Belur is a small town located on the banks of River Yagachi, in Hassan District of Karnataka. Belur was the early capital of the Hoysala Empire. Belur is considered as the "Banaras of South India" and is thus also known as "Dakshina Varnasi".
The origin of the place is not known but Belur was once called as Velapuri during the Hoysala period.
The star-shaped Chennakeshava temple and its surrounding temples and monuments are the main attractions in Belur. The erstwhile capital of the Hoysalas, Belur was the city from where the Hoysalas once controlled major regions in South India. The Hoysalas were prolific temple builders and their reign led to a profusion of beautiful temples in and around Belur. Along with Halebid, the temples of Belur represent the architectural dexterity of the Hoysalas craftsmen. The Chennakeshava temple is one of the finest built using soft soapstone during the Hoysala period.
Bangalore is the nearest big town that is about 222 kms.