It is well known that the life and times of Sri Vadiraja Swamy was full of miraculous and unbelievable events. One such event is associated with the construction of the Trivikrama Temple at Sode.
The ruler of Swadi (as Sode was known then) requested Sri Vadiraja Swamy to construct a temple as there existed no Vishnu temple at that place. Sri Vadiraja Swamy asked the king to start construction of a temple and gave him the necessary instructions. When people questioned Swamiji on the idol, he told them that the idol of Sri Trivikrama would come to Sode from Uttara Badari (in the Himalayas). He told them that the idol is being worshipped by Sri Madhvacharya and the same was seen by him when he visited him and Sri Vyasa in Badari.
It is believed that the idol was brought to Sode by Sri Bhutaraja. Bhutaraja started bringing the entire Garbha Gudi (sanctum sanctorum) of the temple from Badari. The structure is in the form of a stone chariot. On the way, he is supposed to have been stopped by a demon. Sri Bhutaraja used one of the wheels of the stone chariot to destroy the demon and made it on time to Sode. Even today, one can find that the stone chariot structure housing the idol in the temple has just three wheels. Devotees visiting Sode must definitely visit this temple and observe the unique stone chariot and the three wheels. I believe there is just one other temple (somewhere in Tamil Nadu) where the idol is placed in a chariot like structure.
Another interesting story associated with this temple has to do with the huge pillar (known as Garuda Kambha) in front. This pillar is at least 30-40 feet long and when observed from a distance, it appears tilted towards one side. This pillar was established by Sri Veda Vedya Thirtha, the successor of Sri Vadiraja Swamy. The installation of the pillar kept failing for some unknown reason. The pillar just could not stand erect. People are believed to have tried to install this for several days and failed. One night, Sri Veda Vedya Thirtha had a dream and Sri Vadiraja Swamy told him to carve his picture on one side of the pillar. He also instructed him that the picture should be that of him being seated on a Hamsa (swan). Sri Veda Vedya Thirtha got this done the next day and lo and behold, the pillar stood firm.
To this day, there has been no problem with the pillar. Ensure you give this pillar a close inspection and observe the carvings on the same.