India has people of many religions. There are lakhs of temples, mosques, and gurudwaras in India. There are many ancient temples in India, many historical buildings, and their architecture identifies the antiquity of India. Indian history is so rich that one can find ancient temples, palaces, and historical sites in every corner of the country. Many temples of India are so famous that many people from foreign also come to see them. There are some stories and wonders related to almost every temple in India. Today in this article, we will talk about one of the famous Hindu temples in India, the Veerabhadra temple, also known as Lepakshi Temple.
Lepakshi Temple is in a small village in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. Lepakshi temple is one of the major temples of South India. Lord Veerabhadra is worshiped in this temple. The structure of this temple is very big. Apart from Lord Veerabhadra, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are also worshiped in this temple. This temple is also known as Hanging Pillar Temple. This temple is also very famous for its engineering arts. There are 70 pillars in this temple; in other words, this temple is resting on 70 pillars. Of the 70 pillars in this temple, one pillar does not touch the ground but hangs in the air. It is believed that the passing of something from under this dangling pillar brings happiness and prosperity to the house and fulfills all the wishes.
It is said that this pillar was also attached to the ground earlier. But a British engineer wanted to know how this temple rests on these pillars, then that engineer shook a pole; since then, this pole has kept swinging in the air.
This temple is built in the Vijayanagara architectural style. Many idols of god, goddesses, dancers, and musicians are found in this temple. Along with this, many epic stories are also found written in this temple. There is a big statue or idol of the ride of Lord Shiva Nandi (Bull) in front of the temple, made from a block of stone. The height of this idol is 15 feet, and the width is 27 feet, and this Nandi idol is the largest Nandi statue in the world of its size.
History of Lepakshi Temple
This huge and wonderful temple located in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh is famous by the name of Lepakshi Temple. Realizing the importance of this place, in the 16th century, the confidant of Vijayanagara King Achutaraya, treasurer Virupanna Nayaka and his brother Viranna started the construction of this temple. Along with the worship of Lord Veerabhadra, people from far and wide also come to see the pillar swinging from the temple's roof in one part of the temple. The Natya Mandap (Theater hall) is right in front of the main temple. It has a total of seventy pillars and in the northeast corner of this Natya mandap is the mysterious pillar that keeps swinging in the air. This pillar is 8 feet long, about half an inch above the ground. And everyone believes that the weight of the whole temple rests on this swinging pillar.
There is a Kalyan Mandap in the courtyard of the Lepakshi temple, whose construction remains unfinished. Artistry has been done on each pillar, which looks very nice and attractive. There is an interesting story behind this mandap as well. It is said that the ministers complained to King Achutaraya that Virupanna Nayaka was illegally using the state treasury to construct the temple. So after listening to the complaints of the ministers, the king ordered his soldiers to remove both the eyes of Virupanna Nayaka. When Virupanna knew about this, he was very sad and said that the king should have inquired about it once. Then Virupana took out his eyes by himself and threw them on the front wall. And it is said that this sign is still there in this temple. Since then, the Kalyan Mandap has been incomplete in the same way.
Lepakshi Temple Mythology
According to the mention given in Ramayana, When Rama was in exile with his brother Lakshman and wife Goddess Sita. And for some reason, when Lankapati Ravana was taking Goddess Sita to Lanka after kidnaping her, then Jatayu thought to fight to save Goddess Sita from the clutches of Ravana so that Ravana could not take Mother Sita with him.
Then Jatayu fought with Ravana to save Goddess Sita, but Jatayu could not win the battle with Ravana and fell to the ground after being badly injured. When Lord Rama and his brother Lakshman reached that place in search of Goddess Sita, he saw that a big bird was lying unconscious on the ground. Then Lord Rama went near to Jatayu lying unconscious on the ground and said a word to Jatayu, "Le, pakshi", which means "Rise, bird" in Telugu, and as a result, this temple was named Lepakshi.
How to reach
Lepakshi Temple is located in Lepakshi, a small village in Andhra Pradesh, under the Anantapur district. There are three ways to reach Lepakshi. One by train, second by road, and third by plane. There are no airports or railway stations in this village. Yet, this village is well connected to several major cities by roads. If we talk about the first option, then it is by train or railway, there is no railway station in Lepakshi, but from this village, Hindupur railway station is the nearest railway station which is 15 kilometers far from this village. So if you want to come here by train, you can reach only up to the Hindupur railway station, and then you have to come to Lepakshi by road. Another option is to reach here by road you can come here by bus and car. If we talk about the third option, it is by air, but the nearest airport is in Puttaparthi, Sri Sathya Sai Airport and from here you can come to this village by car or bus.
Lepakshi temple is quite interesting in many other respects. The paintings on the walls of the Lepakshi temple are rare paintings of Indian painting art history, and these are world-famous paintings. So to see this specimen of religious, cultural, and architecture, make sure to visit Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh once in your life.