Hoysala King Bittideva after taking religious vow from Shri Ramanujacharya became vaishnava. There is a traditional belief that according to his Guru’s order in 1117 A.D. he built Shri Veeranarayana temple. This is one among the Pancha Narayana temples he built.
Shri Veeranarayana temple is a beautiful mixtue of Chalukya, Hoysala and Vijayanagara sculptures. Garbhagruha and the top towe of the temple are models of Chalukya sculpture. GarudaGama and Rangamantap are in the manner of Hoysala sculpture. The main entrance gate of temple is of Vijaynagara art.
When we step in the main entrance gate which faces the East, there stands the Garuda Gamba. Behind the Garuda Gamba lies the Okali Well and near it are the Shrivaishnava tripundras. Facing it stands Garuda statue in Namaskara position.
Inside the Veeranarayana temple has many pillers with artistically carved pictures. The traditional belief says that sitting beneth one of these pillers Mahakavi Kumaravyasa wrote “Karnataka Bharatha Katha Manjari”.
Then comes the Madhyaranga, then Garbhagriha. In Garbhagudi Shri Veeranarayana statue carved In the dark blue shaded stone attracts everyone. Decorated with Kireeta, Karnakundala, Shankha, Chakra, Gadha, Padma and in the robe of Veeragachche, Veeranarayana stands protecting his Bhaktas with Abhayahasta. In his broad bosom is Laxmi, at the pedestrial aureole the Dashawathara and at both sides stand Laxmi and Garuda. In the courtyard of this temple, there are other small temples of gods and goddesses like Laxmi-Narasimha temple, Sarpeshwara temple and so on.