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hassan pilgrimageHassan in Karmataka is one of the most beautiful tourist places in India. Hassan was named after the presiding deity, Goddess Hasanamba. There is a famous temple dedicated to the Goddess in the heart of the town and it is opened to the public only once a year. Hassan is an important pilgrimage destination for the Jains and it has amazing heritage structures also.Since Hassan is situated at an elevation, it enjoys a rather pleasant weather all through the year. Hassan is the district headquarters of Hassan district. Hassan is known by the sobriquet "Poor Man's Ooty" for its scenic locales. Hassan in Karnataka in India has still preserved the remnants of the medieval era.

Hassan reflects the rich heritage and culture of South India expressed through its beautiful murals and sculptures. These sculptures belong to the Hoysala period that flourished during the 11th and 13th century and left behind an important impact on the architectural legacy. Home to the one of the venerated Jain structure, Hassan is probably the most sacred place in India for Jainism. The statue of Lord Bahubali the most visited center of attractions attracts is the largest monolithic statue in the world visited by the pilgrimages as well by the tourists. The holy town of Hassan also comes in limelight when the grand festival of Mahamastakabhisheka followed once in 12 years change the outlook of the city.
History of Hassan
The history of Hassan involves two of the greatest dynasties that ruled Karnataka, Western Ganga Dynasty of Talkad (350 - 999 CE.) and the Hoysala Empire (1000 - 1334 CE). Hassan was the seat of power for the Hoysala Empire that ruled large parts of south India in the 11th to the 13th century. The Hoysala rulers had built a huge number of temples during their reign and as many as fifty of these amazing sculptures and architectural structures survive today and are being looked after by the Archeology Survey of India. 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.
Air : Nearest airport is Bangalore, 185 km from the city of Hassan.

Rail : Hassan is well connected to the rest of the country by trains. The train station is 2 kms east of the town.

Road : Hassan is connected with good network of roads to nearby areas like Belur, Halebid, Shravanabelagola and to all other major cities of Karnataka. KSRTC runs regular buses between Bangalore (222 Km) and Mangalore (194 Km).
The weather in Hassan remains pleasant right through the year. Summers in Hassan are relatively warm with the maximum temperature exceeding to 35°C and minimum temperature hovering at around 20°C. April is the hottest month of the year. Winters are very pleasant and comfortable in Hassan with the maximum temperature resting at 31°C and the minimum temperature dipping to a low of 24°C. The region experiences plenty of rainfall in monsoons with the average downpour recorded around 700 mm.
Tourist Attractions
Hassanamba Temple
Hassanamba Temple is 800 years old and houses the main deity of Hassan. The temple is dedicated to Amba also known as Goddess Shakti. The goddess here is an anthill or (hutta in kannada) which denotes Hassanamba is actually goddess Parvathi. The Inner sanctum opens only once a year for two weeks during Deepavali and closes three days after Balipadyami. When the temple is closed they keep before the goddess a lit lamp two bags of uncooked rice, water and flowers. When the temple is reopened next year the rice is still good and the lamp will still be burning. Within the inner sanctum there is a very unusual image of Ravana with 9 heads playing veena.
Shravanabelagola is one of the most important pilgrim sites for Jains in India. Shravanabelagola is at a distance of around 50 Km from Hassan. The name 'Shravanabelagola' means 'the land of pond'. The town has a pond and is situated between two lofty hills called Chandragiri and Indragiri. Shravanabelagola is famous for the gigantic statue of Lord Bahubali, which is the tallest monolithic statue in the world. The height of the statue is around 17 m. The image was installed by Chavundaraya in 988 AD, who was the minister of Ganga King Rachamalla Sathyavakya. It is almost impossible to find a structure so grand and imposing anywhere in the world. The statue is located on the top of Indragiri hill. There are many more temples in the town that are considered sacred by Jains.

Throughout the year, inflow of pilgrims to Shravanabelagola is good. However, during the 'Mahamastakabhisheka', the number of pilgrims rises immensely. Mahamastakabhisheka is a Jain festival that is held every 12 years. The festival was recently concluded in the year 2006 and is scheduled next in 2018. During the event, the huge statue of Lord Bahubali is bathed in milk, sugarcane juice and saffron paste. Flower petals, sandalwood powder and turmeric powder are offered by devotees. The most awaited part of the festival comes at the end when the statue is showered with flowers from a helicopter.
District Museum
The District Museum at Hassan, established in 1977, preserves a great collection of archaeological antiquities. The museum is a small one but has a decent collection of sculptures, paintings, weapons, coins and inscriptions. The museum is located in the Maharaja Park.
Ramanathpur Temples
This is a holy town on the banks of River Cauvery. This temple town is also known as “Dakshin Kashi” for its many temples that are at the banks of the river. There are over 5 temples within walking distance of one another. The river has a rich variety of fishes, some of which are revered. Right behind the Rameshwara temple, there are steps leading to the river where one can feed the fish after buying fish feed from vendors. You can also spot many birds. It is said that there is a cave in the waterbed that one can enter during the summer months.
Shettyhalli Church
This church is said to have been built about 450 years and is in Gothic architecture. The church gets submerged by the Hemavathy River backwaters. However, the water recedes during the summer months and one can go into the crumbling church. During this time, once a year, prayers are held and lamp is light in the church. When the church is submerged, you may find a coracle that would take you closer to the church. The new church is built in Portuguese style in the town.
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