Situated in the state of Karnataka, Hassan is a city which houses the Indian Space Research Organisation’s master control facility. The city dates back to the 11th century when it was founded by Channa Krishnappa Naik.Hassan gets its name from Goddess Haasanamba, the main deity of the region, who also has a temple dedicated to her by the name of Hasanamba Temple.
This region was ruled by the Hoysala Dynasty from the 11th century to the 14th century during which this city was founded. The early Hoysala kings who ruled most of South India during their peak period belonged to the Jain faith, but historical findings suggest that they later shifted to being Shaiviks.
Belur, an important tourist place in Hassan, is said to have been one of the first capitals of the Hoysala Empire. The famous Chennakesava Temple Complex and the Kappe Chennigraya Temple are both situated in Belur and attracts a lot of pilgrims every year. The Chennaesava Temple Complex houses the Chennakesava Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu as the centre piece, surrounded by the Kappe Chennigraya temple built by Shantaladevi, queen of king Vishnuvardhana. Chennakesava literally translates into ‘handsome Vishnu’.
Shravanabelagola is yet another important pilgrimage centre for Jains in Hassan. Shravanabelagola is a city located in the Hassan district that saw great artistic, architectural and sculptural development and creativity during its peak time under the able patronage of Gangas of Talakad. The 57 feet monolithic statue of the Bhagavan Gomateshwara Bahubali which is considered to be world’s largest monolithic stone statue was erected by Chavundaraya, a general of King Gangaraya. The ceremony of Mahamastakabhisheka, which sees the statue covered in milk, curds, ghee, saffron and gold coins is conducted every twelve years, which sees thousands of devotees congregate here to perform this ceremony. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2018.
Hassan is well connected with all major cities in Karnataka by road. Private bus operators as well as the Karnataka State Bus Transport Service operating buses between Hassan and most of the major cities of the region and are a reliable means of transportation. Hassan does not have an airport of its own, the nearest airport being in the cities of Mysore and Bangalore, which are approximately 115 km and 117 km away respectively. Most of its railway lines are used for the transportation of goods and only a small part is dedicated to express trains to carry passengers.