Belur- Early capital of Hoysala Kingdom!
When prepared the itinerary of Onam holidays, even Chikmangalore came to list on the last moment so Belur and Halebid was not at all in the list till I check in my hotel.
If you have read my blog on Coffee city stories you might know how my hotel manager helped me to roam around and explore more at Chikmanglore and near by Halebid and Belur,
There is frequent buses are there from Chikmanglore towards Banglore. Get into one of that and in 30 minutes you will reach Belur bus stand, Walk towards on your right side where the road will end at the entrance of Belur temple in 10 minutes walk.
The golden color main tower of temple will give you warm welcome to the soapstone structure of Hoysala Kingdom. You have to keep your footwears outside and pay 5 rupees to the keeper. At the main entrance itself you can see one small stall where prasad (laddu) sales. (If you love sweet, you can buy from there else go straight to the main temple complex which is facing east :) )
You can see Kappe Channigya temple on your right side of the main temple complex. and a small Sowmyanayaki (goddess Lakshmi) temple at back side. Rangayaki temple on left side.
Belur temple had three main entrances and as any other temple structure here also its decorated by Dwarapalaks on either side. Comparing to other structures Kappe Channigraya temple is smaller than the main complex, and it has less sculptural features. Kappe Channigraya temple has an add-on on later stage. While the original was a star in shape and the new add-on is simple square. Here the image is Kesava (Vishnu) and it was King Vishnuvardhana's wife Shantala Devi ordered to do this image.
The logo of Hoysala Architecture you can see at the entrance of main complex and inside the complex there you can see marvelous architecture in soapstone but without light you cant see none! Dont worry, a staff is standing there to light you the sculptures with a payment of 20rs.
Once you get out of the temple complex, if you are rea climb few stares at the eastern side of the complex.
in 2-3 hours you can explore the complex in full with good clicks and return through the same way as you reached Belur. I was late when I get out of the temple, close to 6:30PM and it was raining. After get into the bus I was little scary to see my fellow travelers and getting down on each stop one by one and the bus was getting empty. I was sitting idle when I realized I am alone with Driver and Cleaner and tried to change the seat when it rained outside. That movement made the umbrella from my lap to the floor and the sound notified the driver that one more passenger is there in bus. He saw me and called to front seat and in known Tamil and English he asked me my details and where do I want to get out.
May be seeing my face, he was making sure that I am comfortable and nothing to worry there. When they stopped at the junction where I got bus to Belur, driver directed me the way to reach my hotel.
It was 8.30PM when I get into the hotel and temperature of atmosphere was slightly falling down....