|Le Pakshi, Andhra, Ravana killing Jatayu.besttourismplacesinindia.blogspot.com|
It is about 75 miles (120 km) from Bangalore, another IT center. Lapakshi is a sermon in stone, a repository of sculptural wonders that need special talents. Here Lord Sri Rama is said to have met the huge mythical bird 'Jatayu'whose wings had been struck by the king of Lanka Ravana (Lankeswaran) who was on his way back home with his hostage Sri Sita Devi, wife of Sri Rama. Sri Rama said compassionately to the wounded bird ''Le Pakshi'' (Arise bird in Telugu). Hence the name Le Pakshi (also in Sanskrit Pakshi means bird).
Lepakshi temple was built by the brothers Viranna and Virupanna during the reign of Achyutha Devaraya who ruled the Vijayanagara empire from 1530 A.D to 1542 A.D. This temple, on a hillock known as Kurma Saila (tortoise shaped hill), is a treasure-house of beautiful Vijyanagara style of architecture and eye-catching paintings of 16th AD. There are three temples in one.
The main shrine is dedicated to Veerabadra, the fiery god created by Shiva in his rage after the Daksha Yagna and the immolation of Parvathi and the other deity is Papanaeswara (Lord Shiva). The third being Sri Ragunatha (Lord Vishnu). The Arthamandabam (prayer hall) and Naatya mandambam are the added attractions. The Natyamandabam (dance hall) has exquisitely sculptured stone pillars dramatically depicting life-size representation of music and various dance poses carved with meticulous care. Veerabadra temple was, legend has it, established by sage Agastya initially.
|Monolithic bull, Lapakshi temple, Andhra. AstroVed|
According to history, the temple's builder,Virupanna, a treasurer in King's court was accused of misusing the funds for building the temple and the king ordered him to be blinded. Hearing this, the builder as a punishment removed his own eyes, dashed against the wall and died. Even today those blood marks can be seen on a particular wall.
|Hanging pillar. Lapakshi, Andhra. Procaffenation|
|Hanging stone pillar,Lepakshi temple, Andhra, buzzoop.com|
|Serpent with a big hood, Lapakshi temple, Andhra.FunAlive.com|
|Monoithic bull. Lapakshi temple, Andhra AstroVed|
Another sculptural wonder of this temple is the monolithic stone Nandi (Bull), the largest of its kind in India. It is 4.5m high and 8.23m long, located about a mile away from the main temple and does not have a roof over it. It is so placed that it faces the huge Shivalinga with a three coiled huge serpent's seven hoods forming the canopy over it. Said to be the second largest monolithic stone figure in India, after Gomateshwara, the Nandi sports a huge kaasu malai (coins in the form of a garland), a bell chain, earrings and other jewelry beautifully carved in the stone. Another huge monolithic stone Nandhi is in the 1000 plus year old Big temple - dedicated to Bragadeshwara (Lord Shiva) in Thanjavur city, TN built by the great Chola king Raja Raja.