Vishnuvardhana was one of the greatest rulers of Hoysala Dynasty who ruled between 1108 A.D. and 1152 A.D. He succeeded his brother Veera Ballala I. He was the son of Ereyanga. He started to establish Hoysala as a separate kingdom. During his reign, Hoysalas began to defeat and annex neighbouring territories rather than fighting directly with their overlords, Chalukyas. His elder brother Veera Ballala was a greater mentor and advisor for Vishnuvardhana in the matters of administration and warfare.

Vishnuvardhana conquered the Chola province of Gangavadi and parts of Nalambavadi. He defeated the Nidugal Cholas and the Kongalavas and launched successful campaigns into the Kongu country and Nilgiris. He defeated the Chalukyan king Vikramaditya VI at Kennagala and Hallur, but was defeated by the Chalukya General Achugi and he had to accept Chalukyan sovereignty. After the death of Vikramaditya VI, he occupied many Chalukyan territories. He defeated the Adigaiman rulers who were feudatories of the Cholas at the battle of Talakad.

Vishnuvardhana had many titles like Veera Ganga and Talakaadu Konda. He was a Jain and his name was Bittideva. Vaishnavite Saint Sri Ramanujacharya visited his kingdom and he was greatly inspired by him and became a Vaishnavite. His wife Shantala Devi and many of his ministers remained Jains. He built the Chennakesava Temple at Belur to commemorate his victory against the Cholas. He also built a fort named Veerabhadra Fort at Santhy pety (bikkanahally) Tamil Nadu. He died in 1152 and succeeded by his son Narasimha I.