Trip to Lepakshi – A Heritage Place

(Cont ..)

Around at 11 AM we started returning from Ghati to Dodballapur. After enquiring the local people about Lepakshi we came to know that there was a direct bus (Private Travels) from Dodballapur to Lepakshi. So we got into that bus at around 12 PM. I think ticket price is so economical, it is just 35 R/- per head. We reached Lepakshi crossing all the red soil roads with out much trouble. But route is not great at all. Bus cruised in very moderate speed as the route is not so great. Both of sides of the route we can see nice greenery paddy fields ones enter in Andhra Pradesh state. Sun was high up and showing off himself at his best. I was totally exhausted and hungry.

As mentioned in others travelogues there were no hi-fi restaurants or even hotels to have lunch in Lepakhi. One should be careful to plan the lunch/dinner while visiting this place. The best place I can suggest to have lunch or dinner in this trip is at Hindupur. You can find some what better hotels in Hindupur. Point to note here is “Don’t expect nice Andhra style foods though Hindupur is a Town in Andhra”. Hindupur just serves typical Karnataka style food.

At last we had our lunch in small hutch which villagers regarded as the best hotel in the village. It was unforgettable meal I had in my life; they served white rice with Dal and some chutney. I think it was unlimited meal but we had only ones I remember. Healthy part of it is he charged just 10 R/- for it and it is the biggest surprise I had in the whole trip. This hotel is located just in the right corner for the entrance street of main temple.

Then we quickly headed towards main temple with out wasting any time. The temple was on top of a hill (Kurmasila) and some of the parts of temple are half built. But as a whole it’s a wonderful peaceful place where we can see the fantastic architecture and scriptures. People like me; who are in love with history about places have to take a guide for sure. I feel archeology department can still spend some more money to develop this village and improve tourism here. This temple was constructed by “Virupanna” in the 16th century. Veerabdra is the main god in the temple and idol is such a huge one.

One should marvel at the art and scriptures in the temple, it reflects the talent and brilliance of our ancestors in many aspects say art, culture and vaastu etc. I was totally enthralled while watching the “Floating pillar” and a special painting of Lord Sri krishna on top of a roof. The specialties of that paint is that – Stand at any side of the paint and observe it, Bala krishna’s eyes in the painting will stare at you only. We can many best mural paintings here; include many Hindu gods, musicians, painters and some other famous personalities (kings) in the history.

This temple is again an added credit to Vijayangara Samrajyam – Sri Krishna Devaraya. It reminded me my visit to “Hampi”. One should gawk at the beauty of the paintings and carvings. The monolithic Nandi situated outside the village facing towards the Siva linga in main temple is quite famous and most of us know about it. The talent of the architect who made this nandi is that – One can see the Siva linga in main temple from this Nandi itself. Nandi here is 15 feets tall and 27 feets high, it is the largest monolithic Nandi in the world.

In the evening at 4 PM after visiting this monolithic Nandi we reached Hindupur by a local bus and from there we got into Banglore direct bus. The route from Hindupur to Bangalore is quite good. Really I should thank our guide who gave clear history picture about the temple who reminded us the Jataayu pakshi story in Ramyana, Ideal man and woman characteristics, designs of Dharmavaram series and Vijayanagra dynasty’s glory.

One can stay in AP tourism guest house if looking for accommodation. The best travel route I can suggest is to reach Hindupur from Bangalore and then take some local vehicles from Hindupur to Lepakshi as Lepakshi is just 15 KM from Hindupur.

History Reference: http://www.anantapur.com/travel/lepakshi.html

Lepakshi consists of three shrines dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and 'Virabhadra'. On one of the hillocks near the place is known as "Kurma Saila" (tortoise shaped hill), are located the temples of 'Papanatheswara', 'Raghunatha', 'Srirama', 'Veerabhadra' and 'Durga', of which the Veerabharadra temple is the most important.

Veerabhadra temple is a notable example of the Vijayanagar style of architecture. A reference is made in the 'Skandapurana' to Lepakshi as one of the hundred and eight important 'Shaiva Kshetras' (shrines). Though the temple of Veerabhadra is claimed to have been constructed by Saint 'Agastya' himself, it was developed into the present exquisite shrine by 'Virupanna', the treasurer of the Vijayanagar Kings.He conceived the idea as he found the image of Veerabhadra.

He executed the plan in the absence of the king and used the treasure when he was away at Vijayanagar. When the construction was almost finished and it was being supervised the king returned and found the treasure empty. The king ordered, as a punishment to this heinous crime, that he should be blinded. The treasurer being a loyal person carried out the punishment spot with his own bands.

Even today one can see two dark stains upon the wall near the 'Kalyana Mandapa', which are said to be the marks made by his eyes, which he himself dashed against the wall. The builder did not survive for a long time and the village is called "Lepa-akshi Lepakshi", i.e., a village of the blinded eye.

The temple is divided into three parts - the 'Mukha Mandapa', (also called 'Nitya Mandapa' or 'Ranga Mandapa'), the 'Artha Mandapa' and 'Garbha Griha', and the 'Kalyana Mandapa', with 38 carved monolithic pillars in grey sandstone is unfinished. These three form a triangle with a common Mandapam.

As per local legend Lord Shiva and Parvati were married on the spot where the Kalyana Mandapa stands. The temple is surrounded on all sides by an outer enclosure. A second inner enclosure contains the main portion of the temple. Its finest parts are the 'Natya' (Dancing) and 'Ardha' (worship) Mandapas. The former is decorated with superbly sculptured pillars on, which are carved life-size representations of musicians and dancers in various poses displaying spirit and vigour. The Kalyana Mandapam is a standing monument to the exuberance of Vijayanagar art but it is left unfinished.

The best specimens of the Vijayanagar style of sculpture and mural paintings are found in the Natya and Kalyana Mandapams (dance and wedding halls). These sculptures depict puranic episodes like those of 'Ananthasayana', 'Dattatreya', 'Chaturmukha Bramha', 'Tumburu', 'Narada' and 'Rambha'.

24Jan09Ghati Subramanya Lepakshi

Interestingly, we have a website with a collection of detailed articles about temples in India. For your readers, it may be useful to go through our articles of the temples like Lepakshi Temple (https://www.myoksha.com/lepakshi) This link maybe used as a reference by your readers for some information about services, pooja timings, transportation to the temple etc. We will be happy if your users can get some more information through us in any way we can help.


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