Going to see Hampi had been a shelved dream for me for aeons. During our last trip to Kodai when i had mentioned it 2 of the boys had showed keen interest and wanted to go there at the earliest. i too didn't let the embers cool down and planned a 3 day trip. we started the drive on a friday 6pm. we decided to spend one day at Sakleshpur and 1.5 days at Hampi. which on looking back wasn't the right decision as seeing Hampi at a leisurely pace is ideal. we startred the trip from my place on a friday 5pm and reached sakleshpur by 10 pm. the route that we took was Kanhangad - Cherkala - Sullia - Subramanya - Shirady - Sakleshpur. The roads till 15 kms before sakeshpur was good but the last 15 odd kms were hell.Took 2 rooms and hit the sack by 11pm. got up by 6 am got ready by 8
am and went to see the Sakleshpur temple. we walked to the temple which was hardly a couple of kms from the hotel that we stayed.
after the temple visit we came back to the hotel and had breakfast. then we set out to see the Manjarabad fort which was about 5 kms from our hotel. its a star shaped fort built by Tipu sulthan ruler of mysore, in 1792 with the help of french military architects. its built on a small hill at a height of 988 metres.He had built it mainly for securing the highway between Mangalore and Coorg for his expansion plans. He personally, had been said too have inspected it and named it Manjarabad as the fort was enveloped in mist ( Manju means mist/ fog ). there was a deep pond in the centre of the fort which was dry now. the 2 structu
Manjarabad Fort - Wikipedia for more on manjarabad fort here is a link.
after spending nearly 2 hours ,then had a tender coconut break at the base of the fort & we returned back to our hotel and vacated it. we then set out for Belur, which was 35 kms from sakleshpur. Google map took us through many village roads, narrow & desolate roads. but the countryside was very picturesque and we reached belur by 1.30 pm. we went straight to the Channakesava temple. its a vishnu temple also called the Keshava or vijayanarayana temple. commissioned by Hoysala king Vishnuvradhana in 1117 CE. it took 103 years fr completion. initially Belur was the capital of hoysala empire later shifted to Halebidu. it was repeatedly plundered and destroyed by invaders from north. it was taken over by the vijayanagara empire and rebuilt.
Marvels of the temple
Gravity pillar - is a 42 metre tall stone pillar that stands in the centre of the courtyard which doesn't have a foundation & stands erect on its own weight