(16 kms from Bellur). Halebaidu, Karnataka State. The big tank was built by the Rashtrakutas in the 9th century . This temple was built by Ketumalla during 1121 AD. Eventhen it is learnt that it took 105 years to complete. Hoysaleswara Temple is one amongst the largest shrines that are dedicated to Lord Shiva in South India. In the 12th century, the temple was built during the rule of King Vishnuvardhana of Hoysala Empire. The construction of this marvelous shrine got completed in 1121 CE. Located at Halebid, Hoysaleshwara Temple can be easily reached from Belur (16 kms), Hassan (31 kms) and Mysore (149 kms) in Karnataka. Apart from these cities, Halebid is accessible from almost every city and town of Karnataka by regular buses and hired taxis.
Hoysaleswara Temple has two shrines, one dedicated to Hoysaleswara and another for Shantaleswara (named after Shantala Devi, queen of King Vishnuvardhana). Standing on a raised platform, the temple is made out of Chloritic Schist (Soapstone, also known as potstone). Both of the shrines are located next to each other, facing the east direction. The shrine comprises the Shiva lingam (phallic form of Lord Shiva), the universal symbol of Lord Shiva.
Hoysaleswara Temple is particularly known for its wall sculptures that are imprinted right from the outset of the outer wall. Opening with an image of dancing Ganesha on the left hand side of the south entrance, the series ends with a different image of Ganesha on the right hand side of the north entrance. The whole collection has not less than 240 images. The most complicated of all sculptures, are traceable in the beams, over two of the entryways, one on the southern entryway and other on the eastern entryway.