The Hoysaleswara temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, who is the destroyer of the Universe as per Hinduism. This temple was built during the 12th century and the Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana built it. During the 14th century the Muslims invaded Halebidu and looted its riches and wealth. The temple was razed and neglected by the rulers. Hoysaleswara was also referred to as Dwarasamudra or Dorasamudra. The distance from Belur to Halebidu is about 16 kilometres; Hassan to Halebidu is about 31 kilometres
Hoysaleswara Temple has two shrines, one dedicated to Hoysaleswara and another for Shantaleswara (named after Shantala Devi, queen of King Vishnuvardhana). Standing on a raised platform, the temple is made out of Chloritic Schist (Soapstone, also known as potstone). Both of the shrines are located next to each other, facing the east direction. The shrine comprises the Shiva lingam (phallic form of Lord Shiva), the universal symbol of Lord Shiva
The Shiva and Parvathi temple was built by King Vishnuvardhana. It was the Shaivas who contributed money and wealth for building this beautiful temple. During this time, the Chennakesava temple which was a Vaishnava temple was being built. The building of the Hoysaleshwara temple was carried out as a competition to the Chennakesava temple. The temple has a very big tank which was built during the 11th century. The water to this tank is supplied from the Yagachi River.