Belur was the early capital of the Hoysala Empire. Belur along with Halebidu about 16 km away are one of the major tourist destinations in Karnataka. Belur is located in Hassan district. According to inscriptions discovered here, it was also referred to as Velur or Velapuri. It was the early capital of the Hoysala kings in 11th-century and remained a second capital through the 14th-century. The city was so esteemed by the Hoysalas that it is referred to as “earthly Vaikuntha” (Vishnu’s abode) and “Dakshina Varanasi” (southern holy city of Hindus) in later inscriptions.
The mineral beryl and the element beryllium might have gotten the name from this city.
Belur is home to a Vishnu-related Hoysala Hindu temple complex from the 12th century called the Kesava Temple at Belur. This temple along with Hoysaleshwara Temple and Jain temples in Halebidu have been proposed as UNESCO world heritage sites.
Halebidu (IAST: Haḷēbīḍ, also Halebeedu or Halebid, literally “old capital, encampment”) is a town located in Hassan District, Karnataka, India. Halebidu (which used to be called Dorasamudra or Dwarasamudra) was the regal capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century. It is home to some of the best examples of Hoysala architecture. Most notable are the ornate Hoysaleshwara and Kedareshwara temples. The city got the name “Halebidu” because it was damaged and deserted into “old capital” after being ransacked and looted twice by forces of the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th-century.