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A visit to Lepakshi

Lepakshi, a small village situated on Andhra Pradesh – Karnataka border is famous for the Veerabhadra temple and its “floating pillars”. The shrines here, dedicated to various hindu gods are centuries old ( > 500 years) and are therefore of significant importance, both archaeologically and culturally. According to legend, Lord Rama helped the wounded Jatayu attain moksha here by uttering the words “le pakshi“, which is Telugu for “rise, bird”. Hence the name, Lepakshi.

Trip Itinerary
T
he idea was to cover two sites, Gudibande fort and Lepakshi in a single day and back to bangalore by sundown. Accomplished!!

Leave BLR – 8am  –>  Reach Gudibande 10 am
Trek (Up + down) – 12 pm (2 hours)
Leave for Lepakshi post lunch – 12.30 pm –> Reach Lepakshi – 1.30 pm
Cover Lepakshi (2 hours)
Leave Lepakshi – 3.30 pm –> Reach Bangalore – 5.30 pm

Reaching Lepakshi
I
t is about 15kms from the NH7 (Bangalore- Hyderabad Highway). Take a left on the highway and it is more or less a straight route to Lepakshi. Continuing from Gudibande,  we started off post lunch at about 12.30 pm. Knowing that lepakshi was only an hour away, this was a well thought of decision. We reached lepakshi at about 1.30 pm. Again a Navigaton app should be of use here.

Popular Tourist Destinations
1. Lepakshi Nandi
The first spot where one halts and is located right at the entrance of lepakshi town. Can’t miss it. The importance ? It is the largest Nandi statue ( 4.5m high and 8.23m long) in India and made of a single piece of granite. The government has built a sort of mini park around it wherein people can just relax as well. It is fairly well maintained. It is quite close (A couple of hundred metres) to the main lepakshi temple (Veerabhadra temple). It was rather difficult to get a good shot (with people crowding the place for selfies with the granite bull :))
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Nandi at the entrance to lepakshi village
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2.Veerabhadra temple
T
he Veerabhadra temple , more famously known as just the lepakshi temple is situated 200 meters from Nandi statue. Almost 4oo years old and built with architectural style remnant of the vijaynagara empire, the murals, painting and sculptures depict stories of ramayana and mahabharata. A narrow on the left from the main road takes you to the entrance of main temple. The sides of the narrow road have multiple shops and hawkers selling a variety of items including some “pooja” items.

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The first sculpture that you notice as soon you enter is of course the ones at the entrance gopuram. Some of the heads of sculptures were missing ! . The gopuram entrance leads to the main temple entrance directly. So instead we decided to take a stroll around the temple first keeping the main attraction for last. The main temple is surrounded by a large courtyard. Somewhere along the courtyard are inscriptions on ground. A lot of people were just sitting near the pillars and having lunch. Not really supportive of such an activity around an old historical site.

Beyond the courtyard and just strolling around the temple pillars, we located the “hanuman’s foot”. Although Some say it is not hanuman’s but Sita’s. Guess that will remain a mystery. An associated mystery is as to how the imprint remains wet..supposedly all the time. Well, something to ponder about when you are there.

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Hanuman’s foot

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As you stroll around, you come across the unfinished kalyan mantapam. According to legend, the main architect Virupanna ran out of funds while trying to build & complete the temple without the king’s consent. Virupanna pretty much emptied the treasury. And thus the incomplete temple. Regardless the sculpted pillars are beautiful.

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We visited the main temple next. The sculpted pillars greet us again. The roof of the main temple has a beautiful circular engraving. For reasons yet unknown to me, people were busy taking selfies and photos with main deity despite specific instructions not to. Inside the main temple, there are multiple deity statues of various deities including veerabhadra, Durga, Hanuman etc.

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Last but not least, the floating pillars! ;  one of the highlights of the Veerabhadra temple, the pillar apparently “floating” above the ground. The one floating pillar that I did find was actually supported by a point wherein it touched the ground i think.So it wasn’t floating, not really. 🙂 Well atleast I don’t think so.

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There is well maintained park which surrounds the veerabhadra temple.

Restaurants at Lepakshi
Something that is worth mentioning here is that there are almost no decent restaurants or locations to eat in Lepakshi (Not that we found since we searching for them) ; the only one we found was maintained by Andhra Tourism and it is right next to the lepakshi Nandi. Traditional South Indian Thali priced at 92 rupees (at the time of the blog). Decent enough but I suspect that the owner is fleecing given the pricing but can’t be sure though. Anyways be sure to pack food since there isn’t much “choice”.

Overall lepakshi can be covered in approximately 2 to 3 hours easily. Given its reasonable proximity to Bangalore, it makes for a good weekend getaway.
Have fun !

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One response

  1. Pingback: Trek up Gudibanda Fort | travellers guide to the planet

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