Wonders of Lepakshi Temple

14th Apr 2019
Photo of Wonders of Lepakshi Temple by Simi
Day 1
Drive from Bangalore to Lepakshi

Lepakshi is a village in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located approximately 120 km (75 mi) north of Bangalore.

"Le pakshi" said Lord Rama to Jatayu, the bird, asking it to get up. Ravana had chopped off its wings and Lord Rama found the bird fallen right here in this village. That's why it's called Lepakshi.

The Veerabhadra temple is in Lepakshi. Built in the 16th century, the architectural features of the temple are in the Vijayanagara style with profusion of carvings and paintings at almost every exposed surface of the temple. It is one of the centrally protected monumemts of national importance. The temple was built in 1530.

Nandi at Basvanna Temple

There is a very large Nandi (bull), mount of Shiva, about 200 metres (660 ft) away from the temple which is carved from a single block of stone, which is said to be one of the largest of its type in the world. At 27ft in length and 15ft in height, it is a colossal structure, reputedly India’s biggest monolithic Nandi.

Photo of Wonders of Lepakshi Temple by Simi

The Hanging pillar of Lepakshi Temple

As you walk through the temple, you arrive at a pillar which does not rest on the ground fully.There are about 70 pillars at this fabulous 16th-century temple of stone in Vijayanagar style, but this one is the best known and a tribute to the engineering genius of ancient and medieval India’s temple builders. However, it is a bit dislodged from its original position. A paper or a thin piece of cloth can be passed from below the pillar and it comes out absolutely unhindered at the other end.

Photo of Wonders of Lepakshi Temple by Simi

The Shivling of Lepakshi Temple

From near this pillar, you can step out in the courtyard of the temple. Now, you are in the backside of the main temple. From here, walk towards the right, and take a turn at the end towards right once more. You will soon witness a huge Shivling. But the Shivling is also hooded under a multiface snake (the naag). This is a unique Shivling. We haven’t witnessed any such Shivling in the rest of the country so far.

Photo of Wonders of Lepakshi Temple by Simi

The incomplete Kalyan Mandapa of Lepakshi Temple

After crossing the Shivling you will arrive at a structure that looks incomplete. It is a Kalyan Mandapa (a marriage hall). It is said the if this Kalyan Mantapa had been completed, Lord Shiva and Ma Parvati’s marriage would have happened here. It’s construction was started by the then King’s accountant while the king himself was on a trip. When the King came back, he was utterly furious with the accountant for having spent the kingdom’s money on this construction without the King’s knowledge or approval (I feel it was more of an ego clash that the king had). He immediately ordered the Kalyan Mandapa construction to be stopped. And so it remains incomplete, till date.

Photo of Wonders of Lepakshi Temple by Simi

Sita’s footprints inside the Lepakshi Temple campus

Moving further , after crossing the Kalyan Mandapa, you will arrive at a huge footprint in the temple floor. Almost as if someone stamped with strength on the floor. This footprint is believed to be of Goddess Sita. Interestingly, this footprint is always wet. You can see water from underneath constantly sipping and washing this foot. Although, the source of this water is unknown. Yet, it is believed that since it is the footstep of the divine Goddess, the water appears magically as a sign of respect to her. And you can try to dry or wipe out the water, it slowly seeps back into place.

It is said that when Ravana was abducting Goddess Sita, and taking her to Sri Lanka, they stopped at this temple to rest for a while. That is believed to be the source of the footprint that is seen in the floor of the temple premises.

Photo of Wonders of Lepakshi Temple by Simi

Check out the video for complete experience.