Sometimes, I take a day-off and visit one of the many historical monuments around Bangalore. My goal is to enjoy a good bus ride while observing rural lifestyle, appreciate the architecture and find a subject to sketch. I have done this a couple of times before and I enjoy it immensely. On the 25th of November 2020, I decided to do just that. 

At around 6:30 AM, I boarded a bus to Hassan. After an uneventful bus journey, at around 11 AM, I got off at the Hassan bus stand. I had to take an auto-rickshaw from the KSRTC bus station to the old bus stand in the city.  Here, a direct bus to Halebidu was waiting for passengers to fill in. I reached Halebidu at around 12:30 PM. I decided to have lunch before exploring the ancient temples. There are limited options here. I had to pick the one very close to the main junction, opposite the temple gates. 

After lunch, I set out to explore the Hoysala temples. Halebidu was the regal capital of Hoysala empire in the 12th Century. After it was ransacked and looted by the Delhi Sultanate twice in the 14th Century, the city was abandoned. It is therefore called "Hale bidu", meaning Old city. Halebidu is located 30km from Hassan. Here are the main attractions in this ancient town. 

Hoysaleshwara Temple

Hoysala architecture is known for its star shaped foundation. The friezes depict stories from Mahabaratha, Ramayana and Bagavatha. The temple is dedicated to Shiva. 

Parshvanatha Basadi & Shantinatha Basadi

Come back to the main road and walk towards Hassan for about a kilometre and you will find a left deviation to Jain temples and Kedareshwara temple. The Jain Basadi’s with magnificent pillars and the inner sanctum housing an idol of Mahaveera is a peaceful place to meditate. 

Kedareshwara temple

The road that takes you to Jain Basadis will end at Kedareshwara temple. Tourists often ignore this place and visit only the main temple. Most of the sculptures in Kedareshwara temple are intact even today. I had this temple all for myself. 

It is here that I finally found the subject I wanted to sketch - A horseman from one of the friezes on the exterior of the temple. I only had time to make some rough sketch. 

At 5 PM, I boarded a bus back to Hassan. Had some evening snacks at Hassan bus station. Took an auto to the KSRTC bus station (Rs30-50) and boarded another bus to Bangalore. I reached home by 10PM. It was a great day. However, I wish I had more time to sketch and complete the painting. 

I finally found some time today to complete the sketch and paint it. Here it is -