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—  district  —

Hassan district is located in Karnataka
Location in Karnataka, India
Coordinates: 13°N 76°E / 13, 76Coordinates: 13°N 76°E / 13, 76
Country  India
State Karnataka
Headquarters Hassan
Talukas Hassan, Holenarsipur, Arkalgud, Channarayanapatana, Sakleshpur, Belur, Alur, Arasikere
 • Deputy Commissioner
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 573201
Telephone code 08172
Vehicle registration KA-13

Hassan is a district in Karnataka state, India. The district headquarters are Hassan. Hassan district was the seat of the Hoysala Empire which at its peak ruled large parts of south India from Belur as its early capital and Halebidu as its later capital during the period 1000 - 1334 CE. Today Hassan is primarily known worldwide for its Hoysala architecture and is a veritable treasure trove of about fifty sculptural marvels tucked away in several villages and towns of the district. Hassan is also known as the location of the Master Control Facility of the Indian Space Research Organization's Indian National Satellite System.


LakshmiNarasimha Temple 1246 Trikuta architecture, Nuggihalli

Chennakeshava Temple, 1117 Ornate pillars Belur

  • Hassan
  • Alur
  • Belur
  • Arasikere

Mavuthanahalli-Sri Mahalingeshwara Temple and Sri Kariyamma Devi Temple.(20;km-javagal-banavara road)

  • Sakleshpur
  • Channarayanapatana
  • Arkalgud
  • Holenarasipura


The history of Hassan district is essentially the history of two of the well known dynasties that have ruled Karnataka, the Western Ganga Dynasty of Talkad (350 - 999 CE.) and the Hoysala Empire (1000 - 1334 CE). In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Vijayanagar kings patronised Chennakesava of Belur as their family deity. It was also ruled by Adilshahis of Bijapur and Mughal Empire after decline of the Vijayanagar. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Hassan became a land of contention between the Keladi Nayakas of Shimoga and the Mysore Kingdom. It finally merged as an independent Mysore kingdom.


Lord Gommateshwara, Shravanabelagola

Lakshmidevi Temple 1113 chatushkuta architecture, Doddagaddavalli

Around the 300 BCE. Hassan was part of the Mauryan empire. Sage Bhadrabahu arrived from north India in 3rd century BCE. along with many ascetics marking the arrival of Jainism into Karnataka. Some historians believe king Chandragupta Maurya 322 –298 BCE., grand father of emperor Ashoka the Great was his disciple and accompanied Bhadrabahu to Shravanabelagola and eventually died there. Other historians argued that the king was Ashoka's grandson and came later. A basadi or monument in his name called Chandragupta basadi still exists today. Whatever the truth about Chandragupta Maurya's lineage, it is believed that Shravanabelagola has been a place of Jain worship for twenty three centuries.


Sadashiva Temple 1246, ekakuta architecture, Nuggihalli

Later Hassan came under the rule of the Ganga Dynasty of Talkad. The Gangas initially ruled as a sovereign power from 350 - 550 CE. and later continued to rule this area as feudatories of Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas. In the late 10th century, many Jaina monuments were built at Shravanabelagola. Some of them, including the fifty seven feet tall monolithic statue of Gomateshwara, was commissioned by Ganga general Chamundaraya.

During the rule of the Gangas, Shravanabelagola was an important religious centre. Today, it is also a place of great archaeological importance. The name of the town is derived from Shravana or Shramana, meaning a Jain ascetic, and Belagola or Biliya Kola in Kannada meaning white pond. Over eight hundred inscriptions which includes eighty from the Hoysala period have been discovered in and around Shravanabelagola covering a period 600 - 1830 CE. and has been enormously helpful in understanding the history not only of Hassan but the history of all the Kingdoms that ruled over Karnataka. Inscriptions are in Kannada, Sanskrit, Tamil, Marathi, Marwari and Mahajani languages and are attributed to all the major Kingdoms that have ruled over Karnataka, indicating patronage to Jainism was active thorough out medieval history.

Around 1000 CE., with their complete defeat at the hands of the Cholas, the Ganga lineage vanished forever from Gangavadi (southern districts of Karnataka). From that time onwards, till 1334 CE, Hoysalas ruled this region and after their decline, the Vijayanagar empire took control. After the decline of the Vijayanagar empire, the area came under the rule of the Mysore Kingdom.

It was under the rule of the Hoysalas, a clan of hill people whose origins are traced to Angadi in Chikmagalur District who built a powerful empire from the malnad region of Karnataka that Hassan reached its zenith of fame, much of which is seen today in the fifty or more Hoysala temples scattered around the country side in the district. Inscriptions in many of these temples speak volumes of the glory of a bygone era, the administration of the Hoysalas, their land reforms, taxation, culture and so on.

The Hoysalas, who claim to be of the Kuruba/Yadava race stepped into the shoes of their predecessors, the Gangas after being feudatories of the Chalukyas of Kalyani from about 1000 - 1150 CE. After the decline of the Kalyani Chalukyas power and constant efforts by Hoysala Vishnuvardhana to break free of subordination to the Chalukyas, the Hoysalas emerged as an independent power in the middle of the 12th century. Vishnuvardhana who went by the name Bittideva was a Jaina but later changed his name having accepted Vishnavism, a sect of Hinduism.

Many historians feel that Vishnuvardhana was the true maker of the Hoysala empire. Their emergence as a sovereign power was made possible by two decisive victories, one against the Cholas at Talakad in 1114 CE. after which Vishnuvardhana assumed the titles of Veera Ganga and Talakadu Gonda, struck coins in memory of the victory, built the Keerthi Narayana temple at Talakad and the famous Chennakeshava temple at Belur and took control of Gangavadi. The other was a sensational victory over the mighty Chalukya forces of Vikramaditya VI at Kannegal in 1118 CE. However it was only after the death of Vikramaditya VI that Vishnuvardhana was able to gain control over central regions of present day Karnataka in Hangal, Uchchangi, Banavasi and Barkapura.

During the rule of his grandson, Veera Ballala II 1173–1220 CE. who earned the title Cholarajyapratishtacharya or preserver of the Chola Empire, the Hoysalas were able to become a true force to reckon with in South India. During this time, Hassan became the epicenter of Kannada literary and cultural activities.

Hoysala architecture[]

Hoysaleshwara Temple, 1120 Ornate navaranga Halebidu

The Hoysalas claim to immortality arises from their contribution to Kannada culture, Kannada literature and their own unique style of vesara architecture. Historians such as Henry Cousens and James Furgusson observed that the Hoysala style of architecture is essentially an extension and culmination of the vesara style initiated by the Badami Chalukyas and further enhanced by the Kalyani Chalukyas. In fact, the carved doorways, lathe turned pillars and pierced window screens used frequently by the Hoysalas is also commonly seen in earlier Kalyani Chalukya temples of north and central Karnataka. The Star shaped platform on which many Hoysala temples were constructed, the Jagati, the Zig- Zag character of the walls and the density of sculpture on gray soap stone (chloritic schist) is however a unique features of Hoysala architecture.

Contribution to Kannada[]

Hassan district has a special place in Kannada history in that Halmidi, a tiny village in Belur taluk is the home of the oldest known Kannada language inscription in Kannada script dated 450 CE. The inscription whose date is sometimes debated as 425 CE. is attributed to king Kakusthavarma, great-great-grandson of king Mayurasharma, founder of the Kadamba dynasty.


Vesara style tower over shrine in Chennakeshava temples at Mosale

Lying between 12° 13´ and 13° 33´ North latitudes and 75° 33´ and 76°38´ East longitude, Hassan district has a total area of 6826.15 km². It is divided into 8 taluks, 38 hoblies & 2369 villages. The geography is mixed with the malnad or mountainous region to the west and south west called Bisle Ghat and the maidan or planis regions in the north, south and east. There are some areas of degraded forest ranges in central portion of the district.

The general level of Hassan district is it slopes with the course of Hemavathi river from the western ghat ranges towards the bed of Cauvery river near Hampapura in the south east. Its chief tributary is Yagachi from Belur taluq which joins it near Gorur. Hemavathi passes through Holenarsipur taluq in a southerly direction and joins with Cauvery river near Hampapura close to the border of Hassan district. Hassan and Belur stands around 3,084 and 3,150 feet (960 m) above the sea level respectively.

The district is surrounded by Chikmagalur District to the north west, Chitradurga District to the north, Tumkur District to the east, Mandya District to the south east, Mysore to the south, Kodagu District to the south west and Dakshina Kannada district to the west.


According to the 2011 census Hassan district has a population of 1,776,221,[1] roughly equal to the nation of The Gambia[2] or the US state of Nebraska.[3] This gives it a ranking of 270th in India (out of a total of 640).[1] The district has a population density of 261 inhabitants per square kilometre (680 /sq mi) .[1] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 3.17 %.[1] Hassan has a sex ratio of 1005 females for every 1000 males,[1] and a literacy rate of 75.89%.[1]

Kannada is spoken by a vast majority of the people in the district.


Tourism and coffee are the two main sources of income of Hassan district. Coffee is grown in the malnad areas of Sakleshpura. Other than this, farmers grow black pepper, potato, ragi, paddy and sugarcane. Hassan district has forty five monuments that receive protection from authorities. Twenty four of these are protected by Karnataka state archaeological department while the remaining twenty one are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India and are hence of national importance.


According to estimates, in the year 2005, 800,000 tourists visited the temples of Hassan district. However concerns remain that the true and full tourism potential may not have been exploited in the district. Some of the sculptures and monuments in Channakeshava temple at Belur and the Hoysaleshwara temple at Halebidu have been damaged by vandals. The ASI has blamed lack of manpower to fully guard the premises effectively. A blame game between the Department of Tourism and ASI has been ongoing.

Concerned people have complained that some of the protected temples are not in good condition including Keshava and Someshwara temples at Harnahalli, Nageshwara and Channakeshava temples at Mosale, Channakeshava (Allanatha) Temple at Kondajji. Some temples which are really worth visiting should be on the tourist circuit too they said. These are the Lakshminarasimha temple at Nuggehalli, Lakshmidevi temple at Doddagaddavalli and Lakshminarayana temple at Adagur.


  • A proposal has been sent to the government for the development of some Hoysala temples and tourist places, including Ramanathapura, Shanthigrama, Sriramadevarakatte and the Gorur Dam.
  • Develop eight parisara vana or environmental parks in eight taluks of the district.
  • Lion safari at Gendekatte forest in an area of 120 hectares.
  • Develop an 'eco-tourism at Belasinda forest area of Channarayapatna taluk on 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land.
  • Sandalwood conservation centre on 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) at Sriramadevarahalla of Belur taluk.
  • Eco-tourism in Bisle forest area of Sakleshpur taluk.
  • Medicinal plants park at Hirekallugudda forest area of Arsikere taluk.



Hassan airport is expected to be operational by 2015 and is expected cater to a passenger capacity of 3 million and cargo capacity of 100,000 ton yearly.[4] The airport will be an aircraft maintenance and modification (AMM) hub.[5]


The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation operates connecting Hassan with other parts of Karnataka as well as other states. Hassan is connected by road via national highway No. 48 to rest of the country. Hassan having the big KSRTC Bus stand, that bus stand was 2nd bus stand in the INDIA proud to be come from hassan


Hassan comes under the South Western Railway zone of the Indian Railways. Hassan City Railway station connect it to the rest of the country through the Indian Railways. Hassan is connected by rail to most cities in Karnataka, as well as Mumbai and other major cities in India.


Chennakeshava Temple, Belur

Bucheshwara Temple, 1173 ekakuta architecture Koravangla

Much of culture of Hassan district in the past is linked with the Hoysala and Ganga dynasty rulers who ruled over this area. Initially the Gangas were Hindus but by the time of king Shivamara II 785 CE., took to Jainism. The Hoysalas were Jains too and the mythical founder of the empire sala was said to be blessed by the Jain sage Sudatta Muni. Some of the successive rulers were also Jains until Ramanujacharya came to Hassan to escape persecution from the Cholas in early 12th century. During this time Vishnuvardhana was influenced by Ramanujacharya and accepted Hinduism, though his wife Shantaladevi continued to follow Jainism, setting an example of religious tolerance. In fact the Channigraya temple in Belur was commissioned by her during the time the nearby famous Chennakeshava temple was being built. This tolerance is alive even today and can be seen in the importance given by the district administration and people in general to Jain religious events like Mahamastakabhisheka, long after Jainism has ceased to be the main religious practice of this region. While Most of the Hoysala monuments in Hassan are Hindu, and date between the 11th c. - 13th c. CE, the monuments of Shravanabelagola are a colossal effort of the Jain Ganga dynasty who ruled from about 350 - 999 CE. and is one of the most important Jain pilgrimage sites for in India.

Today, Hassan is a largely agrarian community with a charm that is essentially similar to that of Mysore District, except the palaces and colonial buildings of Mysore are replaced with exquisite vesara monuments built by the Hoysalas. One does not have to travel more than a few kilometers to visit the next monument on the list.

Its cuisine is a mix of Mysore, Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada districts resulting in tasty specialities like midigayi pickle (small raw mango), sandige, avalakki (beaten rice), Kadabu (different types of Kadabu's are prepared from rice and cereals) and talipittu (akki rotti made of rice flour). About 5% of the total population are Muslims. A community of Hebbar Iyengars an ancient Brahmin community who settled in this area for more than a thousand years. An inscription in Shantigrama indicates that the founder was a Brahmin from Kashi. Hassan Iyengars, a different Brahmin community are well known all over south Karnataka for their tasty condiment preparations like cakes, puffs, biscuits and breads etc. Iyengar bakeries are a common feature in most towns and cities of Karnataka. Hassan is also called as Poor man's Ooty. Its Bisle ghat area has the same scenic beauty of the Nilgiri district of Tamil Nadu without the rapid and extensive commercialization. Hassan is a place where Kannada literature finds famous personalities like Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar.

Lakshminarasimha Temple, 1235 Haranhalli

Someshwara Temple, 1235 Haranhalli


Hassan has been a center for learning with its various Engineering, Medical, Arts, Commerce and Science Colleges and students from surrounding taluks and villages come here for education. Some of the famous high schools and colleges include:

  • Malnad College of Engineering
  • Arakalagudu Varadarajulu Kanthamma(AVK) College for Women
  • Government Science College
  • Government Engineering College(GECH)
  • Smt L.V Government Polytechnic College
  • Sri Venkateshwara PU College
  • NDRK College
  • Krishna Law College
  • Hassan Institute of Medical Sciences(HIMS)
  • Hasanamba Dental College
  • Aravinda High School
  • Government Boys High School
  • Green Wood English School
  • Holy Mother Convent
  • Kendriya Vidyalaya(KV) Hassan
  • Savithri Convent
  • Sri Ramakrishna Vidyalaya
  • St. Joseph's High School
  • Chiranthana School
  • Kuvempu School
  • Smt.Chennamma Industrial Traing Institute

Famous people[]

  • Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar, Kannada literature
  • Raja Rao, writer (English), Padma Vibhushan (2007) and Padma Bhushan (1969)
  • H.D. Deve Gowda, former prime minister of India
  • H.D.Kumaraswamy, former chief minister of Karnataka
  • Gorur Govinda Raju,Emeritus Professor, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
  • S.L. Bhairappa, Kannada literature
  • Dyavanur Manjunath, Kannada literature
  • Vishnuvardhana, Hoysala king
  • Veera Ballala II, Hoysala king
  • Veera Ballala III, Hoysala king
  • Narayana Gowda, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike state president.
  • Javagal Srinath, Former Indian cricketer.
  • David Johnson, Former Ranji Player
  • Dr.H.J.Lakkappa Gowda, Former Vice Chancellor of Hampi University.
  • Ashwath, Film Star
  • Shruthi, Film Actress
  • G. R. Gopinath, Founder of Air Deccan
  • doddanna, Film actor
  • deerendra gopal, film actor
  • Mylanahally Mangegowda, Vokkaligara HithaRakshana Vedike Founder and state President.

See also[]

  • Hoysala Dynasty
  • Hoysala architecture
  • Channarayaptna
  • Mavuthanahalli (Arasikere Taluk-Near Javagal) Sri Kariyamma Devi & Sri Mahalingeshwara Temple.


  • Dr. Suryanath U. Kamath (2001). A Concise History of Karnataka from pre-historic times to the present, Jupiter books, MCC, Bangalore (Reprinted 2002), OCLC: 7796041

External links[]

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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Hassan district. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.