Tourist places and information

Shravanbelagola, located 51 km south-east of Hassan in Karnataka is one of the most important Jain pilgrim centers of India. The Statue of the Jain saint Gommateshwara (AD 981)carved out of a mountain, said to be one of the tallest and most graceful statues in the world, is situated in this small town atop the Indragiri hills. The colossal monolithic statue is 58 ft high, naked, with 26 ft wide shoulders, 10-ft of its feet. Starkingly simple, the beautifully chiseled features of this statue embody serenity. Nearly 1,800 years old, the statue which is reached by climbing 700 steps carved in the steep granite slope, is symbolic of the renunciation of worldly possessions. It was sculpted by Aristanemi in 981 AD and Chamundaraya, a general and minister of the Ganga King Rachamatta installed it in 983 AD. Lord Gomatesheshwara was the Jain prince Bahubali. During a war with his greedy elder brother, Bharata who sought to usurp his kingdom, Bahubali accepted defeat at the moment of his victory when he realized the futility of it all. He renounced the world and his rights to his own kingdom, much to the severe repentance of Bharata and left to lead a life of penance and meditation, attaining Nirvana.

Thousands of devotees congregate here to perform the 'Mahamastakabhisheka' (sacred anointment), a spectacular ceremony which is the focus for Jain pilgrims across India, held once in 12 years. Hundreds of pots containing curds, milk, honey, vermilion, coconut water, turmeric paste and even gold and precious jewels are poured over the statue's head by priests. The Mahamastakabhisheka was held in 2006 AD.

Situated at a distance of 38 Km from Hassan, Belur is famous for some magnificent 12th century temples built during Hoysala reign.
There are three main temples in the region, but the most important is Chennakeshava Temple, which is the only Hoysala Temple still in use.
The temple was built to celebrate the triumph of Hoysalas over Cholas. Started in year 1116, it took more than 100 years to complete this temple. Each and every section of the temple is heavily carved with intricate forms. You will find scenes from epics, sculptures of elephants and dancers carved on the walls of the temple.
It is also believed that the images of all the Hindu deities are shown in the temple. Such mesmerizing work of art can also be seen in Veeranarayana Temple, Kappe Chennigaraya, temples dedicated to Soumyanaki and Andal.

Halebidu is a place where you will get to see temples splendidly carved out of rock. Halebidu was once the capital of Hoysalas which was then called Dwarasamudram. The most prominent of all is the Hoysaleswara Temple. The temple dating back to 12th century was under construction for around 90 years, but still was not completed. But during those 90 years, came up the most magnificent creation by Hoysalas. The temple is built on a star shaped platform, a huge statue of Nandi Bull is among the major attractions of the temple along with exquisite carvings on the wall of the temple. There are images of many gods and goddesses, animals, and dancers carved on the walls of the temple. The temple is surrounded by gardens from all sides and has a museum close by. Slightly smaller temples in the town are Kedareshwara temple and three Jain Temples. Halebidu is at a distance of around 33 Km from Hassan. Halebidu is well connected to Hassan by regular bus service.

HOW TO GET TO THE ABOVE PLACES: All the above places are very close to Hassan which is a center place for the above mentioned beautiful places. Hassan it self is a quiet city and is now very important as it has been given also one of the SEZ status by the Karnataka State Govt.
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