Known as Dwarasamudra in the earlier times the city of Halebid is was once the capital of the Hoysala Empire and flourished during the 12th and 13th centuries. It is located at a distance of 16 kms east of Belur and 39 kms from Hassan. With the population just touching about 3000 people, Halebid is also referred as the Gem of Indian Architecture. The glory of the place touched its zenith during the reign of Veeraballala II, the grandson of Vishnuvardhana and saw it's descend in 1327 when it evaded by Muhammad Bin Tughlaq.
The sculptural work of the temples is based on shastras and importance. One can collect the information to his maximum desire. The town is only famous for it was capital city because of the surrounding places are of historical prominence of the neighboring villages such as Rajanasiriyur, Huvinahalli, Karikattehalli, Hulikere and Basadihalli, etc. were named for their special importance.
Hoysaleshwara Temple has got very good appearance. The Rashtrakutas built the big tank in front of the temple in the 9th Century. The town was named as Dwarasamudra. If one stands on the platform of the temple and sees around he will see the hills opposite and two big bulls facing the temple and Ganesha figure on the south. These attract the attention of even the children. The big temple consists of two temples, built inside. There are four doors in total.
The minute sculptural works in respect of Dwarapalakas, i.e., crow and ornament can never be seen anywhere else. The bracket figures, which were fixed to the roofing, have been stolen and only one remains as a token. The figures carved in this temple are bigger than those of Belur, and some of the figures are carved on both sides of the stone. Those who visit Belur temple will visit Halebeedu temple also. The Capital of Hoysalas during the 12th and 13th centuries A. D. is now called as Halebeedu.
Ketumalla, the chief of staff of Vishnuvardhana, built this temple during 1121 A.D. Even then it is learnt that it took 105 years to complete. Even now there is some incomplete work. Both the temples are joined by one veranda from outer views. It looks like star just as Belur. The God on the northern side temple is called as Shanthaleshwara and that on southern side is called as Hoysaleshwara. These Shaiva Gods are in the shape of Linga, indication to small bull in front of these Gods big bull are kept in stone mantaps outside in front of each temple. They have been fully decorated by stone ornaments around their neck. Behind the bull in a mantap we can see big sized Suryanarayana standing with seven horses and Arundadeva. It is said that Ketumalla built these temples joined into one.
Kedareshwara Temple: Veeraballala II and his younger Queen Abhinva Ketala Devi built the temple of Kedareshwara in 1319 A.D. Unfortunately portions of the temple collapsed more than 70 years ago and it was not possible to bring it to its original shape. In the beginning, its Navaranga hall a smaller shrine on either side while over the main shrine raised a beautiful star-shaped vimana of smooth stone. The other walls, the tower, the doorway and the ceiling were more magnificently carved and the temple looked like a divine piece of jewellery than a building. The basement of the temple which stands on a high platform has a large number of sculptured friezes showing the marching of Elephants, charging Horse, Lion, Mythical animal, Swans and finally designed creeper scrolls, they are all from stories of Ramayana, Mahabharatha and Bhagavad-Gita in a large sculptured band.
The upper parts of the wall bear nearly 180 beautifully carved images of various Gods and Goddesses. Those Gods and Goddesses stand under elegantly designed floral arches and some of them are finely shaped and finished. Inside the temple, we can see a few elegantly carved star-shaped pillars but the ceilings are of greater interest. Mostly they are some simple dances full of carvings. The doorway also shows a greatness of fine workmanship.
Basadi Halli (Jain Mandir): There are three Jain temples to the south of Basadihalli, two furlongs from Hoysaleshwara temple. Out of them Parshwanatha Swamy temple is an important one. The construction of this temple being of high grade and the appreciable carvings of the door tops high in Halebeeduu work. The twelve pillars that hold the doom have been cut in a fine and attractive manner. We can see even our image on each pillar. The pillars have been lathed well that the images differ from one another. The faces can be seen just as in a mirror. The Parshwanatha Swamy figure is made out of black stone and it is 14 feet in height. A seven-headed serpent has been carved on the head of this figure having curly hairs. The central mandir is of Adinatha Swamy and that is east of Shanthinatha Swamy.