The quaint hamlet of Belur, 38 km from Hassan, is located on the banks of the river Yagachi. Once the capital of the Hoysala empire, it still draws hordes of visitors, who cannot get enough of its fascinating temples. In 1117, Vishnuvardhana built the Chennakeshava Temple. The main entrance to the shrine is guarded by twin statues of a youth slaying a tiger. What is remarkable about this shrine is its compact structure, and perfect proportions. The wealth of sculptured friezes is simply unbelievable, since from the base to the projected eaves, every inch of available wall surface is covered with the most exquisitely sculptured images. But the Hoysala sculpture reaches its apogee in sculptures of celestial maidens, carved with a marvellous plasticity of modelling, and imbued with the most accomplished grace and elegance. 

Pillars in the Navranga Hall are lathe-turned, ingeniously carved and remarkably smooth. No two pillars look alike. The hall is diamond-shaped. The ceiling has concentric rings, ornamented with figures. At the centre of the hall, is a polished stone platform, on which the queen is believed to have danced, in praise of Lord Chennakeshava. 

Outside, on the vimana, the Hoysala sculptors have surpassed themselves - unending rows of nearly 650 elephants, horses, lions, birds and warriors. The larger panels of the wall, sport scenes depicting the great epics - Ramayana and Mahabharata. 

The huge walled court at Belur, contains three other smaller temples - the Channigaraya temple, Soumyanayaki temple and the Andal temple. These temples also contain splendid pieces of sculpture. The most striking feature of all Hoysala shrines, is the high plinthed, star-shaped jagati (platform), on which the temples have been built.

Some of the places of worship
Ajanta & Ellora, Maharashtra
Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh 
Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
Orchha, Madhya Pradesh
Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh
Belur, Karnataka
Badami, Karnataka
Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh 
Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra
Bhojpur, Madhya Pradesh 
Mandu, Madhya Pradesh 
Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh 
Halebid, Karnataka 
Hampi, Karnataka 
Buddhist Relics, Orissa