The Veeranarayana Temple is another of the ancient monuments that make Gadag such an important tourist and pilgrim spot. This temple is dedicated to Maha Vishnu or Narayana. The main deity is called Veeranarayana, Sri Maha Vishnu in his warrior form. This temple reflects the styles of many different schools of architecture.
Veeranarayana Temple – History
The Hoysala King Bittideva was influenced by the great Vaishnava Saint Sri Ramanujacharya and converted to Vaishnavism from Jainism. He changed his name to Vishnuvardhana. He built several temples and this Veeranarayana temple is believed to be one among them. It is one of the Pancha Narayana Kshetras. The Kannada Poet Kumara Vyasa is believed to have composed his version of the Mahabharata in this temple.
Veeranarayana Temple – Architecture
The Veeranarayana Temple is an amalgam of various schools of architecture – Chalukya, Hoysala and Vijayanagara. The Vijayanagara style entrance courtyard leads to the Ranga Mandapa, with a Garuda Sthamba that is typical of Hoysala style. The inner mandapa and sanctum and the main tower are in Chalukya style.
The main deity, Veeranarayana is depicted in a magnificent standing form, with four hands, holding the Shanka, Chakra, Gadha and Padma. He is wearing the dhoti in the form of a Veera Kaccha that is in a style ready for battle. On either side of him stand Lakshmi and Garuda, much smaller figures.
How to Get to Veeranarayana Temple
Gadag is 60 km from Hubli, which has the nearest airport. Gadag is also well connected through the Rail and bus routes. The best time to visit the temple would be during the months after September when the weather will be pleasant.