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Old 12th August 2012, 20:02   #1
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Default Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore

Found a lot of travelogues on Lepakshi, But most of them have been written around a year ago. So creating this new thread on my trip to Lepakshi on August 5 2012.
This is my first travelogue on T-Bhp!


After being away from long drives since more than 3 months due to mounting work at office, I was waiting for a good opportunity to stretch my legs and unleash the 76 horses of my Punto 1.3 MJD.
Come August 3, I and another colleague started discussing plan of a sunday outing to a spot within 100-150km. After a lot of debates and discussions, we finally decided to head on to Lepakshi, a historic temple town near Hindupur in Andhra Pradesh. Many travelogues on the forum helped in the planning process and the date was decided as 5th August. We would be 4 pax -my colleague, her husband, my wife and I. We decided to take the following route:

Yelahanka- Devanahalli- Chikballapura- Bagepalli- Kodikonda check post- Lepakshi

The day eventually came and off we started, sharp at 8.20 AM from my apartment, late only by 20 minutes from the planned departure. I am at a distinct advantage avoiding city traffic while driving towards any spot on the north of Bangalore, because I stay near Yelahanka, beyond most of the chaos. So within 10 minutes, we were zooming on the 6 lane national highway towards airport/Hyderabad. Traffic was moderate in spite of being a Sunday morning, but all that changed once we crossed international airport trumpet flyover. Beyond this point, traffic became sparse and after we crossed Devanahalli, it became extremely thin. The road was a real beauty, and maintaining speeds of 100-110 seemed to be like a walk in the park! I Did play the famous ‘guess the speed’ game with my colleague and her husband, and as expected, they could not at any time guess the correct speed of the Punto, always guessing around 20kmph lesser than the actual speed. Needless to say, they were pretty impressed with the car!

Bangalore – Hyderabad Highway- One of the best roads I have driven
Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6978.jpg

Within another 80 minutes, we reached Andhra Pradesh state border and took the left deviation towards Lepakshi. The road then on was good only in patches! You would find a few KMs of excellent tarmac and then suddenly it would become narrow and again after a couple of KMs it would widen! There were a few potholes too, but nothing too concerning. My Punto would sail over them without even letting the passengers know! Do watch out for some sharp and blind curves! There are few speed breakers around the curves.

Road towards lepkashi from Kodikonda deviation
Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6667.jpg

Punto..
Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6664.jpg

Within another 30 minutes, we reached the first attraction in Lepakshi – the Monolithic Nandi- Basavanna in the local language. We went around the Nandi and after taking few snaps, proceeded towards the main temple.

Basavanna – Claimed to be the largest Nandi in the world!
Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6723.jpg
Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6669.jpg

The main attraction in Lepakshi, the Veerabhadraswamy temple, Veerabhadra was 2kms further ahead . According to mythology, When Sita was abducted by Ravana, the mythical bird Jatayu fought with Ravana at this spot. Jatayu’s wings were cut off by Ravana and he lay here, injured. When Rama found Jatayu, he said “le, pakshi” (meaning ‘Rise, bird’ in Telugu) and the bird rose. The name ‘Lepakshi’ was hence given to this area. There was parking available on the street in front of the temple. There were not much people at that time of the day.

We first proceeded for darshanam inside the temple. Photography is prohibited in the central shrine area where the deity is worshipped. After the darshanam, started exploring the temple premises! Photography is allowed outside the shrine area and there are no entry fees or camera fees. It was a cloudy day but luckily for us, the rain stayed away. The weather was very pleasant with temperature hovering around late 20s. I feel on a hot day, it would be tiring, walking around the entire temple complex on the stone pavements.

The temple like any other Vijayanagara temple has its own charm! The mural paintings on the ceilings, the stone carvings, the innumerable pillars, the naga linga, the open air auditorium, all had their own stories to tell! Words would not do enough justice and I will let the pictures below speak the real beauty of the temple.

The main entrance to the shrine
Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6941.jpg

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Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6732.jpg

Mural paintings on the ceiling
Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6756.jpg

7 headed Naga linga
Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6766.jpg

Hanging pillar
Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6855.jpg

Believed to be Seetha devi's footmark
Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6894.jpg

Temple views
Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6889.jpg

Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6835.jpg

Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6895.jpg

Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-pillar2.jpg

Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-untitled_hdr2.jpg

An arch
Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-arch1.jpg

Another pillar formation
Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6803.jpg

Ganesha
Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-ganesha.jpg

Since we had a fair idea that there are not much hotel facilities for lunch around the temple, we had bought packed lunch from home. Had lunch under the shade of a huge tree just outside the temple main gate.
By around 2 PM, we started our drive back. We took the same route back and reached my apartment in 2 hours flat with few photo breaks on the highway. The road as expected was empty for most of the stretch.

Punto on the highway.
Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6996a.jpg

Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-img_6998.jpg

Overall, I loved the trip courtesy the absolutely pleasant stress free drive and the marvellous and historic temple. I feel this spot is not promoted as well as many of the other 1-day drives around Bangalore. Most of the things do go in favour of this spot: access through top class roads, very much reachable in under 3 hours, and a beautiful historic temple to spend 2-3 hours! My advice to potential visitors would be start early, carry your own lunch and do enjoy the beauty of the temple before it gets too hot in the afternoon especially on sunny days. And please do respect the structure- I could see a lot of tourists trying to get some perfect poses for photos climbing and clinging on to stone pillars and other structures! These structures are centuries old, they may have withstood much abuse from nature, but may not withstand such mindless misconduct by man!

The trip data as shown by the MID
Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore-mid.jpg

Last edited by sandsun7 : 12th August 2012 at 20:05.
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Old 12th August 2012, 20:32   #2
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Default re: Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore

Very nice processing on the snaps. Its a soothing feeling to head to this place, especially early morning.
The only downer is that the Kamat at Chikkaballapur is not all that great.

And there is no other place to break.
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Old 12th August 2012, 21:37   #3
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Default re: Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore

Reminds me of my trip some 5 years back. It is a beautiful place indeed. Nice pictures. Thanks for sharing.

I have promised myself of going back on Maha Shivaratri.
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Old 13th August 2012, 01:33   #4
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Default re: Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore

Great photos and great travelogue.

You have given one account of the name 'Lepakshi' referencing the story of Jatayu.

However, there is another legend regarding the name. Virupanna, a treasurer during Vijayanagaram in the 15th century. He conceived the idea of building a temple at this location and executed his plan in the absence of the king. When the construction was almost finished the king returned and found the treasure empty as it was depleted while construction of the temple. The jealous courtiers who knew this informed the King that Virupanna has misused the state treasury for his own personal projects. The king ordered, as a punishment to this heinous crime, that he should be blinded. When Virupanna got wind of this news of this punishment from the King, he plucked out his eyes and crushed it against the walls of the very monument that he built. Even now, the western walls of the temple have two red spots to mark this tragic episode. These blood stains are there since centuries. After this incident, Virupanna would wander around the monument that he built lamenting that he could no longer admire the magnificence and beauty of the shrine. Thus this place got the name as "Lepa-akshi" meaning "the blinded eyes".

I think the stains are near the walls of 'Kalyana Mandapam'. As per local legend, it is also believed that Lord Shiva and Parvati were married on the spot where the Kalyana Mandapa stands.

Thanks again for the great pics. Nice details.

Edit: The mural paintings are indeed very beautiful. Lepakshi temple is known for these paintings as well. Vijayanagaram architecture at its best. It is supposed to be leagues above other types of architecture at that period of time.

Last edited by himavanth_m : 13th August 2012 at 01:35.
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Old 13th August 2012, 09:25   #5
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Default re: Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Very nice processing on the snaps. Its a soothing feeling to head to this place, especially early morning.
The only downer is that the Kamat at Chikkaballapur is not all that great.

And there is no other place to break.
Thanks Ampere. Yes, there are hardly any good hotels on the way or in the vicinity of the temple. We did see lot of cars stopped at Kamat and Nandini near it. We had left home after breakfast, so there was no need to stop there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akbaree View Post
Reminds me of my trip some 5 years back. It is a beautiful place indeed. Nice pictures. Thanks for sharing.

I have promised myself of going back on Maha Shivaratri.
Thanks a lot akbaree. I was told that the main temple festival is on Shivarathri. It seems Skanda Purana refers to Lepakshi as one of the 108 important Shaiva temples in India. Would be very crowded then I feel

Quote:
Originally Posted by himavanth_m View Post
Great photos and great travelogue.

You have given one account of the name 'Lepakshi' referencing the story of Jatayu.

As per local legend, it is also believed that Lord Shiva and Parvati were married on the spot where the Kalyana Mandapa stands.

Thanks again for the great pics. Nice details.

Edit: The mural paintings are indeed very beautiful. Lepakshi temple is known for these paintings as well. Vijayanagaram architecture at its best. It is supposed to be leagues above other types of architecture at that period of time.
Thank You Himavanth. I did hear about this story of the shilpi sacrificing his eyes, but did not know about the connection to the name 'lepakshi'
The open air kalyana mandapa also has many legends attached to it. I did read somewhere that the auditorium is 'open air' because it's construction could not be completed due to some reason! Regarding the Shiva Parvati legend, there are even carvings of the saints and dignitaries who attended the wedding!
The mural paintings are indeed very beautiful although they are almost in the states of ruin! My friend could even decode some of the stories depicted in the murals!

Regards,
SANDEEP
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Old 13th August 2012, 10:03   #6
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Default re: Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore

Very good pictures. I hope Shiva-Pravathi did not have to pay the Kalyana Mantapa charges being VIPs

Does it take about 2 hours to drive ? Should be a very non-tiring getaway.
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Old 13th August 2012, 10:44   #7
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Default re: Lepakshi - Perfect choice for a day's outing from Bangalore

Quote:
Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
Very good pictures. I hope Shiva-Pravathi did not have to pay the Kalyana Mantapa charges being VIPs

Does it take about 2 hours to drive ? Should be a very non-tiring getaway.
Thanks srishiva. Hope they did not have to

It is around 225kms round trip, starting from Yelahanka. Around 2 hours driving time one way for me including few photo breaks on the highway. Residents of southern parts of Bangalore may have to add another hour or so considering they start early morning on a Sunday. The road is in supreme condition for around 100 kms or so. The last 16 kms as you approach the temple is in a mixed state- few potholed narrow patches and some excellent stretches. Nothing bad enough to test any car though! All in all, would be a very relaxed drive almost all the way! I would highly recommend this getaway to anyone who has interest in heritage monuments and also is keen on driving on straight stretches of near empty highways!

Last edited by sandsun7 : 13th August 2012 at 10:45.
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Old 13th August 2012, 12:42   #8
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Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post one-liners that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the overall quality of this forum.

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Old 13th August 2012, 12:55   #9
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Wonderful pics mate had not heard about this place untill now thanks for this crisp travelogue! This for sure is a must visit place on my list now!!
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Old 30th March 2014, 18:01   #10
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Greetings of the day!

1. Was on a visit to Lepakshi this week while on the way back from a tour to other destinations in Andhra Pradesh.

2. Was pained to see the pitiable condition of the murals and the overall temple complex at Lepakshi.

3. As told by the guide, the temple originally had seven circles and that the Nandi which seems to be well away from the temple, was actually situated at the sixth circle!

4. As on date, just three of the seven circles remain and the remaining four have been encroached upon by the villagers around.We actually saw houses built upon the ancient pillars/structures!

5. I am in the process of writing to ASI and/or APTDC regarding this.Others may do it as well through the available fora.

Regards
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Old 30th March 2014, 21:42   #11
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Nice travelogue with lovely pictures, haven't been here now since the past decade, must make a trip soon, thanks for sharing !
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