Sankaranarayanan is a combined form of Shiva and Vishnu. Legend has it that once Goddess Parvati performed intense austerities to see Shiva and Vishnu together. To please her, Shiva is believed to have appeared in the form of Sankara Narayana. Temples dedicated to the Sankaranarayana is mainly found in South India - Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Scholars are of the view that the murti of Sankara Narayana was an attempt to find peace among Shaiva and Vaishnava devotees.
Hindu religious scholars claim the murti explains the core teaching of Hinduism that all gods and goddess are one – the different forms are just manifestation of one single Supreme Being (Brahman).
An important prayer dedicated to the deity is the famous Sankara Narayana stotram.