Saturday 7 June 2014

A Bird without Wings@ LEPAKSHI

           I have started my journey towards the India’s most famous monument Lepakshi, in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. I always had a thought that it was just a monument constructed in some golden era of Indian kings. But this has more good history than what I expected. My Journey started from 
Bangalore à Hindupur àLepakshi.

         I came to know that there are more temples in the way of road, so preferred going by road. It’s just a distance of 120Km from Bangalore. I have taken the beautiful pics taken in the trip and though I didn’t provide the detail of newly constructed temples, you can see images here. Let’s Start on ride.

         It’s a beautiful road around. On the way just nearer to Hindupur a newly constructed temple of lord shiva exists. It has a huge statue of Lord Shiva , many Lingas and all together an good premises. We have rested here for a while and this temple served us with the real purpose of constructing. Yes temples are infact designed in those days for the people who come to visit a new place on any purpose. This is sacred place and hence they just used to concentrate only on which work they came.

          Started our way to Hindupur and reached in just 15mins. It’s a small town and very near we have Dharmavaram. Dharmavaram is famous for Silk Sarees. From here a U-turn to Lepakshi is taken. Another 20mins we reached Lepakshi which is one among the 108 sacred places of Lord shiva. Sage Agastya stayed here in a cave on the kurmashila hill while visiting the sacred places in south of Vindhya Mountain. It is located very near to Siddapura, Jatinga Rameshvar, Brahmagiri, yerragudi  which are connected to emperor Ashoka.

         Firstly we visited the famous Veerabhadra temple. This temple is constructed in Vijayanagara architectural style by brothers Viranna and Virupanna in 14th century. This temple is fully with Stone carved pillars and mural paintings from the Vijayanagar Kings period. It is Significant with three shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Virabhadra.

There are two different stories with the village name Lepakshi. One has a Link with the Ramayana and other about Virupanna the constructor.



I am starting with the story which I believed.

           This village have a mythological link to Ramayana. The story is When Lord Ram and Seta along with Lakshmana were in Forests on the wish of his father. They constructed a Parnasala to live. One day Maricha( Know More) who escaped earlier from Shri Ram’s arrow on the wish of his King Ravana takes the form of Golden Deer and attracts Seeta devi. Lord Shriram to gift it for his beloved wife follows it into forest leaving brother Lakshmana behind. Lord Knowing that it was a demon magic aims at the deer and kills it. Maricha while dying takes the voice of shriram and calls for help. Lakshmana asking seta not to cross his line out the house and runs for helping his brother on the wish of Devi seeta.

         Demon Ravana comes in the form of a begger and deceived sita devi. When she crosses the line of Lakshmana he starts taking her to Lanka, his empire in sky. Goddess Sita throws all her jewellery from the sky when a bird(Jatayu), an Ape(Hanuma) finds them. Jatayu is a very powerful Bird of the skies. He knowing that Lord Shriram’s wife is being taken by demon Ravana attacks him and tries to stop though it is difficult to him. Ravana as being more powerful demons of all easily defeats the bird. Cuts the wings of bird and throws it away. He continues his journey and takes away sita to Lanka.

       Lord Ram who came to know that his wife is taken by a demon follows the marks thrown by sita from sky. He reaches first to the place where a bird, Jatayu Laid with his wings cut. Lord says to the bird: Le-Pakshi (means -Raise Bird). Jatayu Raises for him in this village and hence village is named after in this way. Jatayu conveys the detail of Ravana, the demon who has taken sita devi and dies in the hand of Lord SHRIRAM. 

Lord Continues his journey to deep forests and then meets Hanuma later. It’s a different story.


Another story belongs to history.

Virupanna is the treasurer of Vijayanagara king Atchutaraya. He was the In-charge of temple construction at lepakshi. His enemies reported king that he is misusing the funds. In those days, it was customary to pluck the eyes of the keeper of royal treasury if he was found guilty. Virupanna being a loyal servant plucked his own eyes and threw at the wall. Hence two dark stains are visible on the west wall of southern entrance of inner closure. Thus came the name “Lepa Akshi” which means plucked eyes.

Temple Premises:

Natyamandapa is the finest part of the temple. There are about 70 sculptured pillars, 12 pillars in center forming a court. They are carved with sculptures of dancers and musicians. One among is the Hanging pillar constructed in Upside down. As always a British engineer tried to explore our Indian Engineering and hence it is bit dislodged from original position. 

Another antique is the serpentine with seven hoods outside the Natyamandapa.It is a massive Naga with three coils and seven hoods forming a sheltering canopy over a black granite Shivalingam. This is the largest Nagalinga in India. Another exquisite sculpture of Lord Ganesh captures the eye of everybody, particularly once people enter the second interior court. This is hewn in stone and leaning against a rock.

This temple is a testimony of Viswakarma Brahmins who sculpted the temple. It is also believed that Amara Shilpi Jakkanna took half within the coming up design of temple. There are 3 Mandapas inside the temple—Artha, Mukha and another Incomplete but beautiful kalyana mandapa(38 Sculptures).Western part of kalyana Mandapa is known as “Hall of creepers” for its geometrical wonder. The sculptures and mural paintings on the natya and kalyana mandapa are exceptional for artistic beauty. Sculptures portray episodes like ‘Anantasayana’, ‘Dattatreya’, ‘Chathurmukha Brahma’, ‘Tumburu’, ‘Narada’, ‘Rambha’. The ceiling is made with the granite.

There are  several forms of Lord Shiva here – Kanakala Murthi, Dakshinamurthi, Tripuranthaka, Ardhanareeshwara, etc., A shrine of fiery goddess Badhrakali. On the rocks the beautiful carvings of srikalahasti story attracted me a lot. Just completed taking my pictures in temple and started for the real monument of nation. It is a half a mile from the temple.  Nandi is 27 feet in length and 15feet in height, this is India’s 2nd biggest Monolithic Nandi after Gomatheswara. The big granite bull is positioned in such a way that it faces the shivalinga shielded by serpentine inside the temple.

 Now go ahead and enjoy your ride..


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