Lepakshi

13 April 08:
I visited the Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi along with six shutterbugs. I had heard that Lepakshi is also famous for the saree prints.
Location:
Lepakshi, situated in Ananthapur District, is around 15km from Hindupur and 100km North from Bangalore. The route to Lepakshi is very bad, NH being a dusty bad road along a stretch of 20km+ in the midway.
Journey begins:
As planned before, we had an intention of reaching Lepakshi we started off at 5am, reached there only at 9:30. On the way, at Devanahalli, we were able to capture the sunrise. Due to the badly maintained National Highway, we were able to reach the temple at 9:30 which indeed is a long journey duration for 100km. While we had almost reached, on the way we had poori with saagoo and chutney as our breakfast at a small hotel.
History:
Story 1:

Jataayu meets Lord Rama in Aranya Kanda of Ramayana, when Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana are heading towards Panchvatee to stay there after visiting Agastya Muni. In fact Agastya Muni advised them to go and stay there.
Jataayu was a vulture and was Raja Dashratha's friend. He helped Rama by fighting Ravana when he was abducting Sita. While fighting with Ravana, Ravana cut his wings and he fell down helpless. He could not do anything more to Ravana since he couldn't fly any more. Lord Rama says,"Le, pakshi" (Le-get up, pakshi-bird in Telugu). Later he lost his life after telling the incident of abduction of Sita by Ravana to Rama.
Hence the name, Lepakshi.
Story 2:
The temple is considered to belong to the Viayanagar style of architecture. It is also believed that 'Virupanna', the treasurer of the Vijayanagar Kings, constructed the temple in the absence of the king and used the all the treasure while the king was away at Vijayanagar.
Later, when the construction was almost finished and it was being supervised, the king returned and found the treasure empty. The king ordered, as a punishment to this heinous crime, that he should be blinded.
Virupanna blinded himself by dashing against the wall and hence the name "Lepa-akshi", a village of the blinded eye.
At the temple:
Photography is allowed without any fee in the temple premise provided that its not used for commercial purpose. One finds pillars lined up including and without the roofs, mural paintings on the roof, Lord Ganesh, Lord Shiva with a big snake over his head, huge Basava(bull) .. and the amusing floating pillar which supports the ceiling. The carvings on each stone pillar had a unique story if carefully observed.
The pillars without the roof is the Kalyana Mantap and believed that Lord Shiva and Parvati were married here. You find thousands of carvings on the stone pillars like "Thula Bhara", "ladies looking into the mirror", "Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshmana", et cetera.
expressionPillar behindLord Ganesh
On the way to the temple, there's a huge Nandi which is considered to be monolith. Other monolith is Lord Shiva at the temple.
People say that we should enter the main temple to which Lord Virabhadra faces the entrace. Instead, side way entrance is recommended. Well, I don't know the reason for this!
Other places on the way:
At 2:30pm, we left the temple premise had snacks as our lunch since there are no good restaurants near-by. If you wish to have delicious lunch, then you should head towards Hindupur which is 15km from Lepakshi.
Later, we headed headed towards Sultanpet-British Cemetry and Pottery which are on the way. Nandi Hills was the other option. The impression I had of British Cemetry was that it was a very huge graveyard, as I had seen in a few English or Hindi movies. When I reached there, there were less than ten graves who were resting in peace :) The very first tomb was Queen Elizabeth followed by few others. The graves are two century old. I kinda liked it. It wasn't scray at all :)) In fact, they were friendly to us..
British Cemetry
There is a pottery town next to the cemetry. Since it was already 5pm, due to low light, I was not able to capture pot making very well.
At 6:30pm, we left the place and headed to Namma Bengaluru. We had evening snacks at a hotel on the high way. I reached home at 9 in the night due to heavy traffic.
More pics: here

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