It was one of those breaks during Christmas, I was exploring the places around Bangalore and that is when I stumbled upon Lepakshi. Intrigued by its story and the temple, I visited Lepakshi as a one day trip from Bangalore.
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Lepakshi is a village located in Ananthpur district of Andhra Pradesh state in India. It is a village with a lot of cultural and archaeological significance. The village has temples dedicated to three Hindu gods, Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Veerabhadra. These temples were built during the era of Vijayanagara Empire (between 1336 and 1646). Even though, there are these temples, the village is particularly famous for its Veerabhadra temple.
Do you love history? Then Andhra Pradesh has plenty of places that have so many stories. One such place is the Rayadurga Fort in Ananthpur district.
The best time to visit Lepakshi temple is during the winter season (between the months of October and January) as the weather is cooler. And it is best to be there as early as possible for less crowd and to enjoy the temple without any disturbance. Do not visit in the summer season as it is extremely hot and you will not enjoy the visit.
Usually, capturing pictures and videos are allowed on the exterior of the temples in India but are prohibited in the interiors where the main shrine is and where the God resides. Ask the priest in the temple to know where to and where not to take pictures.
The name Lepakshi is originated from Sanskrit language that means painted eyes. In India, Lepakshi is usually a name given to a girl baby.
How to get to Lepakshi?
Lepakshi is around 120 kilometres from Bangalore city towards Doddaballapura or Chikkaballapura in the north and the road journey takes only 2 hours 10 minutes. The best way to reach Lepakshi is by driving as it is much easier and faster.
- Note the fuel stations are on the highway.
- There is ample free parking spaces outside of the temple.
Hindupur has a train station and the Lepakshi village is only about 20 kilometres from Hindupur. One can easily take a train from Bangalore city to Hindupur and then take an auto rickshaw or a local bus to the village. Up-to-date information on trains can be found on IRCTC website.
There are frequent buses between Bangalore city and Hindupur as well. The bus journey takes around 3 hours and the cost is about INR 100. Make sure to carry an exact cash for buses and the fare can only be paid by cash. The buses from KSRTC can be taken at Majestic bus stop from Bangalore.
Legend of Lepakshi
According to Hindu mythology Ramayana, the story goes that when Ravana was kidnapping Sita, the loyal bird and devotee Jatayu came to rescue Ravana. This is when Ravana harmed and wounded Jatayu with his sword. And Lepakshi was the place where Jatayu fell. When Rama found Jatayu, he uttered the words ‘Le, pakshi’ which meant Rise, bird in Telugu language.
The Veerabhadra temple of Lepakshi
Built in the Vijayanagara style of architecture, the Veerabhadra temple is one of the most iconic temples around Bangalore and is a temple that is protected and has national importance. It was built by the two brothers, Virupanna Nayaka and Viranna. They were both the Governors of King Achutaraya of Vijayanagara Empire at Penukonda.
Veerabhadra is a fierce incarnation/ avatar of Lord Shiva.
The temple complex has three parts, the assembly hall, arda mantapa and garbhagriha. There are paintings of Gods and Goddesses, mainly showcasing the incarnations of Lord Vishnu and also displaying the Vijayanagara art. The most interesting part of the temple is the hanging pillar. There is a gap between the ground and the base of the pillar and one can easily pass a cloth or a sheet of paper between the gap. It is believed that one of the researchers tried to investigate and tried to move the pillar from the temple. The temple started shaking as the foundation of the entire temple rested on this pillar. He had to run for his life and then leave the pillar there.
According to the Skanda Purana, the Veerabhadra temple is one of the important shrines for Lord Shiva. The Skanda Purana is a genre of eighteen Hindu religious texts and the largest Mahapurana. The text is named after Lord Shiva and Parvathi’s son, Murugan, also known as Skanda.
The temple is open to devotees between 6 AM and 6 PM and there is no entrance fee. Make sure to dress appropriately as it is a place of religious importance. There are no restaurants or cafes near the temple but there are plenty of them on the highway. Also, ensure to take plenty of water as there are not many shops near by where one can buy water.
Safety for solo female travelers
Lepakshi is a safe village for solo female travelers. It is one of those quiet and beautiful places where the villagers are warm and friendly. However, if you are traveling by public transport, ensure to be within the Bangalore city limits before it gets dark. Also, be cautious and know your surroundings at all times.
Are you new to solo traveling or have a lot of questions about solo traveling? Then read frequently asked questions about solo traveling.
Lepakshi is one beautiful gem that is so close to Bangalore. It is surely a lovely place that one can easily visit for a day and learn a lot about history and archaeology. I highly recommend visiting Lepakshi if you can during your travels to Bangalore.
Are you in Bangalore and are looking for things to do? Then read my travel guide to my home city Bangalore.
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