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Incredible India-Lepakshi Pictures

by Harish Mohan on Oct.14, 2010, under Historic Sites

“Le Pakshi”– Rise Oh bird ,uttered Lord Rama to the wounded Jatayu who lost its wings to Ravanaasura.
said our guide in kannada & broken hindi,four friends stood mesmerized and those frames from the Myhological serial Ramayana passed through our minds a couple of times.
The story is just starting said our guide & he walked towards the corner of the temple to show us a small sculpture of a tortoise & then he said that the entire temple was constructed on a hill which resembled a tortoise.
We were in this small village called Lepakshi in Andhra pradesh.120 kms from Bangalore there was this small village were there stood a wonderful temple which had so much of stories hidden under its each stone.

Lepakshi temple is a notable example of the Vijayanagar style of architecture. Though the temple of Lepakshi 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.

India’s biggest monolithic Nandi stood at the entrance of this village.Its said that this temple had 7 rounds of corridor over a span of 175 acres were in earlier days pilgrims could come & rest.Now there are only 3 rounds which exists on around 5 acre of land.All the others have been occupied by the pilgrims who came to this place & they formed a mall village here.
This Nandi is supposedly in the 6th corridor.

Our Guide educated us on various incidents which were attributed to this temple & one of the most interesting one was about this monolithic snake structure which according to the legends were constructed in just 1 hour by the sculptures while their mother was cooking lunch for them.When mother finished cooking she saw this gigantic sculpture & could not believe what she was seeing & it seems that her evil eyes (bhoorii aankhein) fell on this sculpture & it was damaged then & there.

There are some cracks on this structure believed to be caused by the evil eyes.

Another very interesting place in this temple was the un-finished Kalyana Mantap which represents Shiva-Parvathy marriage & the pillars here depicts the various Gods & sages who supposedly have attended that marriage.

There is a tragic story which envelops this kalyan mantapa. Virupanna had to spend a great deal of money in building this stark monument, hence the treasury got depleted to a large extent. The jealous courtiers who knew this informed the King that Virupanna has misused the state treasury for his own personal projects. When Virupanna got wind of this news he foresaw cruel punishments from the King and hence he plucked out his eyes and crushed it against the walls of the very hall he was building.Even today there are two red spots on the western walls of this mariiage hall to mark this tragic episode

Every pillar here is a masterpiece.One of the most interesting one was that of the suspended pillar in the main hall supposed to be the reception hall of Shiva Parvathy marriage.

Also the depiction of Ramba dancing in the Natya Mantapa with her choreographer directing her by standing such that he is seen only by the dancer was brilliant.Just can’t imagine how some one would have thought all these.What an imagination.

The Main deity here is Veerabhadra Swamy & it seems that before having Darshan of this deity its important to pray to Ganesha & for this there is a huge Ganesha carved out of a single stone just outside the main temple.

This temple boasts of the best specimens of the Vijayanagar style of sculpture and mural paintings are found in the Natya and Kalyana Mandapams (dance and wedding halls).

The guide educated us for almost 2 hours & finally after a good Darshan & couple of photos Section we returned back.

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