The last weekend, we visited Lepakshi – a small village in Ananthapur, Andhra Pradesh, and were awed by the temples there. It is a really small village – a giant Shiva Linga and Nandi, and a temple of Veerabhadra being the major tourist attractions. I learnt that the Lepakshi temple is an example of the Vijayanagar style of architecture.
This is the huge Nandi (called Basavanna) at Lepakshi, which faces the big Shiva Linga. The Shiva Linga was earlier visible as you stood at the spot where the Nandi is placed, till buildings and shops came up and obstructed the view.
The Nandi really is a wonderful specimen of craftsmanship, with beautiful bells and Rudraksha beads around its neck. Truly a sight worth seeing!
The guide we hired here told us that the stains below the mouth of the Nandi are the result of the villagers’ tradition of feeding butter or ghee to the idol . Years ago, it was believed by the villagers of Lepakshi that if any of their animals were sick, they would get well if the owners promised to feed the Nandi butter or ghee made out of the first milk drawn from the animal after it gets well. This practice has been stopped now.
There are beautiful carvings on the pillars of this temple – some of them really mystical. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a guide at this place, and so, could not figure out the meanings of most of the carvings and the history of the place.
Lepakshi really is a must-visit and must-experience place, one that will fill you with peace and contentment. Specially for people who love mythology and are interested in ancient cultures and their architecture. It is rather sad that the temple is slowly crumbling. I hope some steps are taken to restore this beautiful heritage site. I am also interested in finding out more about the history of this beautiful place.
Camera Courtesy: Sis 🙂