Deriving its name from the presiding deity the goddess Hasanamba which translates to ‘smiling mother’, Hassan district is located 187 km from Bangalore. Known as the temple-architecture capital of the state of Karnataka, the place saw its development as a major seat of the Hoysala Empire that ruled major parts of south India between the 10th and 14th centuries. Reflecting the Hoysala architecture of the 12th century, there are many popular places to visit in Hassan like the Hasanamba Temple and various Jain temples. With a well-connected transport system, Hassan is best known for its old-world atmosphere which offers a surfeit of tourist attractions.
The best time to visit Hassan is from June to February. Needless to say, Hassan is the go-to destination for pilgrims, history lovers, as well as curious souls.
10 Places To Visit In Hassan
1. A Striking Picnic Spot: Gorur Dam
Popularly known as Hemavathi Dam, Gorur Dam is one of the best places to visit in Hassan. Built-in 1979, it is constructed across the Hemavathi river for drinking, irrigation, and household chore purposes. Additionally, you may also get a chance to sight various birds that visit the reservoir regularly. Covering an area of 2,810 square kilometres, the views from this dam are worth capturing, so make sure that you pack your camera. With a height of 58.5 metres and a length of 4,692 metres, the reservoir has a total of six large radial spillway gates. A striking picnic spot, Gorur Dam is a popular tourist place in Hassan and attracts tourists from all across the country.
Timings: 9 AM-5 PM.
Entry Fee: None.
How To Reach: Take public transport to reach the dam. KSRTC buses run regularly between Gorur and Hassan.
Accommodation nearby: Hemavathi Resorts, The Rappa, The Karle etc.
2. Shettihalli Church: The Floating Church
Front view of Shettihalli Rosary Church in ruins, shot at night, Hassan, Karnataka, India
Constructed by French missionaries in the 1860s, the church is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture in India and is among the best places to visit in Hassan. Later, in the 1960s, the Shettihalli Rosary Church was submerged in water, which is why it’s also known as The Submerged Church or The Floating Church. To redirect the waters of the Hemavathi river, the Gorur reservoir was built. This resulted in a number of villages getting submerged in water, and so the villagers had to relocate, abandoning this church. Now, the church is a sought after picnic spot and part of Hassan’s tourism circuit. It attracts many tourists every year when it is submerged in water during the monsoon season. When Shettihalli Rosary Church is half underwater, tourists can get a closer view via a coracle ride.
Timings: 6 AM-6 PM.
Entry Fee: None.
How To Reach: The Shettihalli church can be easily accessed via road and railways. Buses are available for Shettihalli from Bangalore, Mangalore and Mysore. Additionally, local buses regularly ply from Hassan’s bus station to the Shettihalli church. The bus will drop you on a road leading to the church, from there it’s a 10 min walk to reach the chapel ruins. The Mysore Junction Railway Station is the closest railway station to Hassan which is approximately 40 km from Shettihalli.
Accommodation nearby: Ashirvad Estate, The Rappa, Kudidake Homestay, Hemavathi Resorts etc.
3. Hasanamba Temple: Open Only For Two Weeks During Diwali
A unique temple that is only open for two weeks during Diwali, Hasanamba Temple is dedicated to the goddess Shakti. Devotees present raw rice and light a lamp as an offering. It is believed that the lamp keeps burning and the rice never rots until the next time the temple’s doors open. The awe-inspiring architecture is a reflection of the Hoysala’s faith in Jainism. At this temple, there are also paintings that represent various mythological figures such as the painting of Ravana with nine heads playing the veena. Around 800 years old, this temple is one of the best places to visit in Hassan and should not be missed.
Timings: 7 AM-10 PM.
Entry fee: None, but for direct darshan, you must pay INR 1,000 and for special entrance, the fee is INR 300.
How To Reach: As it is just 1 km away from the main city centre, you can take any of the local buses to reach.
Accommodation nearby: Hotel Southern Star, Hotek Sarayu, The Ashok etc.
4. Lakshmi Devi Temple: A Must Visit For History Buffs
Built during the reign of the Hoysala Dynasty in the 12th century, Lakshmi Devi is a beautiful temple dedicated to the goddess Lakshmi. This temple is constructed from soaprock in the Hoysala-style architecture. The majestic temple adorned with inscriptions, sculptures, and intricate designs take you back to the ancient era. A showstopper, the chatuskuta houses four shrines. If you are a history buff then you must include this in your itinerary as it among the best places to visit in Hassan.
Timings: 9.30 AM-6 PM.
Entry Fee: None.
How To Reach: The best way to reach is by hiring a private car or van as there are no direct buses to the temple. This temple is about a half an hour drive from the city of Hassan. Accommodation nearby: Hoysala Village Resort, Hotel Raama, Hotel Five elements etc.
Also read: 10 incredible ancient temples in India
5. Maharaja Park: Ideal For Families With Children
Now a beautiful picnic spot for locals as well as tourists, Maharaja Park is a popular well-manicured park covered with a green layer of well-maintained grass. Lined with tall trees and dollops of bushes, there are many spacious walkways. Additionally, there is also a children’s playground, making it one of the best places to visit in Hassan for families.
Timings: 6 AM-8 AM.
Entry Fee: None.
How To Reach: It is just 2.2 km away from Hassan bus stand and can be accessed via local buses which won’t take more than 7 min.
Accommodation nearby: Palguni Residency, Suvarna Residency, Pavanputra Clarks Inn Resort etc.
6. Ishvara Temple: Witness The Rich Hoysala Heritage
The grand Ishvara Temple, which is located in Arasikere in Hassan, is another architectural marvel from the Hoysala Dynasty. An 11th-century single shrine temple dedicated to Shiva, it is mainly known for its rich heritage and intricate architecture that attracts several travellers from all over the state. You can witness the unique craftsmanship and intricacies of carving at this temple that is not seen at any other Hoysala structure. As it among the most famous tourist attractions to visit in Hassan, it attracts numerous tourists, especially history buffs.
Timings: 9 AM-6 PM.
Entry Fee: None.
How To Reach: The location is 44.4 km away from Hassan and will therefore take almost one hour to reach there via car.
Accommodation nearby: SNS Lodge, Hoysala Village Resort, Amber Castle Hotel & Suites, Gateway Chikmagalur – IHCL SeleQtions etc.
7. Bhagwan Bahubali Statue: The World’s Highest Monolithic Statue
Constructed in 983 CE by Chamundaraya, the general of King Rajamalla of the Ganga dynasty, Bhagwan Bahubali Statue is among the top attractions to visit in Hassan. Also known as Gomateshwara statue, the monolith statue of Bahubali is a Jain deity that stands at a height of 17 metres. Nestled on the Vindhyagiri Hills, this place is famous for its panoramic views. You can choose to take the road that leads to the shrine or climb the steps on the hill. Once every 12 years, during the Mahamastakabhisheka festival, the statue is bathed in ghee, saffron, milk, and curd among other things and Hassan is known for its grand celebrations. The statue was awarded the status of one of the Seven Wonders of India in 2005.
Timings: 8 AM-7 PM.
Entry Fee: INR 200 per person.
How To Reach: The nearest railway station is in Shravanabelagola and it is just 1 km away from Shravanabelagola Bus Station.
Accommodation nearby: Sunset Valley Homestay, Sirimane Homestay, Silent Valley Resort etc.
8. Kedareshwar Temple: Nestled On The Banks Of River Narmada
Built by a king of Hoysala, Veera Ballala II, in around 1220 CE, Kedareshwar Temple is another gem of Hassan that is dedicated to Shiva. Cradled on the banks of the river Narmada, the temple is constructed from soaprock in the old Hoysala style. The sculptures and intricate carvings depict the lives of the gods, Shiva and Vishnu. It is also one among the top tourist attractions to see in Hassan, especially for history buffs.
Timings: 10 AM-5 PM (Closed on Fridays).
Entry Fee: None.
How To Reach: Hassan district is well-connected to Karnataka via major highways, airways, and railheads. Commuting within the town can be done via local transit.
Accommodation nearby: Hotel Panchvati, Hotel Narayan Palace, Hotel Sachin International etc.
9. Bucesvara Temple: Popularly Known As Koravangala Temple
Built by Buchiraja, a rich officer, to celebrate the coronation of Veera Ballala II, Bucesvara Temple in Hassan is another one dedicated to Shiva. Popularly known as Koravangala Temple, it dates back to the 12th century during the reign of the Hoysala Dynasty. One of the top tourist places to visit in Hassan, you will find minute carvings on the soapstone structure.
Timings: 6 AM-9 PM.
Entry Fee: None.
How To Reach: The temple is 10 km from Hassan city, so you can just drive your vehicle to reach.
Accommodation nearby: Mallige Residency, Hirvate Estate, Prakriti Siri etc.
10. Bisle Ghat And Forest Reserve: Home To A Wide Range of Flora And Fauna
Located in Sakaleshpura Taluk in Hassan district, Bisle Ghat and Forest Reserve is a famous sanctuary in the Western Ghats. Housing a wide variety of flora and fauna, it is one of the best places to visit in Hassan to get a panoramic view of the surrounding mountain ranges. The Bisle Ghat and Forest reserve acts as a natural corridor that links the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary in the south and the Kukke Subrahmanya forest range in the west.
Timing: 9 AM-5.30 PM.
Entry Fee: None.
How To Reach: Bisle Ghat is only 55 kilometres from Sakleshpur and 20 km from Kukke Subrahmanya. You can either take a local bus or drive up in your own car.
Accommodation nearby: Hema Koota Homestay, Ayesiri Homestay Hongadahalla, Hotel Akshayadhara etc.
Why Should You Visit Hassan?
A quick trip to these top places to visit in Hassan will help you gain knowledge about the Hoysala reign which was once supreme. Home to the best Hoysala temples, this where you can admire the inscriptions and intricate carvings. As a traveller, we must be respectful of a destination’s history and culture, and not destroy or litter these places, but instead help in preserving them.
Hassan does not have many major spots for shopping but is famous for its silk, handicrafts, and sandalwood. While shopping in Hassan, take the opportunity to buy products and goods from the local markets, as that plays a major role in sustaining local culture and employment.
Home to many family-friendly places like bird sanctuaries, temples, and forts, Hassan is ideal for families, friends and couples to visit. You will never get bored with the options here as there’s so much to explore. So, start planning your trip to Hassan and don’t forget to add these places to your itinerary.
Nearest Places To Visit:
- Manjarabad Fort
What is a famous place in Hassan?
Reflecting the Hoysala architecture of the 12th century, Hassan is famous for a few things and there are many famous places to see like the submerged or floating church and various Jain temples.
How to reach Hassan?
Bengaluru International Airport and Mysore Airport are the closest airports to Hassan. The Hassan Junction station is connected to other cities. The district has well-maintained roads and can be used for travelling.
Famous places to visit in Hassan?
Hassan is gaining popularity for famous places like Gorur Dam, Ishvara Temple, Kedareshwar Temple, Maharaja Park and many more.
What is the old name of Hassan?
The district gets its name from the Goddess “Haasanamba”, the goddess and presiding deity of the town.