Veerabhadra Temple, Lepakshi
Location: The centuries-old Hindu shrine ‘Veerabhadra Temple’ is enhancing the religious significance of Lepakshi near Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. It is 15 Km away from Hindupur.
Prime Deity: Lord Veerabhadra
Historical era of its foundation: 16th century
Founder of the present ‘Veerabhadra’ temple: Saint Agasthya
Testimonial scripture: Skandapurana
- As per Indian Mythology, the legend of ‘Lepakshi’, where ‘Veerbahdra Temple’ is located, unveils that ‘Virupanna’, the treasurer of the Vinjayanagarm king, devised and executed the plan of constructing a temple for dedicating it to the aforementioned deity.
On returning from expedition, the King of Vijayanagara fumed with anger since each coin of his treasure was spent. The king made verdict of turning the treasurer blind against the heinous crime of utilizing royal fund without any imperial consensus. The treasurer accepted his crime and shot his eyes with his own band.
“Kalyana Mandapa” is the very spot where the visitors can witness the evidence of executed sentence as there are 2 dark stains imprinted on the wall which clarifies that the verdict was carried out in real. Thus, the village got its name, i.e. Lepakshi which connotes a village of blinded eyes.
Description of the temple:
- Architectural style: Vijayanagara architectural style
- Architect: Vishwakarma Brahmin Stapathis
- Exquisite ‘Mandapams’: The intricate carvings representing the marvel of ‘Vijanagaram architectural style’ is an epitome of exquisite Indian art. Hard nut to crack is the embossing of complicated designs as of dancers, musicians along with sculptures. But the artisans had proven their dexterity via the monolithic pillars of grey sandstone with life-size images of the foregoing images presenting the living style of ‘Vijayanagar-empire’. Main mandapams to mention for you are:
- Mukha Mandapa ( or Nitya Mandapa or Ranga Mandapa)
- Artha Mandapa
- Garbha Griha
- Kalyana Mandapa
- Nandi bull: A single granite stone is cut and sculpted into a beautiful ‘Nandi-bull’.
- Mural paintings: The stunning outlook of mural paintings of this temple can steal the heart of any admirer by the iconic puranic episodes of ‘Ananthasayana’, ‘Dattatrya’, ‘Chaturmukha Brahma’, ‘Tumburu’, ‘Narada’ and ‘Rambha’.