Situated at a distance of 38 Km from Hassan, Belur is famous for some magnificent 12th century temples built during Hoysala reign. There are three main temples in the region, but the most important is Chennakeshava Temple, which is the only Hoysala Temple still in use. The temple was built to celebrate the triumph of Hoysalas over Cholas. Started in year 1116, it took more than 100 years to complete this temple. Each and every section of the temple is heavily carved with intricate forms. You will find scenes from epics, sculptures of elephants and dancers carved on the walls of the temple. It is also believed that the images of all the Hindu deities are shown in the temple.
On the banks of the Yagachi river in Belur, this star-shaped temple with hand lathe-turned filigreed pillars and sculptures, is the only Hoysala temple still in active worship. Friezes of charging elephants, each different from the other, mythological figures, military scenes, dancers and musicians, and elaborate decorative motifs charge the imagination.
The most marvellous examples of Hoysala architecture found exclusively at Belur are the angled bracket figures depicting celestial nymphs. The beautiful and expressive nymphs are depicted singing, dancing or executing daily chores. They are adorned with a wealth of detail in their makeup, jewellery, and coiffures. The smooth circular platform in front of the shrine displays a sculpture of Shanthala Devi, King Vishnuvardhana’s queen. Equally impressive are the temples of Chennigaraya, Viranarayana, Sridevi, and Bhoodevi, all in the same complex.