Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Maha Nandi - Lepakshi

054/366 Nandi - Lepakshi

Nandi in this picture is biggest monolithic Nandi sculpture in entire India. It is close to 15 feet high & 27 feet long. This lovely Nandi is made of single granite stone. Nandi faces huge Nagalinga, which is in the main temple at some distance.

Main temple was built by Vijayanagara rulers has Veerabhadra as main deity. Temple ceilings contain many beautiful paintings. Hanging pillar inside the temple is interesting one to see. Pillars in the temple contain many beautiful carvings depicting Brahma, Vastu purusha etc. Temple also contains huge idol of Lord Ganesha. Many Kannada in inscriptions can be found on temple walls.

As per local legend, massive Nagalinga was built by sculptors while they were waiting for their mother to prepare lunch. Another interesting legend is about Viroopakshanna. Viroopakshanna was main sculptor of this temple and due to some misunderstanding between him and King, King ordered him to be blinded. Upon hearing this, Viroopakshanna plucked his eyes and threw them at the wall. One of the wall has two red colored/blood colored marks and is known as "Eyes of Viroopakshanna".

Name of this place "Lepakshi" has links to Ramayana. When Ravana abducted Seeta in flying chariot, bird Jatayu fights with Ravana. Ravana cuts the wings of Jatayu during the epic fight. Jatayu falls down on the ground. Subsequently, when Rama comes in search fo Seeta, he finds Jatayu lying on the ground. With his divine touch & magical word "Le(vu) Pakshi" - "Rise Bird" heals Jatayu. With Rama's touch, Jatayu rises again. Since then, this place is known as "Lepakshi". But now it is pronounced as "lepaakshi".

More info & pics about this place can be found here:
http://thetravellerweare.blogspot.com/2012/06/lepakshi-perfect-blend-of-archaeology.html

Lepakshi is 122km away from Bangalore and is close to the border of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

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