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.
Trikuteshwar Temple, Gadag
The Trikuteshwar temple which is also called ‘Swayambhu Ishwara’. ‘Tripurusha’. ‘Swayambhu Trikuteshwar’ is built in 1002 A.D. This is of Kalyana Chalukya Architecture and Chalukya, Hoysala, Vijayanagara dyanasties gave importance to the development of this temple. Facing to the East, Trikuteshwara stands in the garbhagriha. This is explained as swayambhu Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwaras’ replica in the ‘Kruthapura Mahathme’.
With minute beautiful carvings, 42 pillars stand Sabhamantapa, antarala and the entrance gates are built. Sabhamantapa, anatarala and the entrance gate doors are decorated with beautifully carved sculptures. Statues of dancing Ganapathi, brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, Karthikeya, Gajalakshmi, Mahakali, Manmatha, Bhairava on both outer and inner walls of the temple attract everyone. Dancing Ganapathi with six hands, Ashta Matrikas in dancing pose, pairs standing with Shivalinga in their palm statues are also carved. These are the very rare patterns of Chalukya and Hoysala art. On the North-East of the sabhamantapa beautiful Nataraja statue stands.