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Old 12th March 2007, 12:33   #1
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Default Weekend Travelogue: Bangalore - Lepakshi - Bangalore

Bangalore – Yelahanka – Devanahalli – Chikaballapur – Bagepalli – Lepakshi (125km)

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This is probably the first time we went off for a short trip entirely without any prior plan. Till 8AM of a lethargic Sunday morning (11th March) we had no plans for any outings forget about long drive. My wife was discussing about what to have in lunch. We were debating about veg-nonveg. Finally she told me lets walk down to the Sunday fish stall and check out whether they got any prawns. I was discussing all this while reading newspaper.

The previous night spoke to Lokesh of Surakshaa as the driver side high beam of my car was not working which I realized only yesterday. He told to get it next week. Immediately I thought why not burn some kms as my ODO read 13705km and I can give for a full service at 14K as engine oil change was already due at 15K. While I was thinking all this my wife was getting ready to go to the fish stall. Now I told my wife lets dump some fuel in terms of some kms. She told where can we go in a day? Nandi Hills is too near and we have done it twice. Krishnagiri dam already done, I wanted to drive to an unknown road (preferably 2laner) not on NH7 GQ. I already read about Rahul Dubey (of indiahighways) riding to Lepakshi on Saturday. Chalo, lets go to Lepakshi. She told OK lets go, I had no food so lets go and perform some puja, Fine lets go but I will have something on the way as I am feeling hungry…

We had a nice bath and off we started at 9:15AM from home. ODO reads 13705km. immediately took the KR puram ring road to Hebbal flyover and onto NH7 also known as Bangalore-Hyderabad road. Immediately after a km there is a nice restaurant (Swati garden) near my office, I stopped and had a masala dosa.

By 10:15AM, we started again and zoomed away. Within no time we passed Yelahanka, IAF Station and ITC cigarette factory. It was a nice 6 lane highway till Devanahalli. There was only one diversion where there some flyover construction. The 4/6 laning work was completed even about 8km after Devanahalli till the Nandi Hills turn as part of North-South corridor of NHAI.

After that it was 2 lane road throughout. The road was OK and traffic was moderate till Chikaballapur. I was easily doing 100-110kmph. We were enjoying the nice dwindling roads. At Chikaballapur there is a right turn for Mulbagal (86km) on NH4. People going to Tirupati / Chennai from North can take this road bypassing Bangalore.

After Chikaballapur, traffic eased out more and speed increased. It was hard to keep the car at 120kmph. The speed was increasing to 130kmph at down slopes. As we approached AP the roads became up and down (steep ascend and descent). It was a nice drive. Soon we reached Bagepalli, the last town/village of Karnataka. After that we entered AP where you can see a huge board “Eenadu Pradesh welcomes you”. I saw the same in Ichchapuram during the Kolkata trip.

Pic of NH7 at this stretch


At the RTO check post in AP there is a left turn for Lepakshi. You cannot miss it as you can see lots of trucks parked and at the corner there are models of 2 huge swans. We left NH7 from there and entered this state road. This was an excellent narrow road with nice vegetation all around. There were neem trees, tamarind trees, sunflower plantations and those typical thorny bushy trees which we can only see in AP. Lepakshi is about 15km from NH7. This SH takes you to Hindupur via Lepakshi. Initially I thought to take Hindupur – Dodaballapur – Yelahanka route while return but dropped it as I have heard that the road was bad between Gouribadinur and Dodaballapur.

Pic of SH to Lepakshi


At about 12:15PM, We were welcomed by a huge bull / nandi statue (but with his back side facing us) in Lepakshi. Immediately within 0.5km we reached the Veerabhadra Swamy temple (Veerabhadra is a form of Shiva). Veerabhadra swamy and goddess durga are worshipped at the same place. Total distance traveled was 125km. The temple architecture and paintings were one of the excellent things that I have seen so far. It has really much more than I expected. Its paintings / carvings reflected the Vijaynagar dynasty aka Hampi style. Inside the temple it had lots of carved monolithic pillars probably made of sandstone. Another major attraction was a huge shiva linga well guarded by a king cobra all marvelously carved by sandstone.

Pics in and around the temple


We offered puja and spent about an hour inside the temple and also sometime in a small park outside it. After the visit in the temple, we took a photo break at the Nandi statue and proceeded to our return journey by 2PM. I was feeling damn hungry and wanted to stop at some dhaba on NH7.

By 2:45PM we stopped in a decent dhaba just 2 km before Chikballapur. We had nice rotis, egg bhurji, dal, channa-masala. The food was amazingly tasty which I was really surprised looking at the dhaba from outside. The bill came out to be just Rs 74. You can also find a Shanti Sagar in Chikaballapur and it looked a nice joint for food (atleast by the amount of cars parked outside).

We started after lunch at 3:15PM stopped to buy grapes immediately after Chikaballapur and entered home by 4:40PM.

Total distance: 254km.

Signing off
Abhijit Kumar Roy
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Old 12th March 2007, 13:07   #2
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Nice way to run away from city traffic.. Good pics.....
I assume it would have been a very hot in the open temple on a sunny day.
Next week being a Ugadi Long weekend(4 days off), I may plan a short one day trip to this place.

Keep travelling
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Old 12th March 2007, 13:31   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatDrive View Post
Nice way to run away from city traffic.. Good pics.....
I assume it would have been a very hot in the open temple on a sunny day.
Next week being a Ugadi Long weekend(4 days off), I may plan a short one day trip to this place.

Keep travelling
GD, temple is not open, it was really cool inside due to the stones....you need not have to walk bare foot for long on stones...there are enough place to sit and relax, I wud suggest carry some sandwitches / food, enjoy the beauty of the scuptures and have ur food inside the compound itself....

Abhi
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Old 12th March 2007, 13:48   #4
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Nice write-up Abhi, Shiva temples are always been attraction to me.
this shoud be a good one day trip. Do you know any other places around if that can be clubbed together with this to make this a one day trip!!
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Old 12th March 2007, 16:40   #5
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A nice impromptu trip
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Old 12th March 2007, 18:09   #6
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Nice writeup Abhi, This week end I am planning for 1 day trip I will try this place very nice for sure! Similar to Hampi agreed.

Regards,

Ravi.
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Old 12th March 2007, 21:07   #7
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this was built by one of the subordinate kings/nayaks of vijayanagar kingdom.lepakshi is official name of AP handicrafts emporiums allover india. further the nandi here is the world's largest monolithic nandi
near by the penukonda fort is also there (50Km) on NH7 this is the place where the vijayanagar kings came after their loss at battle of tallikota in 1565
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Old 13th March 2007, 17:19   #8
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Nice writeup!
I may go there this weekend...
I was wondering if there are any other places to see closeby....??
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Old 17th March 2007, 21:55   #9
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Hey Abhi,

Today we visited this place, really nice for sure! I took 2 of my friends as well with my family. Its better than Hampi for sure, I took guide as well paid him 60 rs. happily he walked me thru. all the stuffs and it was very useful, We took many many photos, My freind and I have same FinePix fujifilm digi cams.

My daughter enjoyed the place as well!

It was over all great experience!

Road is quiet ok fine except for hot weather! I used 100% AC throughout the trip although I hardly use AC usually.

Max speed touched is 100kmph because thats the way my driver goes any road. Covered 130km ( bangalore to lepakshi) in 150minutes and back journey in same 150minutes!

Drank too much of water and coconut water...

We ate lunch at Shanti Sagar chikballapur, its good place to eat.

Your write up inspired me to plan this trip.

Thanks Man,

Ravi.

PS I will post some pictures soon.
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Old 5th April 2007, 12:08   #10
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Thanks Abhi,
This is really a nice place. I had been to a one day trip to this place last weekend. The place is really awsome. we spent sometime on Puja and then stated moving to each of the three sections of the temple with the guide, he was talking 5 differnt lingas in the temple and story behiend each of them, there is one story associated with every single thing you see, be it a pillar (each of them has diff story), a kitchen, shilpikars who made that temple, walls around, the dining plates carved on stones used by shilpkars, a paw mark of Sita and every thing..

The thing that I liked most is the ceiling of the entire temple – you can see the paintings on every ceilings of the temple, this is natural painting done by shilpkars and is the most important specimens of Vijaynagar pictorial art. These narrate events from the life of the patrons of this temple as well as episodes from the Mahabharatha and Ramayana. In one corner, the brothers Viranna and Virupanna are shown worshipping Shiva and Parvathi in the company of courtiers. These are of great interest, it also provides details of costumes of an era long gone by. Shiva's boar hunt and Arjuna's battles with his foes are amongst the many depicted here. The beauty of line and form, grace and movement really delighting.

This place is worth a visit.
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Old 5th April 2007, 12:32   #11
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Kool Ketan, 2 trips back-back...Your family must be very happy now !!! Google talk got banned last week in office so not able to chat with you....

Ravibhat, Thanks, Its my pleasure...

Abhi
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Old 5th April 2007, 19:54   #12
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I'm ready with the third one tomorrow. searching for another good location either one day or two day - one night trip.
My mother is here a couple of weeks so preferably searching for some good south indian temples.
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Old 5th April 2007, 21:56   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketan View Post
I'm ready with the third one tomorrow. searching for another good location either one day or two day - one night trip.
My mother is here a couple of weeks so preferably searching for some good south indian temples.
Ketan,

Here are few locations within 250km radius @B'lore (ignore places which already visted)
* Belur(Puja's are done), Halebedu, partly Shravanbaelagola(Jainism) @250km. All these temple build 12th-Century(12C)
* Lepakshi @130km (16C)
* Somanathpura(no pujas)13C, Talakkad(vaidyanadeswara temple)13C @150-200.-- towards Mysore road. Melukote 11-12C(narasimha,narayna, Ganesh temples)
* DevnarayanDurga(2 Narasimha temples, one at bottom of hill & one at top of hill), Goravanhalli(Mahalakshmi temple) -- both of them near tumkur(on right side of NH4). Kaidhala(Chennakeshava temple) near Gulur(on Tumkur to Kenegal road) In need of support - Deccan Herald - Internet Edition, Shivagange(near Dobbaspet on NH4 before Tumkur) --all around Tumkur. http://www.mapmyindia.com/embed.php?...475874.625&z=9
* Someshwara(12c) & Ganesh(12C) at Kurudumale -- near Mulbagal. http://www.mapmyindia.com/embed.php?...4463898.25&z=8. Also see in Kolar Kollaramma temple(11C), Someshwara temple(17C). At Bangarpet you can see Kotilineswara(Modern one). You can also Avani near this Mulbagal-- a hill based temple thata dates back to Ramayana Where the stones speak of the Ramayana - Deccan Herald
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Old 6th April 2007, 07:23   #14
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To add to Suryam's list, you can also take your family to Chikka Tirupati which is hardly 40km from KrPuram...
You can find a post of that if you search in travelogues here...I read that and did Chikka Tirupati and Kgiri dam when my parents were here...

On a driving perspective you can do Belur-Halebeid or Kukke Subramanya and stay there and enjoy the beauty and beat the dry-warm weather of Bangalore....

Abhi
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Old 23rd July 2007, 12:30   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
It was a nice 6 lane highway till Devanahalli. There was only one diversion where there some flyover construction.

At Chikaballapur there is a right turn for Mulbagal (86km) on NH4. People going to Tirupati / Chennai from North can take this road bypassing Bangalore.
Update: The flyover is complete now.

Regarding the turn-off to Mulbagal, please don't even think about it.
This is Chikkaballapur - Chintamani - Srinivasapur - Mulbagal. Only the stretch from Srinivasapur to Mulbagal is good. The less said about the main roads in Chintamani and Srinivasapur towns, the better.

This 86 km "shortcut" takes about 2 hours. No signages (English) anywhere except on the stretch after Srinivaspur.

If you go through Bangalore (taking the ORR), you'd do 80 km extra (Chikkaballapur - Bangalore is 60 km and Bangalore - Mulbagal is 100 km)and in about the same time, and your vehicle will thank you.
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