A masterpiece of art in Andra Pradesh - India:
Last month my wife and I had the great privilege of placing our feet
in yet another holy temple in India about 150 kilo metres away from
Puttaparthy the most famous divine spot in of Andra Pradesh.
"LEPAKSHI' is a word associated with sires. Sales people refer to
sari designs as 'LEPAKSHI DESIGNS' without knowing it's significance or
the historical story. It is here in " Lepakshi" the story of sari art
begins. In this temple there are thirty five rock pillars with beautiful
designs and it is these designs that are placed on the Indian saris. The
"Lepakshi" has thus become a centre of art In the world.
Lepakshi temple view
"Lepakshi" temple complex entirely built with rock is a landmark of
the 15th century construction and to be specific, in the year 1533 AD.
The great temple was raised by Virupanna a Governor of the Penukonda
Province under Achyutaraya, the successor of Krishnad evaRaya
Vijeyanagara empire who ruled from 1529-1542.
The temple is famous for his architect and construction value yet it
is a POPULAR LEGEND THAT HAS MADE THE TEMPLE KNOWN ACROSS THE NATION.
According to the legend when the temple was nearing completion, king
Achyutaraya, suspicious of the misuse of the royal treasury, by Virupana,
ORDERED FORTH WITH REMOVAL OF HIS EYES. HOWEVER, WHEN THIS DREADLY NEWS
REACHED VIRUPANA HE DECIDED TO REMOVE HIS OWN EYES BY HIMSELF AND
PERFORMED THE TASK BY HIMSELF. HE HIT THE WALL OF THE TEMPLE WITH TWO
EYES. AND THE BLOOD MARKS OF THE EYES STAINED THE TEMPLE WALLS.
UP TO DAY THE BLOOD STAINS ARE VISIBLE ON THE WALLS OF THE TEMPLE.
THE GUIDE AT THE TEMPLE ADDED THAT THE RESEARCH DONE BY THE BRITISH HAS
PROVEN THAT THESE TWO MARKS ARE OF HUMAN BLOOD.
A rock plate where food was served.
Virupana died at a time when the KALYANAMANDAPAM remained half
Finished... The Kalyanamandapam is the most important building in the
complex. The Hindu gods are positioned in the Kalyanamandapam at
astrologically correct positions.
For example the twelve piller Kalyanamandapam, Brahama Nanda,
Nataraja, Ramba, Lakshmi are sculptured as per protocol. The stone
Marriage platform is of great artistic value.
There are three different entrances to the temple. The main temple is
dedicated to Veerabadra. In this part of the building there is a an
architectural surprise. That is the thirty feet tall rock pillars
clearly seen hanging from the rock roof without a link to the ground.
The guides explained the significance of these hanging pillars in
balancing the entire temple.
This is one temple where there is so much sculpture on musicians and
dancers. Fortunately only the wooden roof of the temple is the only
thing missing and the carvings remain safe and undamaged. The sculpture
of "the ideal man" and the "Ideal woman" are rare sculptures in the
The sevenhooded Nagalinga is one colossal single rock carving which
is five and a half meters in height... There is a legend on the
completion of this sculpture which indicates the quickness and the
capacity of the sculpture artists.
It is said that the sculpturers came for lunch to the kitchen and the
food was not yet ready and the sculpturers decided to do this Nagalinga.
The women in-charge of the kitchen was shocked to see a completely new
Nagalinga being carved by the time the rice was ready.
The biggest rock bull in the Andra Pradesh is a part of this complex.
It is 10 metres in length and six metres in height. It is located around
a kilo metre Away from the temple from where the top of the Nagalingam
could be seen.
To any one who is interested in archaeology and history, or in
sculpture and paintings LEPAKSHI is a pleasure heaven. Specially to
those going to Puttaparthy, Lepakshi is a half day tour.