Hale-beed (Halebid) means old layout or an old camp. It also means ruined place! Once buzzing thriving cultural place today in complete silence. But then why visit? First, lets read some history.
The place is called “Dwarasamudra” capital of Hoysala dynasty who ruled the Karnataka area of south India between 10 and 14th centuries. The year 1116 AD the Dwarasamudra was officially declared as the capital of Hoysala Dynasty by the then King Vishnuvardhana. The Hoysaleswara temple building started in 1121 AD and completed 1160 AD. Hoysalas built around 1500 such temples across southern India.
Hoysalershwara (king’s) temple is a twin temple attached to Shathaleshwara (queen’s) temple side by side. The temple is built in star shape the trademark of Hoysala style architecture. The soft stone called soapstone was used to build the temple which allows carving intricates shapes. The temple has seen many repair works throughout. Temples superstructure which was also a star-shaped collapsed a couple of centuries back and currently, the temple has a flat top.
But just like most of the Hindu kingdoms ended in India, Halebid was also attacked and plundered by the Muslim armies of Delhi Sultanate especially Alauddin Khilji and Muhammad bin Tughlaq. Finally when King Ballala III was killed in a war with the Muslim army led by Malik Kafur Dvarasamudra and its temples became ruins and become “Halebid”. Eventually, Vijaya Nagar empire takes over the territory.
There is also a museum inside the temple complex which has a large collection of items collected in the nearby area. This is one of the best-architectured temples in south India. I rate this temple 5 stars because of the artwork and devotion went into building such a masterpiece.
Accommodation: There are no much hotels available here, We chose “Hotel Mayura Shathala” which is yards away from this temple and I highly recommend it. Only 5 cottages available here so book in advance. Only online bookings can be done.