted by AjMusto View Post
Nice Travelogue and amazing pictures!!
Could you also please let me know which Nikon is that!!
That's a Nikon D5200 and snaps were taken by Nikon 10-24mm

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The intricate stone work has to be seen in person to believed. Paid some 150 Rs for a guide at Halebeedu and have to say those are the best spent 150 Rs of my life.
True, the guides, I heard actually does a good job in explaining the history and facts. We didn't have much time so opted that out.
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Old 15th June 2015, 13:15   #9
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Default Re: Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!

Nice pics and writeup! I have always wanted to go to Belur and Halebeedu too - gotta tick it off the list soon.
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Old 15th June 2015, 14:09   #10
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Default Re: Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nandita_bayan21 View Post
Until I come back with yet another write-up, keep riding/drive safe and enjoy your life!
Congratulations - Your photo quality has recently gone through the roof. The Nikon SLR has suddenly come into its own. Amazing photos even though I've seen many triplogs from the place before!
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Old 15th June 2015, 14:35   #11
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Default Re: Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!

Thank you Naveen and @phamilyman
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Old 15th June 2015, 14:57   #12
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Default Re: Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!

Fantastic pictures and a really experiential write up. The images took me back to my childhood visit to Belur-Halebidu. Remember eating some simple rise-rasam and curd in some dilapidated restaurant, but that taste still hasn't left me over a decade later ( I mean that in a good way )

I went there before I was even allowed to sit in the front seat of a car. Now, I'm genuinely tempted to ride down there myself. Thanks a ton for the share!
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Old 16th June 2015, 19:41   #13
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Default Re: Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!

Some time back I had driven down to Hampi from Pune with few friends and this reminded me of that trip Lots of similarities between the two places. I guess their existence overlapped too.

And finally AWESOME pics!!!

Last edited by Sanjunair5 : 16th June 2015 at 19:45.
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Old 16th June 2015, 20:23   #14
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Default Re: Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!

Lovely snaps there. Having spent all my life barring the last decade in Belur, a Travelogue on Belur & Halebidu always takes me back to those good old years spent right next to the Temple.

The Temple has undergone a major change and its the Plastering of the main Gopura that has ensured the originality is lost. Earlier the plastering was done once every year during the month of April-May when the annual fair begins. Regular rains in this area would give life to algae and render the color to a dull dark one!!

The latest coat of plaster ensures it remains in good shape for years.

On the latest -

There is no Parking fees and this makes anyone park everywhere around the Temple as there is no one to control. This obviously means there is also a lot of littering all around the temple - Some cook food (Contract Carriage buses) while few attend that nature's call right on the wall!! It is a painful sight in the month of April and May.

Incidentally, Belur has been identified as a World Heritage sight and there are a lot of plans to develop and the all the houses including ours around the 4 sides of the temples have already been asked to vacate the area in years to come (You may have noticed that the section behind the temple has demolished houses).

In a way, this will be a very good move because it will preserve this 1000 year old Intricate Architectural beauty from the Hoysala Empire.

Looking at the below pic you will realize that a fellow Bhpian spent year just on the other side of the wall :

The usual parking when the weather is Sunny:
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The decorated Chariot which otherwise is happily parked inside its stoned Garage:
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The scene at night with the Gopura lit-up and tourists walking around:Click image for larger version

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Old 16th June 2015, 22:24   #15
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Default Re: Amazing blue sky, three friends and a trip to Hoysala Empire - Belur and Halebidu!

Awesome clicks! Been to these places multiple times,never saw what your pictures depicted. They do justice to the architecture Hoysala kingdom was famous for. Thanks for sharing..
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