Dedicated to Lord Shiva
, the Hoysaleshwara Temple was built in the 12th century. It has the idols of both Hoysaleshwara and Santaleshwara. Just 17 km away from Belur
, the temple is situated at Halebid
, which was the original capital of the Hoysala
kingdom. Hoysaleshwara is named after the builder Vishnuvardhana Hoysala and Santaleshwara after his wife, Queen Santala.
Perched on a star-shaped base amidst lawns, the temple is a sculptural extravaganza. Walls are richly carved with an endless variety of Hindu deities, sages, stylized animals, birds and friezes depicting the lives of the Hoysala kings. The sancta are built on a stellar plan, with a sukhanasi, navaranga, and Nandi Mandapa. Jain temples dedicated to Parshwanath, Santhinath, and Adinath are nearby. The temple complex also has a museum which houses the idols, statues, busts and sculptures retrieved by the Archeological Department from the ruins.
Mangalore Airport, 148 km from Belur, is the nearest airport. The nearest railhead is at Banavar.