Proximity sometimes causes a blind spot. In spite of staying in Bengaluru for several years now, I had somehow missed on visiting this beautiful place – Lepakshi. Technically in Andhra Pradesh, the neighboring state, Lepakshi is about 100 km from Bengaluru, making it a pleasant 3-hour drive.
If you have loved Hampi and its historical remains, you will love Lepakshi too. If you haven’t been to Hampi yet, this will inspire you! Lepakshi is one of those places where history and faith live together. By belief, there are forms of God that have either evolved on their own and that have been carved in a single stone. By history, the temples were built during the great Krishnadeva Raya era about 500 years ago.
Incredible stone carvings, enchanting murals, eloquent ceiling art, the place has it all. The ruins of some parts of the temple, only sing glories of the rich heritage and reflect the grandeur of the past. The big bull – Nandi – regally sits at the entrance of the temple town getting clicked by every visitor.
The hanging stone pillar – an engineering marvel – is definitely unmissable! The local guides tell you a lot of anecdotes surrounding this place making your visit, an interesting and an informative one. However, the story goes that this was the place where, in Ramayana, Jatayu, the brave bird fought Ravana, while the latter was kidnapping Sita and fell to its defeat. In the epic, this is an important episode, since Rama gets information of his kidnapped wife through the injured bird, that dies soon after. Hence the name, Laya (destruction or death in Sanskrit) Pakshi (bird). Possibly, the name then got colloquial and became Lepakshi.
Whichever way you want to look at it, or believe, this is a place that is a must-go. While the beliefs are timeless, the history of the temples dates back to times when many countries of the world were yet to be born!
Take a drive!
PS: Be careful with any food or small purse you may carry in your hand; the monkeys there might just be interested in them!