We left to Hindupur which is 120 kms from bangalore on one sunday morning at 10.45 am and got into a KSRTC bus which was about to leave to Hindupur. We reached Hindupur at about 1.30 PM. Leepakshi is 15 kms from Hindupur Railway Station.
We had to catch a local bus to Lepakshi.
The view while entering the temple.
Virupanna, as the king’s treasurer, had vast sums at his disposal, which he spent on making Lepakshi a magnificent temple. It consists of three shrines — dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Virabhadra. Virabhadra, a wrathful manifestation of Shiva, was the patron deity of the Nayak rulers.
The temple core is surrounded by a large open court entered from the east with large gopuras to the north and west. A monolithic Nagalinga — the largest of its kind in India — and Ganesha in the second interior court entice the eye by their sheer scale and perfection.
This temple is a master piece of art work done by the Vishwakarma Brahmin Stapathis who sculpted this temple. This was built in the 16th century and sits on a mount.
The Lepakshi temple can be divided into three sections – the ‘Mukha Mandapa’, (or the ‘Nitya Mandapa’ or ‘Ranga Mandapa’), the ‘Artha Mandapa’ and ‘Garbha Griha’, and the ‘Kalyana Mandapa’.
One mandapam has pillars with life-sized images of dancers, musicians and other sculptures, created by the artisans of the Vijayanagar Empire.
There is one particular pillar which is hanging from the roof. you can pull an handkerchief or even a newspaper under it.
The ceilings have breathtakingly beautiful mural paintings. Sadly, most of which have started to fade.
The sculptures and the mural paintings seen in the Natya and Kalyana Mandapams are exceptional for their artistic beauty and skill. Most of these sculptures portray the mythological puranic episodes like ‘Ananthasayana’, ‘Dattatreya’, ‘Chaturmukha Bramha’, ‘Tumburu’, ‘Narada’ and ‘Rambha’.
The ‘Natya’ (Dancing) and ‘Ardha’ (worship) Mandapas are the best parts of the temple in terms of architecture. The ‘Natya’ Mandapa has been adorned with sculptured pillars depicting life-size musicians and dancers.
The Lepakshi temple has been built in honor of Lord Veerabhadra. According to the legend the Kalyana Mandapa of the temple had witnessed the marriage Lord Shiva and Parvati.
The huge granite Nandi Bull is carved out of a single stone and is placed at some distance outside the Lepakshi temple is considered to be the biggest monolithic Nandi in India.
It is a revitalizing trip for those who believe in heritage sites, for those who marvel at the art of our ancestors.