Lepakshi – Drive from Bangalore : One of the weekend we had planned a road trip to Lepakshi with our friends. Let me describe the entire road trip from Bangalore to monoliths of Lepakshi.
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Nestled in the southern part of India, in the state of Andhra Pradesh, lies a cultural and architectural gem that has stood the test of time and continues to mesmerize visitors with its grandeur and intricate artwork. The Lepakshi Temple, dedicated to Lord Veerabhadra, is a stunning example of Vijayanagara architecture and a testament to the artistic brilliance of ancient India.
One day road trip from Bangalore
We searched for many locations to go for one day road trip. Some we have already visited & some are far from Bangalore. So finally we decided to go to Lepakshi.
Around 8am in the morning we started from home, On the way we picked up our friends and headed towards Yelahanka. As kids were sleeping we decided to have breakfast a little later.
Once kids were up, we had breakfast at Udupi Swada hotel and again headed towards Lepakshi. The total journey was around 3 hours including the time taken for breakfast. Before 11.30 we were there in Lepakshi. On the way many places they have dug up the road for constructing new roads. As usual traffic has to commute in single road for some distance.
Where is Lepakshi?
Lepakshi is a village in Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, India. Located 130 km from Bangalore approximately. You can drive to Monoliths of Lepakshi.
How to reach Lepakshi?
Drive – It’s better to drive and go to Lepakshi as the road is good and distance is not much from Bangalore.
Train – If you are travelling by Train, Hindupur railway station is a nearby railway station. from there you can hire a taxi or go by bus.
Bus – Lepakshi is well connected by buses to Anantpur, Hindupur & Bangalore.
Where to eat?
Hotel Nandagokula Veg,
You have one or two Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) on the way.
Let’s go back to the History of Lepakshi Temple
Lepakshi is culturally and archaeologically significant as it is the location of shrines dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Veerabhadra which were built during the Vijayanagara Kings period (1336–1646).
The name refers to a phrase in Telugu, ‘Le Pakshi’ word literally means ‘Rise Bird’. As the legend goes those were uttered by Lord Rama. As the story dates back to the Ramayana – Sita abducted by Ravana a demon king of Lanka, a vulture named ‘Jatayu’ tried to stop the demon. Unfortunately Jatayu wounded and fell down in this village. When Lord Rama followed the trail of abduction, he saw the wounded Jatayu and said ‘Le Pakshi’ (Rise Bird) that’s how the name came to this place.
Attractions at Monoliths of Lepakshi :
The village existed earlier but the structures like Nandi looks like recent one. But the Veerabhadra temple dates back to the 16th century as we can see the Vijayanagara Architectural style.
Naga Shiva Linga
One of the most striking structures in the Lepakshi temple is the monolith Naga Shiva Linga (a multi headed snake protecting the shiva linga).
At the center of the verandah is a statue of Lord Ganesha in a cubicle. As in any Hindu temple the first prayer is offered to Lord Ganesha and here too you can see a huge idol of Him.
The back of Shiva Linga is the unfinished Kalyana Mantapa. Just pillars erected with beautiful carvings in it. It is believed that there was a misunderstanding between the King and Virupanna. When the King found his treasury empty and blamed Virupanna for spending out everything on the temple. In ancient days when someone is found the culprit they would be blinded. Virupanna blinded himself by plucking his eyes out and throwing them on the walls.
Each pillar in the Mantapam and pillar in the Natya Mantapam are having different carving on each. But mostly all are related music & dancing.
Of the numerous ornate pillars that support the roof of the temple, there is one pillar that has puzzled engineers for ages. It’s the hanging pillar, a pillar that supports the roof without touching the ground. If you have heard about it before as I had, let me warn you that it’s not easy to spot. The gap is minimal and can only be tested by passing a piece of paper beneath the pillar.
It is one of the most peculiar things about the temple is its hanging pillar. It is suspended in the main hall which is said to be the hall of reception for Shiva and Parvati’s marriage. The miraculous thing about the pillar is that Among the 70 pillars of the Lepakshi Temple, this pillar is a salute to the makers of the temple.
Murals on the ceiling
The roof of this dancing hall has murals depicting different stories. If you look at the ceiling it will reveal gorgeous paintings. The details in these paintings are still vivid owing to the vegetable colours they have used.
Giant footprint of Sita
History as said above Ravan was taking Sita away and one of the giant foot print is seen here. It is said to be the footprint at Lepakshi temple is that of Sita Devi.
Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the footprint of Sita here.
Bull or Nandi
As you enter the village you first see the big statue of Nandi, which faces towards Lepakshi temple.
Nandi is the gate guardian of Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva. So it’s befitting for the giant bull statue to be standing outside the Veerabhadra temple. The area near the statue has been developed into a beautifully curated park with a small pond nearby.
Jatayu statue is built on the tortoise shaped hill called Koorma Shailam. It was late in the afternoon, hot sun was on our head. So we thought to skip going to the top of the hill.
Video of Lepakshi – Drive from Bangalore | Lepakshi Temple
We started from the Lepakshi to Bangalore, and had lunch at hotel Nandi Upachar on the way.
Suggested Read : Ooty-Coonoor itinerary | 3 days 2 nights in Coonoor
Lepakshi is perfect day outing from Bangalore. If you have visited, do share your experiences in the comments. If you haven’t visited then plan a Drive to Monoliths of Lepakshi
Stay tuned for more travel blogs. 🙂