Town of south-central Karnataka (formerly Mysore) state, southern India. Lying at an elevation of 3,084 feet (940 m), the town has a cool, humid climate.194 kms from Bangalore is Hassan, from where one can go to Belur, Halebid and Shravanabelagola. Shravanabelagola is a famous Jain pilgrimage with a 17 m high monolith of lord Bahubali standing tall. The Mahamastakabhisheka, held once in 12 years, is one of the main attraction of the place which attracts large number of devotees. Belur was once the capital of the Hoysala kings. The Chennakeshava temple took 103 years to be completed and is filled with intricate carvings and sculptures. No space is left blank in this finest example of Hoysala architecture. In Belur Veeranarayana temple is also worth visiting. Halebid, like Belur is also a mute testimony to the rich cultural heritage of Karnataka.
Hassan District was under the reign of Mouryas of North in the 3rd BC and later kingdoms of Kadambas, Chalukyas, Gangas, Hoysalas and Vijayanagar empire. The Hoysalas brought world wide acclaim to the district through their unique style of architecture. The place is called Hassan after the Goddess "Hasanamba", the smiling Goddess, presiding deity of the town.
Temple of Hasanamba
This modest temple is dedicated to Hasanamba or the Smiling Goddess, who is the presiding deity of the town. She also lends Hassan its name. The temple is open only once a year for about a week sometime in October. A big fair is also held on this occasion.
51 kms southeast of Hassan, this is one of the most important Jain pilgrim centers. Here is the 17 m high monolith of Lord Bahubali - the world's tallest monolithic statue. Thousands of devotees congregate here to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka -a spectacular ceremony held once in 12 years, when the 1000 -year- old statue is anointed with milk, curds, ghee, saffron and gold coins. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2005 A.D. Shravanabelegola is 158 kms from Bangalore.
This quaint hamlet - 38 kms from Hassan - is located on the banks of the river Yagachi. It was once the capital of the Hoysala Empire, today made unforgettable for its exquisite temples. The Chennakeshava Temple is one of the finest examples of Hoysala architecture. It took 103 years to complete and you can see why. The facade of the temple is filled with intricate sculptures and friezes with no portion left blank. Elephants, episodes from the epics, sensuous dancers. they are all there - awe-inspiring in their intricate workmanship. Inside are hand-lathe-turned filigreed pillars. The Veeranarayana Temple and the smaller shrines are well worth a visit.
It is 27 kms north-west of Hassan and 17 kms east of Belur. The temples of Halebid - like those of Belur - bear mute testimony to the rich, cultural heritage of Karnataka. The Hoysaleswara Temple, dating back to the 12th century, is outstanding for its wealth of sculptural details. The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of gods and goddesses, animals, birds and dancing girls. Yet no two facets of the temple are the same. This magnificent temple - guarded by a Nandi Bull - was never completed, despite 86 years of labor. The Jain basadis nearby are equally rich in sculptural detail. Belur and Halebid are 222 and 216 kms from Bangalore, respectively. Channarayapatna, Ramanathpur, Gorur and Manjarabad are the other places of interest around Hassan.
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