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Often known as the poor man’s Ooty, Hassan is located about 180 km from Bengaluru. The place boasts of scenic natural sights combined with amazing Hoysala architecture and sculpture. The city reached the pinnacle of glory under the Hoysala rule. Hassan has a rich and glorious past. The district was named after Goddess Hasanamba, the presiding deity of this place. Hassan is a unique melting pot of natural beauty and rich history.
Hassan is covered in temples and monuments and is, therefore, a paradise for those who love history. The temples and monuments are covered in beautiful art and inscriptions and are several centuries old. Hassan is an extremely popular place among tourists, pilgrims, and history lovers. In the late 10th century, Jainism was at its peak in this city. The temples depict the artistic skills of the craftsmen and artisans who built the temples. Varied forms of sculpture can be observed in the numerous monuments during a Hassan tour. Apart from the several places of tourist interest in Hassan, there are many dams surrounding the city. Moreover, the weather conditions are calm and relaxing, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Karnataka.
Nearest Airport: Bangalore
How to reach: by air/road/train
Famous for: Hoysala Empire, Belur & Halebeedu
Best time to visit: October to March
WHAT TO SEE
Temples in and around Hassan
Hassan was the seat of the Hoysala Empire which ruled large parts of South India. During the 14th century, the Hoysala state was weakened by invasions by the Sultanate of Delhi. It became a part of the Vijayanagara Empire. The district became a part of the Mysore Kingdom when a peace treaty was signed between the Mysore and Keladi rulers in 1694. The population of Hassan always consisted of people belonging to different religions. The current boundaries of Hassan date back to the 1860s. After independence, The Mysore kingdom came to be known as Mysore State and was renamed as Karnataka in 1973.
Heritage and Culture
Hassan has majorly contributed to the growth and development of Kannada art, literature, and culture for centuries. It has a folk culture. The traditions are still practiced in the city. One of the major attractions is the Mahamastakabhisheka, a Jain festival held once every 12 years in Shravanabelagola. The statue of Bahubali is bathed with milk, saffron, curd, and more. Hassan is also famous for its artifacts, handicrafts, and jewelry. Shop for sandalwood and beautiful silk sarees during a Hassan tour.
Shettyhalli: Shettyhalli is located 13 km away from Hassan and is home to the famous Drowning Church. The church was built in 1860 and is currently in ruins. The church remains completely submerged in water during the monsoons and appears only when the water has receded.
Koravangala: Koravangala is famous for the three 12th century Shiva temples created in the Hoysala architectural style. The walls of the temple are adorned with intricate carvings.
Gorur: Located 20 km away from Hassan, the biggest reservoirs of the state are found here. They were created by damming the river Hemavati. The reservoir stands at a height of 147 feet and is spectacular to look at, especially in the Monsoon season.
Manjarabad Fort: This fort was built by Tipu Sultan in 1792 and has a star-shaped structure. The height of the fort exceeds 3200 feet and was mainly used to confront enemies. The fort consists of a secret tunnel underneath which was used by the royal family to escape in times of attack.
Shravanabelagola (57 km): It is famous for the statue of Lord Bahubali., a Jain religious figure. With a height of 27 m, it is the tallest monolithic statue in the world. The idol is breath-taking and serene at the same time. One of the holiest places for Jains is the Shravanabelagola temple. It is world-renowned for the majesty of Lord Gomatheeswara towering over everything around. It attracts millions of devotees annually.
Belur: Belur is located on the banks of the Yagachi river and is well-known for its exquisite temples. One of the most famous temples in this region is the Chennakeshava Temple. Constructed almost a hundred years ago, the temple boasts of intricate stonework. The best of Hoysala monuments were built in Belur. Tourists are bound to marvel at the innovative architecture and beautiful sculptures.
Halebidu: Halebidu is also known as the twin city of Belur. It abounds in marvelous pieces of architecture like the Hoysaleswara, Shantaleswara, Kedareshwara Temples. The Hoysaleswara temple is an epitome of Hoysala architecture and took 105 years to complete. Monolithic soapstone was used for the construction of this exquisite and beautiful temple.