The temple was built in the year 1224 by ‘Polalva’ a minister of Hoysala King Veera Narasimha II. It is believed that the consecration of Lord Harihara, a fusion of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu was carried out later in the year 1268 by ‘Soma’ who was a commander of Hoysala King Narasimha III.
The temple stands on the banks of river Tungabhadra and is affected to a great extent by encroachment. The road leading to the temple is very narrow and crowded.
- The temple consists of an attractive Sabhamantapa, Navaranga, Antarala and Sanctum.
- The Navaranga has 2 more entrances on either side. These entrances have attractive Mukhamantapa but remain closed always.
- The Mukhamantapas on either side of Navaranga have attractive carvings on outer sides similar to those on the Sabhamantapa.
- The doorjamb of Antarala is of Trishakha type consisting of perforated windows and a Gajalakshmi motif on the lintel.
- The door of Sanctum has simple decorations.
- The original Shikhara (Tower) has collapsed long back.
Bottomline: According to a legend, a demon named Guhasura once lived in these parts. He successfully appeased Lord Brahma and obtained a boon, by virtue of which, it would be impossible for either Hari(Vishnu) or Hara(Shiva) to kill him. In order to eliminate Guhasura, Vishnu and Shiva together took the form of Harihara and killed the demon.