We departed Mysuru on December 9th for our next stop, Hassan, about a 4 hour journey. We used Hassan as a staging point to visit two towns famous for their Hindu temples located about 40 km and 55 km respectively from Hassan. The town of Belur and the Channakeshava Temple, and the town of Halebid with the Hoysaleswara Temple. Both are very much off the beaten tourist path so we were virtually the only white faces among a sea of Indian school children and tourists. Something we noticed so far on our tour of temples.
The Channakeshava temple in Belur is a Hysola temple commissioned in 1116 and took over a century to build. The artistry and architecture are outstanding.
Another Hysola Temple, the Hoysaleswara located in Halebid began construction in 1121 and went on for 80 years but was never completed but is considered to be the masterpiece of Hysola architecture.