Helebidu The great city of Dwarasamudra flourished as a Capital of the Hoysala Empire during the 12th and 13th centuries. During the reign of Veeraballala II, the grandson of Vishnuvardhana it reached the greatness of its zenith. Veeraballala II extended his empire from sea to sea between the Cauvery and Krishna rivers.
On account of certain reasons this came to decadence stage. The State government under took the renovation work about 30 years ago and the town as well as its area gradually improved. The climate is pleasant. There are buses running from Hassan, Arasikere and Belur. There is a big tank, which feeds thousands of acres of land wherein sugarcane and paddy are grown.
The population is about 3,000. It is a hobli headquarter having medical facilities and educational facilities to study even up to P. U. C. A good number of visitors come from all parts of India and foreign countries to see the world famous temple. The Archaeological Department has appointed guides for the help of visitors.
The sculptural work of the temples is based on shastras and importance. One can collect the information to his maximum desire. The town is only famous for it was capital city because of the surrounding places are of historical prominence of the neighboring villages such as Rajanasiriyur, Huvinahalli, Karikattehalli, Hulikere and Basadihalli, etc. were named for their special importance.
The temple has got very good appearance. The Rashtrakutas built the big tank in front of the temple in the 9th Century. The town was named as Dwarasamudra. If one stands on the platform of the temple and sees around he will see the hills opposite and two big bulls facing the temple and Ganesha figure on the south. These attract the attention of even the children. The big temple consists of two temples, built inside. There are four doors in total.
The minute sculptural works in respect of Dwarapalakas , i.e., crow and ornament can never be seen anywhere else. The bracket figures, which were fixed to the roofing, have been stolen and only one remains as a token. The figures carved in this temple are bigger than those of Belur, and some of the figures are carved on both sides of the stone. Those who visit Belur temple will visit Halebeedu temple also. The Capital of Hoysalas during the 12th and 13th centuries A. D. is now called as Halebeedu.
This city was built during the 12th century. It flourished for about 150 years in the Deccan. During 1311 A. D. Malli Kafur looted this city and carried away all the wealth on camels. After some time, Mohammed Bin-Tugaluk invaded and looted the entire wealth of this city in 1326 A. D. This was reduced to poverty after the death of the King Ballala III.
During the 17th century the Vijayanagar dynasty changed its Capital to Belur and the ruined city was called as Halebeedu. The Archaeological Survey of India is doing research work with the hope of getting the artistic figures. The existing ones are highly appreciated by the western artists.
The impotent temples of this town are
1. Hoysaleswara temple
2. Kedareshwara temple
3. Jain Mandira
4. Sri Ranganatha temple in the middle of the town.
Ketumalla, the chief of staff of Vishnuvardhana, built this temple during 1121 A.D. Even then it is learnt that it took 105 years to complete. Even now there is some incomplete work. Both the temples are joined by one veranda from outer views. It looks like star just as Belur. The God on the northern side temple is called as Shanthaleshwara and that on southern side is called as Hoysaleshwara. These Shaiva Gods are in the shape of Linga, indication to small bull in front of these Gods big bull are kept in stone mantaps outside in front of each temple. They have been fully decorated by stone ornaments around their neck. Behind the bull in a mantap we can see big sized Suryanarayana standing with seven horses and Arundadeva . It is said that Ketumalla built these temples joined into one.
As per the opinion of Ferguson , the archaeological expert, it was told that this is the reflection of the Indian Vastushilpa . The innumerable number of figures carved on the outer wall can nowhere be seen in ancient sculpture. If we go around the temple in three stage we can see the
Durbar of Lord Shiva,
the childhood plays of Bala Krishna,
the fight between Karna and Arjuna
the lifting of Govardhanagiri by Krishna
Gajendramoksha on the western side and
the shooting of Matsya Yantra.
The story of Krishna and Arjuna can also be seen. The monkey army giving the ornaments to Sri Rama Chakra Vyuha Kote; Krishna and Arjuna getting down from the chariot and taking bath in the pond on hearing the death news of Abhimanyu. The demon King Ravana is lifting Kailasa Parvatha; these are all the important figures.
The rows of Makara and Hamsa as well as swan carved on them. The carving of several forms of Vishnu in Shiva temple shows the equal view of Hoysala Kings among other Gods. It will be very pleasing to see the dancing pose of Shiva carved above the walls. Even though there are thousand of carved figures one resembles the other. All the real poses of man have been carved on the wall.
Veeraballala II and his younger Queen Abhinva Ketala Devi built the temple of Kedareshwara in 1319 A.D. This temple was praised by Ferguson two centuries ago as "Gem of Indian Architecture". He expressed that if this temple had been illustrated in any thing like completeness there was probably nothing in India which would have conveyed a better idea of what its architecture was capable of doing. Unfortunately portions of the temple collapsed more than 70 years ago and it was not possible to bring it to its original shape. In the beginning, its Navaranga hall a smaller shrine on either side while over the main shrine raised a beautiful star-shaped vimana of smooth stone. The other walls, the tower, the doorway and the ceiling were more magnificently carved and the temple looked like a divine piece of jewellery than a building. The basement of the temple which stands on a high platform has a large number of sculptured friezes showing the marching of Elephants, charging Horse, Lion, Mythical animal, Swans and finally designed creeper scrolls, they are all from stories of Ramayana, Mahabharatha and Bhagavad-Gita in a large sculptured band.
The upper parts of the wall bear nearly 180 beautifully carved images of various Gods and Goddesses. Those Gods and Goddesses stand under elegantly designed floral arches and some of them are finely shaped and finished. Inside the temple, we can see a few elegantly carved star-shaped pillars but the ceilings are of greater interest. Mostly they are some simple dances full of carvings. The doorway also shows a greatness of fine workmanship.
Basadi Halli (Jain Mandir):
There are three Jain temples to the south of Basadihalli, two furlongs from Hoysaleshwara temple. Out of them Parshwanatha Swamy temple is an important one. The construction of this temple being of high grade and the appreciable carvings of the door tops high in Halebeeduu work. The twelve pillars that hold the doom have been cut in a fine and attractive manner. We can see even our image on each pillar. The pillars have been lathed well that the images differ from one another. The faces can be seen just as in a mirror. The Parshwanatha Swamy figure is made out of black stone and it is 14 feet in height. A seven-headed serpent has been carved on the head of this figure having curly hairs. The central mandir is of Adinatha Swamy and that is east of Shanthinatha Swamy .
The Temple of Sri Ranganatha:
The figure is 5-6 feet in height and sleeps on a serpent. God Brahma has born in the lotus of his Navel (Nabhi) Adidevi is serving him at his feet. The figure is of fine art. Ashtadikpalakas have been made in its arch.
216 km from Bangalore.
Distance from Hassan: 31 Kms