32 km northwest of Hassan, the tiny hamlet of Halebid was once the capital of the Hoysala dynasty, who ruled over south Karnataka from the 11th until the early 14th centuries, when the city was sacked by forces of the Delhi Sultanate.

Despite the sacking, several large Hoysala temples survive. The Hoysaleshvara Temple has a wealth of sculptural detail, the walls covered with gods, goddesses, animals and dancing girls. No two facets of the temple are alike. Guarded by a Nandi Bull, it was never completed, despite 86 years of work.

Modetate accommodation is available in Hassan; superior accommodation in Chikmagalur.

What to see

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