Hassan District has a total area of 6,826 sq km. It is called 'Hassan' after goddess Hasanamba (the 'smiling goddess'), the presiding deity of the town. The district was ruled by Mouryas of North in the 3rd BC and later kingdoms of Kadambas,
Chalukyas, Hoysalas, and
The major agricultural crops are coffee, black pepper, potato, paddy, and sugarcane. Hassan is famous for its ragi balls, which is a nutritious cereal and the staple food of the farmers.
Hassan is a convenient place for visiting the famous temples of
Belur, Halebid, and
Sravanabelagola. Chennakesava Temple at Belur was built by the Emperor Vishnuvardhana in 1117. The tallest and most graceful monolithic statue in the world, Lord Gomateshwara, is located here. An elaborate ritual festival ‘Mahamastakabhisheka’ is held once in every 12 years. It attracts devotees from all over the world. The twin temples of Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara built by Vishnuvardhana and Ballala-II are located at Halebid, 30 km from the district headquarters Hassan.