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Visit Chennakesava Temple: The Shining Jewel of Belur, Karnataka

Visit Chennakesava Temple: The Shining Jewel of Belur, Karnataka (2021)

No matter whether big or small, one can find a temple in every nook and corner of the country. Belur is a small town in Hassan district of Indian state of Karnataka. Situated on the banks of the river Yagachi amidst lush greenery, it is considered as one ancient and important town. One popular temple for which visitors come from across the country to Belur is the Chennakesava Temple. This 12th century Hindu temple is one of the finest examples of the brilliance of Hoysala architecture. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu who is referred here as Chennakesava, this temple receives a lot of love from the local people as well as travelers. 

Boasting of supreme beauty, architectural beauty and divinity, the Chennakesava Temple in Belur is worth a visit. It is not surprising to know that the temple is even considered as one of the top tourist attractions to visit in Karnataka. In this article, we have collected all of the important information about which you must be aware before visiting the Chennakesava temple.

Why Should You Visit The Chennakesava Temple In Belur?

The Chennakesava temple or Kalasagar as it is referred among the local people is worth visiting during your trip to Belur. The temple sports a number of breath-taking carvings and fine sculptures. The beauty of the temple is impressive, that if one looks closely, then they can even feel life inside these non-living stone structures. There are multiple reasons which make Chennakesava temple a popular tourist attraction to visit in Karnataka. Some of the factors are:

  • Rich History: The Chennakesava temple was believed to be a centrepiece of the Hoysala Kingdom. There are beliefs that the temple was also closely related to the military achievements of King Vishnuvardhana, who commissioned it in 1117 AD. The kingdom’s then best architects and artists were recruited to build Chennakesava temple. Hence, it sports unique designs and engaging styles.
  • Unique Approach: The Chennakesava temple of Belur features a pretty detailed look and built according to a typical Hoysala style blueprint. Made up of soapstone, what makes the temple different from other Hoysala period temples is the temple’s scale. It is believed to be one of the earliest creations of the dynasty.
  • Architecture Brilliance: Standing proudly with a height of about 37 meters, the Chennakesava temple is surely an exceptional work of architecture. You can see that the outer walls of the temple are adorned with finely done artwork. Among the various carvings and sculptures, you can spot many with dancing girls in different postures.
  • Intricate Art Carvings: Those who have the eye to appreciate the art would love the temple walls and pillars exhibiting some of the best details and fine sculptures. The temple houses a total of 48 pillars, each of them uniquely carved and decorated. Among the details of wall sculptures, there are numerous references and depictions of significant events from the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

The Chennakesava Temple Timings

It is recommended that you check the opening hours of this popular tourist attraction of Karnataka before visiting. The timings are:

  • Monday 8 AM to 6 PM
  • Tuesday 8 AM to 6 PM
  • Wednesday 8 AM to 6 PM
  • Thursday 8 AM to 6 PM
  • Friday 8 AM to 6 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed

What Is The Best Way To Reach The Chennakesava Temple In Belur?

Chennakesava Temple is one of the top tourist places in Karnataka. So, you don’t have to worry about the travel issue because even asking from the local people will solve your problems. Moreover, Belur is well connected, so you can reach the temple via air, rail and road.

  1. By Air: The nearest airport is the Mangalore Airport. It is approximately 130 km away from Belur. However, this offers domestic flights only. For international travel, the nearest airport is the Bangalore International Airport. It is located around 222 km away from Belur. From the airports, you can reach the temple easily by hiring a cab or taxi.
  2. By Rail: The nearest railway station to the temple is located in Chikmagalur. However, it is situated just 22 km away. The next nearest station is the Hassan railway station. It is 32 km away from Belur but it is pretty popular. You can easily get a bus or a taxi to reach the temple from the railway station.
  3. By Road: Belur is approximately 220 km away from Bangalore city, about 155 km from Mysore and around 153 km from Mangalore. However, regular bus services run from major cities like Hassan, Mysore, Mangalore and Bangalore to reach Belur.

Best Time to Visit The Chennakesava Temple In Belur

Though you can visit the temple anytime when you wish, however if you are looking forward to making the most out of your trip then things are different. It is recommended that you visit the Chennakesava temple in between the months of October and March. During this time the weather is pleasant and perfect for admiring the beauty of the temple. Avoid going during summer season as scorching heat spoils the mood.

Stay Options Near the Chennakesava Temple In Belur

Some people get so impressed by the temple’s beauty that they wish to stay longer. Since many good hotels are available nearby Chennakesava temple, you don’t have to worry about finding a decent accommodation. Some of the accommodation options that you can consider are- Karnataka Hotels Belur (0.22 km away), Sri Raghavendra Tourist Home (0.22 km away) and Sumukha Residency (0.22 km away).

Places to Visit Near the Chennakesava Temple in Belur

Though the Chennakesava temple alone is enough to leave a deep impression in your heart but if you add a couple of more places nearby in your itinerary, the trip will become even more memorable. Some places you can explore near the temple are:

  1. Yagachi Dam: Built across the river Yagachi, the dam is situated about 3 km away from the Belur town. Constructed with the objective to harness water for irrigation and to meet drinking water demand, the dam also proves to be a popular tourist place to visit in Karnataka.
  2. The Lakshmi Narasimha Temple: This temple in Nuggehalli, Hassan is an architectural marvel with a style resembling that of the Hoysala period. Dedicated to Lord Narasimha who is believed to be an avatar of Lord Krishna, the temple receives a large crowd of devotees.

No matter whether you are interested in visiting temples and religion or studying works of brilliant art, literature and architecture, Chennakesava temple will not disappoint you.