Brief information about Lepakshi:
Lepakshi is located in Anantapur district of AP, 15 kms from Hindupur. It is famous for Veerbhadra Temple with it’s engineering marvel Hanging Pillar, Nagalinga & Monolithic Bull. One can reach Hindupur by overnight journey from Hyderabad, just like we did or as a Day trip from Bangalore (2-2.5 hrs one way). There are regular buses from Bus stand & Trains too, which halt at Hindupur Railway Station. Lepakshi, being a small town, one can hire an Auto and these can be done in half day or covered in detail for a day.
In continuation to my previous trip : Warangal
I had booked the bus from MG Bus Stand at 9.10 pm to Hindupur, being overnight journey, it was a better option than wasting 4-5 hours of day travel from Kurnool to Hindupur. We went back to hotel, hoping to freshen up a bit instead Hotel owner declined our request, we took our haversacks and left for Bus Stand in the same auto (Rs. 150).
We reached Hindupur Bus stand early morning by 6.30 am. Hindupur was the closest town to Lepakshi, barely 30 mins of travel. There are hotels outside the bus stand. We booked the hotel for Rs. 800/-. We freshened up, had hearty fulfilling breakfast in a small hotel (Rs. 90/-) which was the only option available, early morning.
The next task was hiring an auto. It seemed a daunting task with people quoting exorbitant amount. Finally, we managed to get an auto whose driver charged Rs. 200/- for taking us to two places. Veerabhadra Temple & Shiva’s Bull (Nandi).
It was a 20-30 minutes drive from Hindupur. First, we visited the Veerabhadra Temple, one of the main highlight of the trip was this temple.
We realized that the distance covered for this temple from Hyderabad was totally worth it, when we first saw the glimpse of the temple. The pillars, colorful murals, the sculpture, architecture, all were magnificent, we kept hopping around, posing, photographing, wondering its glory in bygone era. The main temple has around 70 pillars.
(The temple dates back to 1583 and was built by the brothers, Virupanna and Veeranna, who were initially in the service of the Vijayangar kings. However, Puranic lore has it that the Veerabhadra temple was built by the sage Agastya. It has idols of Ganesha, Nandi, Veerabhadra, Shiva, Bhadrakali, Vishnu and Lakshmi. Another legend gives the town a significant place in the Ramayana — this was where the bird Jatayu fell, wounded after a futile battle against Ravana who was carrying away Sita. When Sri Rama reached the spot, he saw the bird and said compassionately, “Le Pakshi” — ‘rise, bird’ in Telugu. – – Sourced from Web).
There was a mammoth Nagalinga with three coils and seven hoods. It shaded the black granite Shivalingam from top. It is said to be largest Nagalinga in India. Lepakshi Temple is also known for Mural painting of the Vijayanagara Kings. Fresco of Veerabhadra on the ceiling is said to be largest in India of any single person.
When we got in the temple, it was relatively empty, we tried to experiment by checking out the authenticity of the hanging pillar by passing the scarf through the base of hanging pillar. Soon a group of students arrived who were curious with what we were doing, after some time the whole lot started checking the same. We continued our photography and realized we spent more than hour, which kind off justified for the whole place.
As soon as we came out, auto driver started grumbling for making him wait and threatened to add more charges. We told him as a tourist, we cannot just spend few minutes and leave, finally he relented. Next, he dropped us at Monolithic Shiva’s Bull – Nandi. Nandi is about 27 ft in length & 15th Ft in height, supposedly biggest Monolithic Nandi in India. We stopped for 5 minutes with each of us photographing with such an enormous structure.
Lepakshi trip took half a day, we decided to leave for Bangalore instead of spending the rest half in Hindupur. We packed some stuffs to eat and left for Bangalore by 2.30 pm. We had to keep tab on buses that came in the bus stand. Because the person at the enquiry counter kept saying that it will arrive in some time. Some guys pointed us the bus, before it could leave.
Thankfully KSRTC drivers were much better and drove well, but got slowed down once, we reach the city, because of traffic. We had booked the Sleeper coach bus from Bangalore, which was supposed to leave by 9.30 pm. We arrived at Bangalore by 6.30 pm.
Bus dropped us at Majestic Bus stand, we walked the whole way to the VRL stand at Anand Rao Circle. Had late evening snacks at nearby Restaurant. Since, we had 2 hours to spare, we took a short detour to MG Road to buy some wooden handicrafts after much deliberation, watching the traffic on both sides, calculating the time taken for both sides, we finally managed to take the risk. We did manage to buy stuffs and come back for bus on time.
We reached Mumbai on Sunday Afternoon. By 5.00 pm we were at home. Total expense for this trip i.e. Hyderabad – Warangal – Ramappa – Lepakshi was approximately 11,000/- inclusive of Airfare & Sleeper Bus fare and all other details.
There were tickets of Rs. 10/- to 15/- as well as camera charges of Rs. 20/- to 50/- at all places.
I resolved to take another trip to Hyderabad, just to relish the Hyderabadi cuisine and satiate my unsatisfied appetite from this trip, also, somewhere in the near future, I will surely visit Lepakshi, again!