Visit Lepakshi in Anantapur, AP: The Beautiful Town From The Legends (2021)
Once ruled by several powerful kingdoms, Lepakshi is the kind of town you read about in stories, myths, and legends. Located at a good distance of 120 km from Bangalore, we are talking about one of the best places to visit in Andhra Pradesh! A small antiquated village located in the district of Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, Lepakshi is the village of tales, cultures, and beautifully crafted temples. Therefore, if you are planning a trip down history for a vacation, Lepakshi is the preeminent destination for you! We have made a guide for you to refer to as you plan for your vacation at this cultural hub in Andhra Pradesh.
Legends About The Historical Village Of Lepakshi
This little village was founded by the great king of the Vijayanagara empire, Maharaja Aliya Rama Raya, around 1535 AD. Legend has it that in Ramayana, Jatayu, while trying to save Sita from being kidnapped by Ravana, was injured and fell here in the village of Lepakshi. Later, when Lord Rama visited the mortally injured Jatayu, he helped him attain enlightenment (moksha) by speaking the words’ Le Pakshi’, which in Telugu translates to ‘rise, bird.’ Thus, the village was named Lepakshi.
Another legend is that of two brothers, Veerapurana and Viranna, the governors under king Achyutaraya. Veerapurana was said to have a son who was blind from birth but somehow was able to get his sight back while playing around the Shivalinga in the temple. However, rumors spread that by stealing the kingdom’s treasure, Veerapurana was able to restore his blind son’s sight. As a punishment, the king ordered that Veerapurana be made blind. Veerapurana, upset that the king did not trust him, took out his eyes himself, and hurled them against the Kalyana Mandapa walls that were half-constructed. From here came the name ‘Lape-akshi,’ meaning the ‘Village of the Blinded Eye.’ It is even said that a British scientist actually found bloodstains on the mentioned walls.
Lepakshi is like a treasure-trove of temples and beautiful architectures, making it one of the top tourist places in Andhra Pradesh. However, the thing that makes Lepakshi so unique and beautiful is that each of the structures has its own story to tell. Like age-old folklore from an antiquarian story-teller, this village will help you get lost in time and history of kings and legends.
Top Attractions to See in Lepakshi
Among the many places to visit in Lepakshi, we have curated to give you one of the best places you need to stop by while in Lepakshi. Go on and get your to-visit list ready!
For the believers and the spiritual, the Lepakshi temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Veerabhadra. With the Vijayanagara origin’s architectural styles, the temples’ three shrines are entrancing and simply beautiful. Portraying the old ages’ rustic yet majestic lives, these relics are dated back to the 16th century. This temple houses the extraordinary Hanging Pillars and a footprint that is said to be of Maa Sita, the wife of Lord Rama. You will also find the largest monolithic of the serpent in India, known as the Nagalinga.
Another very famous attraction among the must-visit places in Lepakshi is the Veerabhadra temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Veerabhadra Swamy, who is a formidable avatar of Lord Shiva. You will find detailed paintings and carvings all around the temple, telling stories from the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Puranas. A real delight for travelers who have an interest in architecture, and an ethereal place for believers and worshippers, the Veerabhadra temple is a must-visit!
You will find this extraordinary piece of craft within the proximity of the Veerabhadra temple. Measuring up to 8.23 m in length and 4.5 m in height, this monolith of the sacred Vahan of Shiva, Nandi, is the largest statue in India’s whole. You may also indulge in the beautiful paintings on the walls of the Kalyana and Natya Mandapams (the wedding and dance halls), which are said to be one of the finest architecture when it comes to the Vijayanagara style.
Lepakshi is also known for its famous handicraft industry. Therefore, after having visited the temples, make sure you save some time and visit the local handicraft shops. Items such as Brass Artware, Banjara embroidery, Kalamkari paintings, jute and cotton durries, Kondapalli toys, Bidricraft, and Cherial scroll paintings are the most popular. This is where you will find the best souvenirs to bring back home to your friends and family!
Best Time For A Visit To Lepakshi
The best time to visit Lepakshi would be in the fall and winter season. You may, of course, visit it in the summers. However, the weather can get pretty hot and humid around that time. Therefore, for a comfortable and pleasant trip, visiting during the cold days is the more suitable option. As Lepakshi offers you many sightseeing spots, walking around them in the summer can be excruciatingly exhausting. Thus, if you devise a plan for a trip to Lepakshi, plan it around November – March.
Traveling to Lepakshi
You will easily find several ways to get to the village of Lepakshi as it is a very well connected village with the major cities around. Let us look at the various options that will be available to you:
- By Air: Lepakshi itself does not have an airport. However, the nearest airport to the village of Lepakshi is Bangalore International Airport, which is about 100 km away from the village. From there, you may take a bus or a cab.
- By Road: Lepakshi is 120 km far from Bangalore and 480 km away from Hyderabad. If you are going by private car, then en route from Bangalore to Hyderabad, you need to take a 16 km detour on the left, and you will reach Lepakshi. If you opt for buses, there are direct buses from Hindupur to Lepakshi. You may also opt for cab services.
- By Rail: The nearest railway station to Lepakshi is the Hindupur railway station, which is 12 km away from Lepakshi.
For traveling within the village, buses are an economical and convenient option. However, if you have more budget, you may opt for taxis, which are comparatively costlier but are a quick transportation mode.
Special Facts About Lepakshi
Lepakshi is not just famous for its temples and legends. There are other factors about the place that makes Lepakshi even more special and important. Let us see a couple of such facts:
Silk Weaving: Lepakshi is also famous for its silk weaving. Though it is in Dharmavaram that the silks get weaved, Lepakshi, too, has its own share of silk weaving, making it a significant occupation around these areas.
Vijayanagara Architectural Style: During the rule of the Vijayanagara empire, South India saw some tremendous architectural styles and monuments, which prevail in Lepakshi as well. These constructions are not just famous for its beautiful carved walls and structures, but also because of how brilliantly they were engineered and created that they still stand today, strong and tall.
Visit The Town From Legends
It is one thing to hear a story and another thing to live it. In a place such as Lepakshi, which is abundant with such legends and myth, it will remind you once again of the great civilizations that walked the earth before us. Therefore, for a hypnotic trip down history, come and visit Lepakshi.