Enter the premises of the Lepakshi temple and you will be greeted by a giant Bala Ganesha statue which looks a bit worn out but astonishing. The numen of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu stand there facing each other while Veerabhadra is statues in the center. Walking ahead, I could see the famous Natyamandapa where Gods made music and cultural events were held. Statues are stunningly beautiful. Bramha sits with the Cymbals, Narada with his Tambura praying Nataraja, who is a creator of the Universe. There are other heavenly artists who are present here right in front of me and I could see history in the human form amidst these statues. Their instruments, ornaments, clothes, everything shine as the sunrays fall over them right here in this unfinished Kalyanamandapa.
Visit this exquisite place of the infamous Lepakshi Temple located in Hindupur in the district of Ananthpur where you get to see life in the statues and the legendary hanging pillars. But are they really hanging? The hanging pillars of Lepakshi Temple are the talks of the town and in fact they are the talk of the entire country. Walking back into the Vijaynagar era in the 16th century, this Veerabhadra Temple was built and since then it is here with its shines and shrines. The inscriptions on the wall tell it out that this was built by a Virupanna whose deity of worship was Veerabhadra.
STORY OF LEPAKSHI TEMPLE:
I was pulled back into the present when I heard the local guide who was passing by and was narrating the story of this famous temple. It seems during the war between Lord Ram and Ravana, when Jatayu, the bird tried fighting with Ravana to stop him from abducting Sita, it was badly injured and was nearing to see death. Its wings were chopped off brutally and it was lying there helpless. That is when Ram reaches Jatayu and says, “Le Pakshi (get up oh bird!). Now is your time to wake up.” Now this wasn’t exactly told in English. This was just a translation from Telugu and Sanskrit. The guide’s voice trailed off and I started looking ahead. Ah! There sits the largest monolith Nandi a few meters away which was carved out of a single stone which in itself is a great thing to marvel at. This Nandi looks huge and wow! 20 feet high and 30 feet long, this Nandi is a sight to behold. Opposite to it is a Shiva Linga sitting or rather nestled comfortably inside the folds of a many headed snake that has its head raised over the Shiva Linga protectively. Oh and that is a statue too and so don’t panic. This version of Lord Shiva is seen in innumerable places when you visit India. You should actually try coming here. Indian Eagle can help you with your international flight tickets. Then my eyes fell on the hanging pillars of Lepakshi temple. I could see a couple trying to put a cloth under one of the pillars and pulling it from the other side. It was an interesting thing to see as these hanging pillars of Lepakshi Temple were actually more famous than the Vogue magazine. So I walked towards it.
THE HANGING PILLARS OF LEPAKSHI TEMPLE:
I know that there are talks about these pillars that they defy gravity and all but then I wanted to check it out for myself because I have equally heard the fact that these pillars are indeed touching the grounds but a bit slightly. And it was true to be honest. I went nearer to a temple and slid my scarf under the pillar. A local boy who was playing nearby was too happy to help and came running to catch the scarf from the other end. I tried pulling it put from all the four corners of the pillar and lo, it just won’t come out of one of the corners. That was interesting. I asked him to move to another pillar and did the same thing. It happened again. Third pillar and then it was a hat-trick of such events. All the pillars have spaces under them but then they were connected to the grounds at one end. That was it. It was true.
So all the people who confirmed the fact that these pillars were indeed connected to the grounds, you have my vote as well. The pillars are slightly connected to the grounds.
Hey but it is okay. It is a great thing to see that these pillars are standing still even if they are connected slightly. Apart from this stupid little discovery of mine followed by a mini victory dance (which was totally imaginary) I moved ahead towards the temple. It is said that the hill on which this temple is built is actually called as Kurmasaila because it resembles a tortoise. The Giant Naga Shiva was built with immense speed with just one boulder but then it got a crack that goes down its base. The unfinished Kalyanamandapam is apparently the place where Lord Shiva and Parvati got married. Then you find this really giant foot of Goddess Durga who is said to have visited this place and left her footprint here. There are also plates carved on the grounds and it is believed that the locals were fed here. There are many paintings and narrations about the Virupannas which is again an interesting thing to share and yes I will be doing it in my next article with you. So don’t forget to comment, like and share this article if you like it already. Come on people, visit Lepakshi. Le Pakshi! Get up birds and start flying here!
Author Bio: Enthusiastic about traveling, books and music, Aara Sharma is a successful travel writer with so many stories in her mind about so many places, to talk about. She loves talking to the unseen, hearing the unheard and loves exploring the unknown. Currently, she is all set to explore the spicy tourism of India that she adores from the core of her heart.