Halebidu was the 12th century capital of the Hoysalas.
The Hoysaleswara temple was built during this time by King Vishnuvaradan, the Hoysala ruler. It enshrines Hoysaleswara and Shantaleswara, named after the temple builder Vishnuvardhana Hoysala and his wife, Queen Shantala.
Then it was ransacked by the armies of Malik Kafur in the early 14th century, after which it fell into a state of disrepair and neglect.The Beautiful Ganesha Statue stands testimony to the Mutilation of Malk Kafur even Today!(see pic above)
The Hoysaleswara temple, dating back to the 1121 C.E., is astounding for its wealth of sculptural details. The walls of the temple are covered with an endless variety of depictions from Hindu mythology, animals, birds and Shilabalikas or dancing figures. Yet no two sculptures of the temple are the same. This magnificent temple guarded by a Nandi Bull was never completed, despite 86 years of labour. The Jain basadi nearby are equally rich in sculptural detail. Belur and Halebid are 222 and 216 km from Bangalore, respectively. This temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Near the Hoysaleshawara and Kedareshwara temples there are Jain basadis too. One shdn’t miss an opportunity to visit this Jain temple where a unique Granite pillar reveals the architectural Genius of those days..If you see your face in the middle it will be normal,above a convex shaped and below a concave shaped figure..So beautifully carved!
In front of these temples there is a biglake. The town gets its name from the lake, Dwara samudhra which means entrance from ocean. The Nandi statue is on the side of the Hoysaleshwara temple are monolithic. Soap stone was used for the construction of these temples.
However a number of sculptures in the temple are destroyed by invaders. So the temple is incomplete.. There is an archeological museum in the temple complex.