Lepakshi is a small village in Mandal in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located 15 km east of Hindupur and north of Bangalore. Lepakshi is culturally and archaeologically significant as it is the location of shrines dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Veerabhadra which were built during the Vijayanagara Kings’ period (1336–1646). The temples are the location of mural paintings of the Vijayanagar kings and Kannada inscriptions. Near the temple complex is a large granite Nandi bull. On a hillock known as Kurma Saila, “tortoise shaped hill”, are other temples to Papanatheswara, Raghunatha, Srirama, and Durga.
In the Ramayana, Ram, by Hanuman, meets the dying Jatayu. They help him to attain moksha by uttering the words “le pakshi,” which is Telugu for “rise, bird”. Hence the name, Lepakshi.
The Veerabhadra temple of Lepakshi, which was built by the brothers Viranna and Virupanna, is dedicated to Veerabhadra. It is an example of the Vijayanagar architectural style. Points of interest in the temple include a rock chain, Vastu Purush, the Padmini race lady, the hanging pillar, Durga Paadam, the eyes of Viroopaakshanna and Lepakshi saree designs. The paintings on the roof are made with natural pigments. Several stories like the Mahabharatha and the Ramayana; Vijayanagara murals and Kannada inscriptions on the walls
The Eyes of Viroopaakshanna
The Shiva’s bull Nandi is a granite monolithic sculpture on the main road of Lepashki approximately 200m from the temple. It is 4.5m high and 8.23m long making one of the largest nandi in India. The sculpture has been positioned so that it faces the shivalinga which is shielded by a large serpent inside the temple. The nandi wears a kaasu malai, a bell chain, earrings and other jewellery. Legend has it that the Naga of the Nagalinga was carved out of a single stone by sculptors while they waited for their mothers to prepare lunch.
SRI RAMA’S FOOT
While Sri Rama amd his Brother Laxmana are in search of sita they came near to lapakshi and landed his foot here.
There he saw jatavu bird which was injured by Ravana and fallen down and praying for Sri Rama.Sri Rama went near to it and spelled LE”PAKSHI” .finally the word became LEPAKSHI.
Lepakshi is reached by going west from Bengaluru, at the Kodikonda checkpost on the Hyderabad highway NH7. Lepakshi is 14 km away from Hindupur where there are bus and train links.