Hassan is a district in Karnataka state, India . The district capital is Hassan , India city. Hassan district was the seat of the Hoysala empire which at its peak ruled large parts of south India from Belur as its early capital and Halebidu as its later capital during the period 1000 - 1334 CE. Today Hassan is primarily known worldwide for its Hoysala architecture and is a veritable treasure trove of about fifty sculptural marvels tucked away in several villages and towns of the district. Hassan is also well known nationally for modern technology. The Master Control Facility of the Indian Space Research Organization is located here. More »
Places to see
This quaint hamlet - 38 kms from Hassan - is located on the banks of the river Yagachi. It was once the capital of the Hoysala Empire, today made unforgettable for its exquisite temples. The Chennakeshava Temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. It took 103 years to complete and you can see why. The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures and friezes with no portion left blank. Elephants, episodes from the epics, sensuous dancers. they are all there - awe-inspiring in their intricate workmanship. Inside are hand-lathe-turned filigreed pillars. The Veeranarayana Temple and the smaller shrines are well worth a visit.
Former Dwarasamudra in Hassan district is in Belur taluk and 27 kms away from Hassan and was the capital of Hoysala after Belur. The Hoysaleswara Temple , dating back to the 12th century, is astounding for its wealth of sculptural details. The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of gods and goddesses, animals, birds and dancing girls. Yet no two facets of the temple are the same. This magnificent temple - guarded by a Nandi Bull - was never completed, despite 86 years of labor. The Jain basadis nearby are equally rich in sculptural detail. Belur and Halebid are 222 and 216 kms from Bangalore , respectively. Channarayapatna, Ramanathpur, Gorur and Manjarabad are the other places of interest around Hassan.
Shravanabelagola in Hassan District is 157 km away from Bangalore is an important Jaina centre. There is a pond and two stony hills, called Chandragiri and Indragiri. Chandragiri has the Chandragupta basadi of the Gangas and the Parashwanatha basadi here is the biggest. The town below the hill has the Jaina matha whose walls have very old paintings. Indragiri has the Gommata monolith, 58' tall, installed by a Ganga general and scholar Chavundaraya, and also Siddhara basadi, Odegal basadi, Chennanna basadi and Chauvvisa Tirthankara basadi, and also the finely engraved pillar called Tyagada Brahma Pillar. The floral designs on it are excellent. To the north of town is Jinanathapura which has the Aregal basadi and the Shantinatha basadi of Hoysala times. Shravanabelagola has over 500 inscriptions, and some of them are recording death by starving (`sallekhana') by Jaina ascetics and laymen.
Lakshmi Devi temple
lateral entrance, Lakshmidevi templeIt is one of the earliest known temples built in Hoysala style and is built with Chloritic schist or Soapstone.The temple does not stand on a jagati (platform) which became popular in later Hoysala temples. The temple is said to have been built by a merchant called Kullahana Rahuta and his wife Sahaja Devi. The temple is a chatuskuta construction (four towers) built inside 7 ft tall stone enclosure with the entrance through a porch which is supported by circular lathe turned pillars. Three of the vimanas (shrines) have a common square mantapa (hall) with 9 bays. The fourth vimana is connected to the mantapa via an oblong extension consisting of 2 bays. The extension also has two lateral entrances into the temple. All the vimana have their original tower (superstructure) intact. The towers are in Kadamba nagara style. Each vimana has a vestibule connecting it to the central mantapa. On top of the vestibule is its own tower called sukanasi (or nose which looks like low extension of the main tower over the shrine). The sukanasi is a tier lower than the main tower over the shrine. All the four sukanasi are intact and so are the kalasa of the main towers. The sukanasi holds the Hoysala emblem of Sala fighting the tiger. Of the four towers, three are undecorated and they look stepped pyramidal with a pile of dented horizontal mouldings with the kalasa on top. The fourth tower is very well decorated which is typical of Hoysala designs and is the tower of the main shrine that houses the Lakshmi Devi image.
mantapa, Lakshmidevi templeThe mantapa is open and square. The reason for the square plan is the presence of shrines on all four sides of the mantapa with no side open for staggering. There is a separate fifth shrine of Bhairava, an avatar of Lord Shiva. The shrine is complete with its own vimana and tower with a kalasa on top, a nose and Hoysala emblem on the it. Another unusual feature of the temple is the existence of four more shrines at each corner of the temple complex with two sides of each shrine attached to the courtyard wall. Each of these minor shrines has its own tower, kalasa and Hoysala emblem. On the whole the temple complex has nine towers which is unusual for a Hoysala temple.
Overall the temple has the older Hoysala style where there is only one eaves running round the temple where the main towers meet the wall of the shrine. At the base of the wall of the shrines are 5 mouldings and between the mouldings and the eaves, the usual panels of Hoysala sculptures depicting Hindu gods, goddesses and their attendants is missing. Instead, the whole space is taken up by decorative miniature towers on pilasters. The ceiling of the main hall is supported by 18 lathe turned pillars. Inside there are two sculptures of large demonic living corpses called betala. The main shrine facing east has a 3 ft tall image of goddess Lakshmi with an attendant on either side. In her four hands, the image holds a conch in the upper right hand, a chakra (discuss) in the upper left, a rosary in the lower right and a mace in the lower left. In the shrines facing north, south and west are the idols of Kali, Vishnu, and Boothanatha Linga (the universal symbol of Shiva). A sculpture of Tandaveswara (dancing Shiva) exists in the circular panel at the center of the ceiling of the mantapa. Other important sculptures are those of Gajalakshmi (form of Lakshmi), Thandaveshwara and Yoganarasimha (form of Vishnu) found on the doorway of the temple.
Other important sculptures here are the Narasimha (a form of Vishnu) image in the south western corner, Shiva-Gajasura (Hindu God Shiva slaying demon in form of elephant) on the western side, the winged Garuda, a consort of God Vishnu standing facing the temple, dancing Kali, a seated Ganesha, a boy with an umbrella and a king (the Vamana avatar or incarnation of Vishnu), Ravana shaking Mount Kailash, Durga slaying demon Mahishasura, standing Brahma, Varaha (avatar of Vishnu), Shiva dancing on demon (Andhakasura), Bhairava (avatar of Shiva) and the Sun God Surya. The sculptural style of the wall images bear similarities with wall sculptures in contemporary temples of northern Karnataka and adjacent Maharashtra .
The Hoysala artists, unlike other medieval artists, preferred to sign their work in the form of inscriptions. In doing so, they sometimes revealed fascinating details about themselves, their families, guilds and place of origin. Stone inscriptions and copper plate inscriptions provide more information about them. Ruvari Mallitamma was a prolific artist to whom more than 40 sculptures are attributed. Dasoja and his son Chavana who were from Balligavi in modern Shimoga district made important contributions. Chavana is credited with the work on five madanikas and Dasoja with four. Malliyanna and Nagoja created birds and animals in their sculptures. Artists such as Chikkahampa and Malloja are credited with some of the sculptures in the mantapa.
The Hemavathi is impounded behind dam here, to form a reservoir called Hemavathi Reservoir. It is situated about 12km from Hassan to Arakalagud. The temple of Yoganarasimha here is the center of devotion. This town has contributed Goruru Ramaswamy Iyengar as a valuable asset to the Kannada Literary World.
At the entrance of Gorur, the paravasudeva Temple is also situated. In both the temples daily rituals of pooja and the annual car festivals take place, even today.
It is the subordinate divisional district center. This town has been considered as the boon of the river Hemavathi. The name of the town is derived from the Sakaleswara Temple of this place. This is famous for the Production of coffee, cardamum, pepper and honey.
On the top of Adanigudda, 6kms from Sakleshpura on the road to Mangalore, this fort has been built. Its purpose is not to enclose any town but is to serve as a point of political strategy in the form of a protection and control point on the enemies to the rulers. In order to subdue or attack the enemies who would infiltrate from Madikeri and Mangalore sides, Tippu sultan developed this fort about 1782 AD. This is neither a carved fort nor a quadrangular one, but of an untraditional form, with 8 angular limbs stretching in the eight directions. These limbs are built according to the rules of geometry. On the outside the fort lined with stone wall and guarded by the deep trench all around. The inner part of the fort is built of burnt bricks and binding lime mortar. At the geometric center of the fort there is a plus(+) shaped well with four outer corners four inner corners. Brick steps are arranged in order to claim down the well. At present the well is dry. On the banks of well are built two cool and exceptionally strong rooms, ment for preparing and storing explosive powder for use during war time. Along the inner flanks of the fort there are many rooms of diverse utilities such as Horse stables, Soldier camps, Guards service, food stores etc. There are defence chambers in all the eight angular corners in order to defend the fort by using guns. The fort is well equipped with platforms for cannons and arrangements behind the wall sectors to stand in position for shooting bullets from guns etc. There is a secrete entrance meant for transporting raw materials to the open area within the fort. Thus the Manjrabad Fort is both attractive and deserving to serve as a subject of study, of all the forts of Karnataka.
Koramangala is 10 kms from Hassan. There is a Shiva temple, which dates back to 1173 A. D. The temple is built in Hoysala style. This temple is worth watching.
Mosale is situated about 12 kms from Hassan in Hassan-Mysore road. You can have the “darshan” of the Lord Nageshwara and Channakeshava. The twin temple is a place to visit.
This is situated about 7 kms from Sakaleshpur. The fort is at a height of 3240 fts from sea level. Tipu Sultan constructed this fort in 1792 A.D.
Bisle Ghat is situated about 65 kms from Sakaleshpur on Sakaleshpur-Subramanya road. This place is full of panoramic sceneries and a favorite place for trekkers.
The temples of Belur, Halebidu and Shravanabelagola are a proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site.Hassan district is full of other Hoysala architectural gems scattered around the countryside. Important among them are the Hoysala temples of
Chennakeshava Temple at Belur
Hulikere (ornate stepped tank or Kalyani)
Pushpagiri (Mallikarjuna, Bhairava temples)
Doddagaddavalli (Lakshmidevi temple)
Koravangala (Govindeshwara, Nakeshwara and Bucheshwara temples)
Kondajji (Vishnu temple)
Adagur (Lakshminarayana temple)
Chatachatahalli (Chatteshwara temple)
Javagal (Narasimha temple)
Haranahalli (Keshava and Someshwara temples)
Arasikere (Ishwara temple)
Hullekere (Channakeshava temple)
Shantigrama (YogaNarasimha and Channakeshavaswamy temple)
Nuggehalli (Lakshminarasimha and Sadashiva temple)
Sakleshpura (Sakaleswara temple)
Manjarabad (fort and dungeons)
Ramnathapura (Rameshwara temple)and Pattabi Rama ,Subramanyeshwara
Gorur (Yoganarasimha temple, Paravasudeva temple and Dam over river)
Basadihalli (Adinatha Basadi, Parshwanath Basadi and Saantinatha Basadi)
Malekal Tirupathi (Venkata Ramanna and Govidaraja temple)
Shantigrama (Yoganarsimha, Dharmeshwara and Keshava temples)
Anekere (Chennakaesava temple)
Mallarajapatna (Lakshmaneshwara temple)
Mavathanahalli (Mahalingeshwara temple)
Anathi (Lakshminarayana temple)
Hebbalalu (Singeshwara temple)
Jinanathapura (Shantinatha basadi)
Ambuga (Prasanna Chennakeshava temple)
Heragu (Kirthinarayana temple)
Mosale (Nageshwara and Channakeshava temples)
Mavinakere (Ranganathaswamy temple)
Holenarasipura (Narasimha temple)
Honnavara (Keshava temple)
? Ruined Keshava Temple Honnavara,HassanHirekadalur (keshava temple)
? Ruined Keshava Temple Hirekadalur,HassanHalmidi (Inscription)
Master control facility
Air : Hassan does not have an airport. The nearest airport is Bangalore , from where one can take flights to major destinations in India like Delhi , Calcutta , and Mumbai. One can also take connecting flights to destinations abroad from Bangalore .
Rail : Hassan is connected to Bangalore , Mysore , and Mangalore by regular trains. The railway station is around 2 km east of town.
Road : Hassan is linked with Belur, Halebid, Shravanbelgola, Bangalore and Mysore by road. We would provide you all India tourist permit vehicles for the local transportations and also for the intercity drives too.
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