Unlike the holy shrines, like
Kedarnath or Kanyakumari, this temple neither claims celestial connections, nor
visitation by poet-saints. The cause of its emergence said to have links between
Ramanuja of Visishtadwaita and the builder Battideva of Hoyasala dynasty is not
corroborated by historical proof, yet there is evidence that Ramanuja's magnetic
influence forming the bedrock upon which this superb sculptural piece is built.
The story goes that the Hoyasalas, the rulers of this region were staunch
supporters of Jainism which came along with Chandragupta Maurya, as early as in
the 3rd Century BC and got entrenched itself with headquarters at
Sravanabelagola - the seat of Bhadrabahu, the renowned teacher of Chandra Gupta.
It spread rapidly in this region under the patronage of powerful monarchs of
Kadamba dynasty first, valorous Gangas and Kongalvas later. Hoyasalas who rose
to power and held it for more than four centuries from tenth century were Jains
in the beginning. Their religious toleration was worthy of emulation.