The Old Town: Halebidu

Part 6
After having had our fill of studying the stone-work at Belur, we set off to Halebidu, which in Kannada, translates to old city. There is a direct road to Halebidu from Belur, and is just 10 kms away. However we have been advised not to take this road as it is under repair. And my Dad being a stickler for good roads, doesn't mind driving the extra mile. Therefore, we come back to a village called Hagare, and then take a deviation to reach Halebidu.

By the time we reach Halebidu, it is too hot and bright for comfort. Getting out of the car feels like climbing into a furnace, straight from a refrigerator. I spot a jacaranda tree close by with very pretty purple coloured flowers, which look glorious against the blue sky.

The Hoysaleshwara-Kedareshwara temple complex looks majestic. Too bad, the photos in the afternoon sun aren't that great. I should have planned better, I rue quietly. We rest for a while within the cool premises of the temple. The architecture is again similar, and there is a certain pattern visible. Yet, we don’t get bored of seeing the work. Each figurine looks unique. And the pillars- there are so many! The ceiling is intricately carved too.
The area outside is not carpeted, which means the scorching stone platform could blister the foot! The walls are as expected carved, with a lot of detailing. I spend more time here than I did at Belur.

This is a close-up view of the top-central carvings of the previous picture

Outside the temple, there are many stalls selling the traditional stone grinders; we buy a small mortar and pestle (so much for being a Pharmacologist!). We have enough time to go to Javagallu. But the heat makes us change our minds. Plus we’re told that restoration work is in progress there. We’re not sure how far this is true, but we’re in no mood to check. We come back to the hotel. The India-Pakistan T20 match is yet to start, and the tension is already building up. Dinner consists of a nice spicy dish of mushroom with some soft Roti at the restaurant at Hotel Raama. And we call it a day, with no fixed plan for the next day.


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