Built in the 11th century, Veeranarayana Temple is one of the most prominent shrines located in Gadag. Dedicated to Maha Vishnu or Narayan, the idol present in the temple displays the warrior form of the deity. A statue of Veeranarayana, wearing dhoti, is present in battle-ready position holding Chakra, Shanka, Gadha and Padma in his four hands. Tourists can see smaller idols of Lakshmi and Garuda on both sides of the main deity.
This temple is suggested to all tourists who are inclined towards history and religion. It is believed that this temple is one of the Pancha Narayana Kshetras and was built by the Hoysala King Bittideva in 1117 A.D. The king built the temple, changed his name to Vishnuvardhana and converted himself to Vaishnavism from Jainism after getting influenced by Sri Ramanujacharya, a Vaishnava Saint. Kumaravyasa is said to have written the Mahabharata in Kannada language at this temple.
Veeranarayana Temple showcases various styles of architectures, such as Chalukya, Hoysala and Vijayanagara. The entrance of the temple that leads towards Ranga Mandapa is in the Vijayanagara style, while the Garuda Sthamba reflects Hoysala style. Its inner mandapa, sanctum and main tower exhibit the Chalukya style of architecture.