Lepakshi – A Hidden Treasure


Lepakshi is a little temple located a couple of hours away from Hindupur, Andhra Pradesh. The temple is also known for its ‘hanging pillar’ – a stone, carved pillar which doesn’t touch the ground!

This sleepy little place is a functional temple, with several Hindu deities – Veerabadra Swamy, Shiva and Kali included. Monkeys inhabit the place and love hanging off one of the many pillars.

Photo of Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh, India by Sushantika

We opted for a morning train, the Vijaywada Passenger which plies from Cantonement Railway station to Hindupur. Though one can purchase tickets the morning of the trip, it’s advisable to book them in advance to avoid being chased away from your seat by greedy passengers.

The train journey lasts about 3 hours and is a slow, calm one. The train halts at several stations for awhile but it has its own charm.

Photo of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India by Sushantika

How to get there

Once you get off at Hindupur, you can negotiate with one of the many autorickshaws to take you to the temple, wait for about an hour and drive to you back. Our auto-driver wanted about INR 400 for this. While a one-way drop alone will cost you INR 300.

The Lepakshi temple is some 15 kms away from the Hindupur train station. The auto ride is pleasant thanks to the broad, empty roads.

Photo of Lepakshi – A Hidden Treasure by Sushantika

You won’t realise you’ve arrived because the temple lies within a tiny by-lane. Once you enter the temple, you’re immediately greeted by stone carved walls, monkeys and a large wooden door. As you make you will be distracted by the lovely carvings on the wall which often vary from wall-to-wall.

The temple has a few priests who will be happy enough to explain to you the significance of the main idol – Veerabadra Swamy, who will most likely be decked in lovely flowers. The earnest priests do the ‘pujas’ as you offer prayers to the deities.

Photo of Lepakshi – A Hidden Treasure by Sushantika

The outside of the temple has monoliths and pillars which each have different carvings on them. There is also an elevated section which has sand on the ground (the rest of the temple is on rock).

Don’t miss the beautiful tree outside with its distinct shape. I wonder the stories it will tell if it could only talk. It takes around an hour to take in the sights. Perhaps longer if you prefer to analyse the carvings on the wall.

Returning to Bangalore

As you exit the peaceful temple and make your way to the main road, you will find several buses passing by. If your plan is to return to Bangalore by 5 pm, you can catch the private bus which arrives at 1:30 pm IST. Be ready to be pushed aside by other travelers who are in a hurry to grab a coveted seat.

Photo of Lepakshi – A Hidden Treasure by Sushantika

The route takes you through little villages with passengers climbing on and off at various ‘stops’ by calling out to the bus driver. This is truly a budget trip and costed around INR 1000 for 3 people!

Have you been to Lepakshi? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments section below.

This post was originally published on Vegetarian Trails.