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Introducing Halebid

Best time to visit : October to April
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Halebid City (also called Halebidu) is the ancient temple city located in Karnataka. The name 'Halebid' means the 'city of ruins' and is called so because it was ruined twice by the Bahmani Sultanate. Lot of tourists visit this city to get a glimpse of some of the architectural marvels of the Hoysala Empire hailing back to the 12th and 13th centuries. The temples adorn thousands of carvings and intricate figures of Hindu deities, scenes from mythology and great epics. These were built during the reign of Hoysala Kings and are today maintained by the Archaeological Society of India. If you are a history buff and excursions of archaeological sites lure you, Halebid City is a perfect tourist place for you.

Facts

Halebid City was earlier known as ‘Dwarasamudra’ which means ‘entrance to the sea’ and served as the capital city of the Hoysala Kingdom in 12th century. It came to be known as Halebidu after the devastation of the city by the Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khilji’s army two times. During the Hoysala reign, lots of temples were built amongst which the Hoysaleswara temple was the finest and is still a major tourist spot at this place apart from several Jain shrines. Halebid stands as a symbol of nation’s culture with a glorious past. It has also been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is not only a cultural heritage site but also an agricultural paradise, where you can find fields of paddy and sugarcane spread across thousands of acres of land.

Halebid City is located in the Southern region of India, so you can expect to get South Indian food at every hotel and restaurant. The most famous cuisine of Halebid is the Malnad cuisine in which you can go for the Halasinkai chutney and Sihi Kaayi Kadabu, the main course dish which is made up of rice, cardamoms, and grated coconut. Some of the best restaurants to enjoy the Malnad cuisine are Hoysala Village Resort and the Green Pastures Resort.

Halebid is known for its stone idols, terracotta items and religious statues made of Panchdhatu which is an alloy of five different metals that do not corrode and last for years. Most of the souvenir shops sell these items, so getting some for friends and relatives is a good idea. Also, since Halebid is located in Karnataka, which is famous for its handicrafts and silk sarees, you can buy one for yourself.

Nearby Places:
  • Belur: Around 16 km. from Halebid, this is the twin town of Halebid City. Temples of the Hoysala Era are widely spread out between these two twin cities. Also, Belur was the first capital of Hoysala Kingdom which was afterwards shifted to Halebid City. Chenakeshava Temple in Belur is the major tourist attraction.
  • Sravanabelagola: Around 80 km. from Halebid, this is an important site for Jain pilgrims and is famous for its Gomateswara statue as it is the tallest monolithic stone statue in the world.

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