Halebidu is located in Hassan District, Karnataka, India. Halebidu (which was previously called Dorasamudra or Dwarasamudra) was the regal capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century. It is home to one of the best examples of Hoysala architecture in the ornate Hoysaleswara and Kedareswara temples. Halebidu literally means ruined city. This name is given because this city was ruined two times by Bahmani Sultanate.

Halebidu was the 12th century capital of the Hoysalas. The Hoysaleswara temple was built during this time by Ketamala and attributed to Vishnuvardhana, the Hoysala ruler. It enshrines Hoysaleswara and Shantaleswara, named after the temple builder Vishnuvardhana Hoysala and his wife, Queen Shantala. Then it was sacked by the armies of Malik Kafur in the early 14th century, after which it fell into a state of disrepair and neglect.

The temple complex comprises two Hindu temples, the Hoysaleshawara and Kedareshwara temples and two Jain basadi. In front of these temples there is a big lake. The town gets its name the from the lake, Dwara samudhra which means entrance from ocean. The two Nandi statues which are on the side of the Hoysaleshwara temple are monolithic. Soap stone or Chloritic Schist was used for the construction of these temples. However a number of sculptures in the temple are destructed by invaders. So the temple is incomplete. Halebid means old abode. There is an archeological museum in the temple complex.

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 now being proposed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Information based on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halebid

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