Lepakshi

The famous Veerabhadra Temple is located here. It possesses some of the best murals from the period of the Vijayanagar kings. Lord Rama, Lord Papanaseswara (Siva), Veerabhadra, and Durga are all worshiped here. There is also a deity of Gopala Swami (Krishna). In the Skanda Purana, Lepakshi is said to be one of the 108 important pilgrimage sites dedicated to Lord Siva. Narrative reliefs on the south wall depict the pastimes of Lord Siva, including Arjuna’s penance.
It is said that Jatayu fell here after fighting with Ravana. This is a small village located 17km east of Hindupur. Hindupur is on the Hyderabad-Bangalore train line, about 100km due north of Bangalore in Andhra Pradesh.

In the temple, the shrine of Lord Vishnu, faces Lord Siva with Veerabhadra in the center. The pillars in the Natya-mandapa are intricately carved. The largest xe “Nandi” Nandi in India is located 200m east of the temple. It is carved out of a monolithic rock and is 5m (17 ft) high and 8m (27 ft) in length. Apart from being famous for this huge Nandi, the temple is well known for its intricate sculptures and excellent murals that include Lord Krishna’s and Lord Rama’s pastimes. These murals have elegant line-work and vibrant natural colors, and the costumes and facial expressions have outstanding detail.

The treasurer of the king of Vijayanagar used taxes collected on the king’s behalf to build the temple, while the king was away in Vijayanagar. When the king returned and found his treasury empty, he ordered the treasurer to be blinded. The treasurer blinded himself and dashed his eyes against the wall of the temple. There is a wall near the Kalyana-mandapa that has two dark stains said to be from his eyes. That is why the village is called “Lepa-akshi” (Lepakshi), “the village of the blinded eye.”

Opposite the temple is a Rest House (only two rooms). You can also stay in Hindupur, where there are several hotels near the State bus stand.

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