(16 kms from Belur, 149 kms from Mysore and 31 kms from Hassan), once the
capital of the Hoysala rulers is situated on the banks of an artificial
lake Dwarasamudra. The Hoysaleswara temple dedicated to Lord
Siva has two shrines connected by pillared walls. In each shrine is a Lingam
Hoysaleshwara and Shanthaleshwara. It was built by Ketumalla, the
chief of staff of Vishnuvardhana (the Hoysala king who had commissioned
the construction of the Belur Chennakesava temple) during 1121 A.D.
In front of the shrines, is a mandapam with a huge Nandi. Behind
this is an idol of Surya with his seven horses.
There is a profusion of carvings typical of all Hoysala temples. Numerous intricately carved sculptures adorn the outer wall as well as the interior. All the bracket figures except one in the interior have been lost. Even after 86 years of toil, sections of this temple have been left incomplete. Halebid (Halebeedu means ruined) was looted successively by Muslim rulers. The exterior walls are intricately carved with horizontal friezes depicting stories from the Epics, Mythology, animals and birds such as elephants, lions, horses, makaras, hamsas, creepers, floral designs, etc.
Near the Hoysaleshwara temple are Jain temples dedicated to Parshwanatha Swamy (a 14 feet idol of Tirthankara Parsavanth with a seven hooded cobra over his head), Adinatha Swamy & Shanthinatha Swamy.
The Kedareshwara temple with its intricately carved sculptures was built by Veeraballala II and his Queen Abhinva Ketala Devi.
There is a Museum managed by Archeology Department of Karnataka.