Legends and Mythology
According to Hindu mythology, the idol of Vishnu (moolavar) in the Tirunarayana temple was originally worshipped by Lord Brahma. It is believed to have been brought down to earth and installed at Melkote by Brahma’s son, Sanathakumara.
Legend has it that the festival idol (utsavar) of Lord Vishnu was worshipped by Lord Rama himself, who got it from Brahma. In view of Rama’s reverence for the Narayana’s idol, it gained the name ‘Ramapriya’.
The Ramapriya idol was later inherited by Kusha’s daughter Kanakamalini, who was married to a Yadava King. Lord Krishna and Balarama (belonging to Yadava family) inherited this idol in Dwapara yuga. It is believed that they brought the idol to Melkote and installed it in the temple there.
The Yoga Narasimha temple on Yadavagiri is believed by some to have been installed by Prahalada, a great devotee of Lord Vishnu.