We started from Bangalore at 6:30 AM. As it was pretty early in the morning, we did not take time to reach Yeswantpur. From Yeswantpur, we took the Tumkur to reach Neelamangala using the flyover. We encountered one Toll Plaza on this road. At Neelamangala, we took a diversion to the left onto the Mangalore Road.
The Mangalore Road is very good and very empty. We followed this road for about 2 hours before we stopped at Kamat Hotel (on the left hand side of the road). We had carried some bread, butter and bananas. We had our breakfast with these. We went to Kamat Hotel and had coffee there. The Kamat Hotel is not very big and also not very well maintained. However, we found the coffee served by them to be decent.
We then ensued our journey. On the way, we crossed Adi Chinchinagiri. Though we were told that the Math here is very famous, we did not stop here. We also did not take the detour to Sravanabelagula (a famous Buddhist Temple). We carried on straight on the Mangalore till we reached Hassan. Throughout this distance, we were on the Toll Way and we had to pay toll about 5 times. The road in this stretch is 6 lanes and as I said earlier, it is very empty and the road is very good. The stretch between Channarayanapatna and Hassan is a single road with no dividers. However, it is not difficult to drive here as the traffic is very sparse.
At Hassan, we took a right turn to enter into Hassan City. After a little bit of searching, we found the Belur Road. The Belur Road is a single road and the traffic here is more than what we had on the Mangalore Road. About 3 KM after entering Belur Road from Hassan, there is very good resort called Hoysala Village. We had Tea and some snacks here before proceeding on our journey.
Sights around Hoysala Village
It took about 30-40 minutes to reach Belur. However, we did not stop here. We proceeded straight on this road and reached Chikkamagaluru in another 1 hour. We found our hotel (Hotel Gateway) with some searching and some help from the Hotel Reception. We relaxed in the hotel for the evening and the night though we had enough time for completing our visits to Belur and Haleibidu after reaching the hotel. It was around 2 PM at that time.
The next morning, after breakfast, we start for Haleibidu. It takes about 1 hour from Chikkamagaluru to reach Haleibidu. The only attraction in Haleibidu is the Hoysaleshwara Temple. This is a Shiva Temple. There are 2 temples in this complex .- one made for the King and one made for the Queen. This temple is a UNESCO heritage site. There is ample parking outside the temple and the charge for parking is Rs. 50 (Rupees Fifty only). There is no fees for entering the temple. However, we needed to leave our shoes outside the temple and the counter people took Rs. 10 (Rupees Ten only) per pair to look after the shoes.
We took a guide to take us around the temple. The guide agreed to take us around and explain everything for Rs. 300 (Rupees Three Hundred only). This was a very good decision as there are so many sculptures around the temple and each sculpture has a story which cannot be noticed just by glancing at them.
There are statues of Nandi in the temple complex. The guide told us that the Nandi statues are the 4th biggest in India.
There are some more temples in the close vicinity of the Hoysalaneshwara Temple. However, they are not visited very often by visitors.
From Haleibidu, we proceeded to Belur. It takes about 30 minutes to reach Belur Channakesava Temple from Haleibidu. Channakesava Temple is the only attraction in Belur. It is a Vishnu temple. Every year, in the month of April, a huge number of devotees come to this temple and they have a huge celebration. During this celebration, getting a parking near the temple is a huge challenge. However, around the temple there is ample parking space for other times of year.
The structure of the Channakesava temple in Belur is similar to the Hoysalaleshwara temple in Haleibidu. However, prayer are offered in this temple daily. The sculptures in this temple are also similar to those in Hoysaleshwara temple.