Friday, January 15, 2016

Lepakshi : An Ideal Weekend Getaway from Bangalore

Lepakshi in Andhra Pradesh makes an ideal weekend getaway from Bangalore. It is just over a two hour drive from Bangalore. An architectural wonder, it makes a perfect destination for photography enthusiasts too.
Nandi Statue : First thing you notice entering Lepakshi is the huge monolithic Nandi statue. The sculpture is 10 meter in length and 6 meter in height. Nandi is decorated with a necklace, muvvahara and a garland of bells and has short horns. You can also find the emblem of Karnataka Government, Gandaberunda, a two-headed mythological bird on the necklace of Nandi.
Nandi Statue, Lepakshi
Nandi Statue, Lepakshi
Veerabhadra Temple : Moving ahead you will find Veerabhadra temple. 16th century Veerabhadra temple embodies the famed Vijayanagara architecture. As you enter, you find that the gopuram of the temple is not completed. 
But poojas are held just like other temples. Idol of Veerabhadra Swamy worshipped here is bigger than the size of a man. Apart from the stone carvings on the pillars, you can also find paintings on the ceiling.
Veerabhadra Temple, Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh
Veerabhadra Temple, Lepakshi
Pillars of Veerabhadra Temple, Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh
Pillars of Veerabhadra Temple, Lepakshi
Hanging Pillar of Lepakshi : One mesmerizing aspect of Lepakshi is the presence of a hanging pillar. This pillar does not rest on the ground. One can pass anything like a twig or a cloth under the pillar unscathed. Needless to say it was a center of attraction of all the visitors.
Hanging Pillar of Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh
Hanging Pillar of Lepakshi
Naga statue : As you take a pradakshina around the temple, you will notice a massive Naga statue carved out of single stone, providing shelter to the Shivalingam made of black granite. It is one of the fascinating sights in Lepakshi. This is the poster picture of Lepakshi if googled for the historical place.
Statue of Naga sheltering Shivalingam, Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh
Statue of Naga sheltering Shivalingam, Lepakshi
Kalyana Mandapam : As you proceed further, you find Kalyana Mandapam(marriage hall). An architectural wonder, it is disheartening to see the structure incomplete. Ornate pillars form the main attraction here. As you get down from the mandapam, you find a wide area which houses a tower reminiscent of the Kempegowda tower in Bangalore. Also, you find a huge foot imprint in the rock, believed to be the imprint of the Lord Rama's foot.
Kalyana Mandapam, Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh
Kalyana Mandapam, Lepakshi
Pillars of Unfinished Kalyan Mandapam, Lepakshi
How to get there : Lepakshi is around 120 kms from Bangalore. You can take the Bangalore-Hyderabad highway(NH 7) to reach Kodikonda, At Kodikonda, you need to take left turn to Lepakshi road. Lepakshi is around 16 kms from Kodikonda. You need to cross two toll plazas, if you are taking NH 7 route. One near Bangalore International Airport and another near Bagepalli. After crossing Bagepalli toll plaza, within 7 kms, you will find Kodikonda.

Food and Accommodation : You will not find good hotels/restaurants for accommodation and food. So, it is better you carry food if you are going for a day trip. If you plan to stay, Puttaparthi, (which houses Sri Satya Sai Baba Ashram) is the best option, which is 64 kms from Lepakshi.
Statue of Naga sheltering Shivalingam, Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh
Statue of Naga sheltering Shivalingam, Lepakshi
Small Gopuram, Lepakshi reminiscent of Kempegowda Tower, Bangalore
Small Gopuram, Lepakshi
Veerabhadra Temple Corridor, Lepakshi
Veerabhadra Temple Corridor, Lepakshi
Paintings on Veerabhadra Temple Ceilings, Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh
Paintings on Veerabhadra Temple Ceilings, Lepakshi
Gandaberunda on Necklace of Nandi, Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh
Mythical Gandaberunda on necklace of Nandi, Lepakshi

4 comments:

  1. Beautiful captures and description. It has been in my list for long time. Your blog has re-kindled that spirit. Between, temple corridor pic could have looked much better in B&W

    http://randomscribblingpad.blogspot.com/

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  2. Thanks Nanda Kumar. Also, thanks for the suggestion on BW photography. Let me check that on my next outing.

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