Hassan district

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This article is about the district. For its eponymous headquarters, see Hassan, Karnataka. For other uses, see Hassan.
Hassan district
ಹಾಸನ ಜಿಲ್ಲೆ
Male Nadu
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple 1246 Trikuta architecture, Nuggihalli
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple 1246 Trikuta architecture, Nuggihalli
Hassan district is located in Karnataka
Hassan district
Hassan district
Location in Karnataka, India
Coordinates: 13°N 76°E / 13°N 76°E / 13; 76Coordinates: 13°N 76°E / 13°N 76°E / 13; 76
Country  India
State Karnataka
Headquarters Hassan
Talukas Hassan, Holenarsipur, Arkalgud, Channarayanapatana, Sakleshpur, Belur, Alur, Arasikere
 • Official Kannada
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 573201
Telephone code 08172
Vehicle registration KA-13/KA-46
Website www.hassan.nic.in

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.

The place is called Hassan after the Goddess "Haasanamba", the goddess and presiding deity of the town. 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

Around 300 BCE Hassan was part of the Mauryan empire. Sage Bhadrabahu arrived from north India in the 3rd century BCE along with many ascetics marking the arrival of Jainism into Karnataka.


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. 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.

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.

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.

Hoysala architecture[edit]

Hoysaleshwara Temple, 1120 Ornate navaranga Halebidu
Main article: Hoysala architecture

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.


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. 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 the Kaveri river near Hampapura in the south east. Its chief tributary is the Yagachi River, from Belur taluka, which joins it near Gorur. Hemavathi passes through Holenarsipur taluq in a southerly direction and joins with the Kaveri 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.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Hassan District is administratively divided into eight talukas (Panchayat blocks): Alur, Arkalgud, Arsikere, Belur, Channarayapatna, Hassan, Holenarasipura (H.N. Pura) and Sakleshpur,[1] and 258 panchayat villages.[2]


Profile of the Kedareshwara temple at Halebidu

According to the 2011 census Hassan district has a population of 1,776,221,[3] roughly equal to the nation of The Gambia[4] or the US state of Nebraska.[5] This gives it a ranking of 270th in India (out of a total of 640).[3] The district has a population density of 261 inhabitants per square kilometre (680/sq mi) .[3] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 3.17%.[3] Hassan has a sex ratio of 1005 females for every 1000 males,[3] and a literacy rate of 75.89%.[3][6]



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.[7] The airport will be an aircraft maintenance and modification (AMM) hub.[8]


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. 75 to the rest of the country.


Hassan comes under the South Western Railway zone of the Indian Railways. Hassan City Railway station connects it to the rest of the country through the Indian Railways.


Chennakeshava Temple, Belur
Bucheshwara Temple, 1173 ekakuta architecture Koravangla

Shettihalli Rosary Church[edit]

The Shettihalli Rosary Church, which was submerged during the construction of the Gorur Dam can be seen only when the dam height is low during the summer months. The church was constructed by French Missionaries in the 1860s, and has a mighty and magnificent structure in the Gothic Architecture. In 1960, when the government decided to build the church, The bells of the Rosary Church fell silent. When the water level is low, sometimes coracles are used to go inside the church. Sadly the walls have of this beautiful church has been vandalised by miscreants.[9][10]


Famous people[edit]

Santeshivara Lingannaiah Bhyrappa is a Kannada novelist, whose works are immensely popular both within and beyond Karnataka. He is widely regarded as one of India's foremost modern-day writers.


Lakshmidevi Temple 1113 chatushkuta architecture, Doddagaddavalli
Sadashiva Temple 1246, ekakuta architecture, Nuggihalli
Lakshminarasimha Temple, 1235 Haranhalli
Someshwara Temple, 1235 Haranhalli
Profile of shrine in Lakshmi Narasimha temple at Nuggehalli
Chennakeshava Temple, 1117 Ornate pillars Belur


  1. ^ "Official Website of Hassan District". Hassan District Administration. 
  2. ^ "Reports of National Panchayat Directory: Block Panchayats of Hassan, Karnataka". Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India. 2011. Archived from the original on 14 November 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011: Hassan". Census2011.co.in. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  4. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. Gambia, The 1,797,860 July 2011 est. 
  5. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. Nebraska 1,826,341 
  6. ^ "City census 2011". Census-2011. 
  7. ^ "Profile". 
  8. ^ "Press release". 
  9. ^ "Rising out of the waters" (Bangalore). Deccan Herald. 13 October 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  10. ^ Singh, Gurdyal (2013). "Rosary Church at Shettihalli (emerges and submerges)". National Geographic Traveller. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 


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

External links[edit]