Lepakshi temple: Secrets and mysteries revealed!

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Last Updated on January 16, 2022 by asoulwindow

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Information About Lepakshi Temple

Lepakshi Temple is a temple of miracles! Before I arrived in Lepakshi, from the huge ‘Soul Window’ of the bus, I noticed the unique location of Lepakshi Temple. Vast open agricultural lands, punctuated with small and big boulders, reminiscent of my trip to Hampi, makes the setting of Lepakshi Temple dream like. As per Skanda Puran, Lepakshi Temple is a divyakshetra, a remarkable pilgrimage destination associated with Shankar Bhagwan.

In this comprehensive travel guide on Lepakshi Temple, I will empower you with all the information you will ever need to plan a weekend trip to Lepakshi Temple from Bangalore.

I lived in Bangalore for 2 months of temporary job, working for a travel app on weekdays and visiting many South Indian destinations on weekends. Lepakshi Temple was one of them, never moving away from the top of my Wishlist. The unexplored places like Lepakshi temple always attracted me.

It was also one of my few trips to Andhra Pradesh in South India. There are so many things to do here whether solo or with family and kids. All you wanted to know about Lepakshi temple is explained in this information packed travel guide.

Read on…

Why is Lepakshi Temple world famous?

What is special in Lepakshi Temple? There are many reasons due to which Lepakshi Temple is famous across the world. Many of these reasons are the secrets and mysteries of Lepakshi Mandir. Also, the Ramayan Connection and proximity with Bangalore in Karnataka makes Lepakshi Temple very famous temple.

The miracles and unsolved mysteries of Lepakshi Temple

Believe it or not, there are as many as 8 wonders or mysteries of Lepakshi Temple and these are located within the temple premises.

Carving of lion on hanging pillar of Lepakshi Temple

Whether it is the hanging pillars of Lepakshi, the huge Nandi statue, the legend of bleeding eye, foot prints of Maa Sita or the Jatayu and Ramayan connection, the miracles and unsolvedmysteries of Lepakshi await you! The 8 wonders of Lepakshi Temple are as below:

  • Multilingual priests.
  • Giant footprint of Mata Sita from the Ramayan era.
  • Colossal statue of Jatayu ji on a hilltop. It is one of its kind.
  • A mysterious eye mark on one of the walls of Lepakshi Temple.
  • The legend behind the incomplete Kalyan Mandapa of Lepakshi.
  • Lepakshi is home to 27 feet tall statue of Nandi, which is also India’s biggest monolithic Nandi.
  • Hanging pillar of Veerbhadra temple stands tall, since centuries, without any support from the base.
  • The massive Shivling which is protected by hooded and multi-faced Naagraj was constructed in a single day.

Where is Lepakshi Temple located?

Lepakshi Temple, I discovered was a dusty little village, located near the border of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, close to Hindupur in Anantapur district in South India. The geography of Lepakshi which lies on Andhra Pradesh side, was reminiscent of the geography of Hampi which is located in Karnataka.

They look quite similar, what with green open spaces, boulders the size of towering skyscrapers and a sunny weather that characterizes both places.

As I walked my way to Lepakshi Temple, I noticed many small shops dotting the landscape, few hotels, half painted homes and a mosque. It was an unusual place. The ordinary exterior of the Lepakshi Temple belied the exquisite art and carvings waiting for me inside.

Nomenclature/Etymology: What is Lepakshi named after?

It is believed by Hindus that Jatayu ji fell on this same spot. When Shri Ram and Laxman ji arrived here, they saw the badly injured bird and exclaimed, “Le Pakshi!”, “Le Pakshi!”  which are Telugu words that mean ‘Rise, O bird!’ Hence Lepakshi was name after this incident.

As per other claims, the incident happened in Chadayamangalam, located in Kollam in Kerala. It is known for the famous Jatayu Earth’s Center, the largest bird sculpture of the world. Chadayamangalam was known as Jatayumangalam earlier.

Places to see in Lepakshi

What are the top places to see in and around Lepakshi Temple? I have got you covered here. Most of the top tourist attractions of Lepakshi Temple are at walking distance from each other. I started with Lepakshi temple as my bus dropped here. I then proceeded to the other main attraction such as Nandi Bull statue made from single granite stone and colossal Jatayu statue, watching over the village. You do not need to follow any chronology though as Lepakshi is an easy to visit destination.

The Idols of Bala Ganesh ji, Lakhsmi maa, Nandi bull, Lord Veerbhadra who is flanked by Shiv ji, Vishnu ji, on either sides and Bhadrakali are some of the best ones I have seen in Indian Hindu Temples. What’s more? The mysterious hanging pillar, foot print of Sita Mata, centuries old Kannada inscriptions on temple floor, huge Jatayu statue are some of the best things to see in and around Lepakshi Temple.

Jatayu Statue

The first structure I noticed as the bus entered the narrow roads of Lepakshi was the massive Jatayu ji statue overlooking the sleepy village. It resembles an Eagle or Vulture. Though, a modern structure, it sits pretty, wings spread wide, on the top of boulder so tall, it could not Leaning Tower of Pisa to shame.

An old friend of Raja Dashrath from the Hindu epic Ramayan, Jatayu ji, the bird man, had an instrumental role to play when the evil demon King Ravan abducted Maa Sita.

When Jatayu ji noticed that Ravan’s Pushpak Viman was carrying Sita Mata to Sri Lanka, he interrupted and attacked him, considering Sita ji as his own daughter in law. Despite his brave efforts, Ravan managed to clip his wings, as Jatayu ji was very old and unfit to sustain a long fight.

Just as Shri Ram and his brother Laxman ji were wandering anxiously in the forests in search of Sita ji, they chanced upon the dying Jatayu ji. Before passing away in the lap of Shri Ram, Jatayu ji told them that Ram was headed southwards. After respectfully cremating the lifeless body of the gentle giant, the duo headed towards Sri Lanka. Jatayu ji thus gave a new turning point and was important in giving direction to the epic that Ramayan is.

Apart from India, Ramayan is still recited in nations such as Nepal, Philipinnes, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Hindu Bali in Indonesia and even in the Islamic majority Malaysia.

Do read my blogs on above mentioned places on A Soul Window. It is widely known that A Soul Window has been rated as the No.1 travel blog of India and leading Indian Travel Blog on several occasions.

Veerabhadra Temple

As per an inscription found in the temple premises, we know who constructed the Veerabhadra Temple. The construction year of Veerbhadra Temple can be traced back to 1583 C.E. when King Achyuta Deva Raya from the powerful Vijayanagar empire ruled the land. It is perched on a low rise hill known in Telugu as Kurma Sailam or the tortoise hill (because it resembles one).

Built by brothers Viranna and Virupanna, the central temple reminded me of Baijnath temple in Himachal Pradesh which is devoted to Shiv Bhagwan and was built by two merchant brothers as well. However, this temple is dedicated to Lord Veerbhadra or Virabhadreshwara who is an irate avatar of Shiv Bhagwan. This fierce form of Shiv ji is associated with the famous episode of Daksha Yagna followed by self-immolation of Maa Parvati. The episode enraged Lord Shiva who caused much damage.

Both Viranna and Virupanna were Nayak chieftains and governors of Penukonda which still exists as a small town in close proximity with Lepakshi. One of the oldest Hindu temples in India, Veerabhadra Temple impressed me with its grand yet simple architecture. The architectural prowess of the sculptors of the Vijayanagar empire is to be seen to be believed.

This is the main temple in Lepakshi. It faces the main entrance and is also home to many other shrines. However, Virabhadreshwara temple is the only complete structure in the temple complex.

Natya Mantapa is the dancing hall which is located right in front of the Veerabhadra Temple. Of the 70 carved pillars here, 12 are the part of main dancing hall. While Rambha, the celestial nymph dances on one pillar, while her dance guru, Bhringeshwara, is depicted with 3 legs on another pillar. Dance poses by both of them are striking in similarity. Of special mention is the idol of Nataraja form of Shiv ji. He dances with aplomb, complete with a flute, veena, tambura and drum or Damru.

Soul Window Tip

Do not miss the carved ceiling of the Mantapa. The Shathapatra Kamala, or the 100 petalled divine lotus flower stands out. It is carved from 12 stones.

Architecture of Lepakshi Temple

A shining example of Vijayanagar style of architecture, every inch of Lepakshi Temple speaks volumes of the glorious past of India. The ancient Hindu culture and tradition comes alive, thanks to the foresightedness of our ancestors who built Veerbhadra Temple.

Constructed entirely out of stone, the temple gives us a glimpse into the art and culture followed in 16th century South India. As I walked through the wide-open spaces and corridors, I noticed numerous figures of deities from the Hindu pantheon carved on the pillars and walls of the temple.

What’s more? I craned my neck to admire the paintings on the roof. It is therefore important that you read this guide on Lepakshi Temple, so that you do not miss on any details as many do.

As is common with other South Indian Temples, I was impressed to see the vast courtyard of the Veerbhadra Temple. The airy verandahs, populated with rows and rows of pillars, each of which are carved deftly, make ephemeral patterns on the walls and ground.

Lepakshi is also where you will see a rare union of Vaishnavism and Shaivanism. As I noticed in the 2 Shivlingas worshipped here. While one Linga is fashioned in the Shaiva tradition, the other Linga has carvings of holy lotus flowers at its base, indicating the Vaishnava tradition. Idols of Maa Parvati and Maa Durga shared the sacred space. Photography is this part is prohibited thankfully.

As I stepped on to the main temple from the sprawling courtyard, the huge carvings on the wall vied for my attention. The carvings of Hindu deities are the most impressive in this part. It was darker than the other segments of the temple complex, but that added to its aura. The sooty oil lamps illuminated the dark spaces even as sun was at its brightest outside.

Every stone of Lepakshi has a story waiting to be discovered. Not an inch of space on the walls and pillars was bereft of various scenes and deities from the Hindu culture. You must pause here to notice carvings of heavenly dancers, Hindu Gods, celestial beings,apsaras and mythical animals etc.

Whether it is Lord Brahma playing the cymbals or Lord Narad playing Tanpura, each carving stood out. Nataraja in a complicated pose, deserves special mention. It also threw light on the costumes, hair styles, ornaments and instruments which were in use in those times. 

It was a practicing temple. Devotees offered their respects to the primary deity in the main sannidhanam or garbhagriha known in English as Sanctum Sanctorum. Hide those cellphones and replace the shirts pants of visitors and I might as well have been time-traveling in 16th century.

Hanging pillar of Lepakshi 

We have all heard of the mystery of the hanging pillar of Lepakshi, that defies all laws of gravity as we know it.  It is the stuff legends are made up of. You would ask what is special about this pillar? Of the 70 pillars in this ancient medieval Hindu temple, one pillar has always baffled archeologists and scientists. The mystery of hanging pillar of Lepakshi is that there is one pillar which grazes the ceiling and is actually hanging in air and not resting on grounds like others do.

The hanging pillar of Lepakshi Temple

Call it the skill and engineering genius of the people who were expert in Vijayanagar style of architecture or an unsolved miracle, the hanging pillar of Lepakshi is one of the most famous features of the Veerbhadra temple in Lepakshi Village! You might see people passing a newspaper or a thin cloth like Chunri or dupatta under the hanging pillar.

The paper easily passes from one end to another, confirming that there is space between the pillar and the ground. No wonder, the hanging pillar of Lepakshi is one of the main attractions here. It is also known as the Antariksh Stambha or Mool Stambha.

Soul Window Trivia

Did you know that in the year 1902 C.E., while the British ruled over much of India, a British engineer attempted to solve the mystery of hanging pillar of Lepakshi by inserting an iron rod beneath it. He wondered what supported the hanging pillar and kept it in its place as centuries passed. What stood the test of time, threatened to collapse when the British engineer tried to move the pillar.

He failed to understand that even one pillar was important to keep the entire temple in its shape. The entire temple complex began shaking and shifting as he attempted to dislocate the hanging pillar of Lepakshi. Scared that the entire temple might be damaged by his actions, he abandoned his ambition.

The Shivling and Nagalinga of Lepakshi Temple

It is unusual to see a huge idol of multiheaded Naga Linga in Hindu temples. Never before had I seen a Shivling such as this one. It is the 4th Shivlinga in the temple complex. The multifaced snakes or the Naag covers and protects the head of the huge Shivling and encircles it in 3 fat layers, coiling it with the tail end of its body.

Located close to the hanging pillar of Lepakshi, you can see the Shivling towards the back side of the main shrine. Please ask around as you can easily miss the seven headed serpent wrapping the Shivlinga because it is located inside a walled enclosure.

The Nagalinga has 3 cracks. Since the Khandit Murti (Damaged idol) is not worshipped by Hindus, therefore this Shivlinga is only for display and not worship. I saw many irresponsible people climbing and sitting next to it for Photo Ops.

Interesting facts

As per legends, the colossal Nagalinga was carved out of a single stone by local sculptors as they waited for their mother to make lunch! To pass time, they carved the Nagalinga out of a large granite boulder.  

However, may be because of the high speed, it ended up with a crack at its base. The guide however insisted that, it is because of the evil eye or ‘najar lagna’ because after the completion, the mother of the workers went on a praising spree attracting jealousy.

Incomplete Kalyan Mandapa of Lepakshi Mandir

Located close to the Shivling, the Kalyan Mandapa or the marriage hall, stands testimony to the rich past of South Indian culture and architecture. Beautiful even in its imperfection, the features of the carvings on the pillars here accentuated as the last rays of sun caressed it. Exposed to the elements, the carvings of Kalyan Mandapa have withstood the test of time. Even the rain, sun, wind failed to erode the carvings. I tried to hear as the symphony in stone, told me stories from the past, sotto voce.

Lata Mantap for Lepakshi Saree Design

Lata Mantap or Latha Mantapa is located near Kalyan Mandapa. It is christened after the lata or the creepers that entwine the pillars present here. This is where you can see the famous Lepakshi saree designs carved on each of the 36 pillars. These are used as Saree borders. Each of the pillar has 4 sides. A unique design has been carved on each side. Tandaveshwara, the 5th Shivling of the temple is located nearby.

Why is Kalyan Mandapa incomplete?

It is a commonly asked question about Lepakshi Temple. As per some accounts, the accountant of the King was the one who commissioned the construction of the Kalyan Mandapa without the approval of the King. Since the King was on a trip, he had no idea of the same.

When he returned and found out, he admonished the accountant, questioning him why he had spent the money of the Kingdom without his consent. Enraged, he ordered to stop the construction immediately. Since then, the Kalayan Mandapa remains complete. It is still a mystery though!

Interesting facts

Did you know that locals believe that had Kalyan Mandapa ben completed, Shiv Bhagwan and Maa Parvati would have tied the nuptial knot here?

Footprints Mystery of Sita Maa in Lepakshi Temple Complex

You will be amazed to learn about the mystery of the Footprints of Sita Maa also known as Sitamma Padalu. Wife of Shri Ram, you can still see the huge footprints of Goddess Sita in the courtyard which measures 2.5 feet long. I have seen many such huge prints of Hanuman ji and other Gods in many places.

In those times, the average height used to be upto 30 feet tall. Much like the precedents of current animals. Think of the prehistoric Mammoth and Rhinoceros (which were larger)!

What adds to its enigma is the continuous presence of water on the footprint. Bewildered, I noticed that the water never ceases to sip through and wash the pious feet. No one still knows the exact source of water. Even if you try to wipe the water or dry it, the water refuses to disappear.

Footprint of Sita Mata from Ramayan in Lepakshi Temple.

The locals call it the miracle of Maa Sita, one of the supreme deities from the Hindu pantheon. It is seen as a mark of respect towards the Goddess, unexplained and mysterious. The legend can be traced to the historical events from Ramayan. As per the Hindu beliefs, Ravan, the demon king from Sri Lanka abducted, Maa Sita be deceit.

When he was forcefully taking her to Sri Lanka on his Pushpak Viman, they rested here for a while. This is when the footprints got imprinted on the ground and the water has been washing it as a mark of respect ever since.

Some also believe that Durga maa left her foot prints here when she visited. It is thus also known as Durga Padam. Nearby, giant thali carvings or plates on the floor are used to feed the cursed ones. Some say, these were used by laborers to eat their food. Do ask around for its location, like I did, as it is easy to miss the footprints in the vast courtyard. It is located close to the main shrine and Kalyan Mandapa. There are many resting halls built across the temple precincts.

The mystery of bleeding eyes of Virupanna

Virupanna and Veeranna, the brothers who built the ancient Lepakshi Temple, served in the court of King Achyutaraya. Since Achyutaraya never had a son who could succeed him, therefore his son in law, stepped as the new King post the death of Achyutaraya. Conspiracies happened in those time as well. Some evil intentioned courtiers misappropriated facts and told the new King that Virupanna, who was a treasurer of the Vijayanagar empire misused the court funds in his absence to construct the Kalyan Mandapa.

Furious, the egotistical King, ordered to blind Virupanna. Insulted, Virupanna gouged out his own eyes and in a fit of rage, flung them on one of the temple walls. Despite the centuries of being exposed to the elements, two blood like stains are still present on the walls of the Lepakshi temple. The local guide will tell you that in 20th century, the British officers did a chemical analysis of the red marks and actually found it to be human blood.

On some occasions, such as Dushehra festival, the intensity of the color of the eye mark increases to a bright red. It is said, that to this day the ghost of Virupanna, pained at his unfulfilled wish to complete what he started, roams the precincts of Lepakshi Temple. I remind myself to breathe as the mystery and miracles of Lepakshi Temple deepened.

Soul Window facts

Did you know that there is another story on why Lepakshi was named so? As per the priest, Lepakshi could have been named after lep and akshi, which means painted and eye respectively.

Lepakshi Murals

The easy to miss the fading yet well preserved Lepakshi murals and bas reliefs are some of the finest I saw. I admired different forms of Lord Shiva painted here. There are plenty of paintings and murals here that depict episodes from ancient Hindu epic Ramayan and Mahabharat and holy scriptures such as Puranas. Exposed to natural elements, the natural pigmentation is slowly fading away. These precious murals are under the care of ASI aka Archaeological Survey of India. The murals here did remind me of several paintings on the ceiling of Buddhist Dambulla Caves in Sri Lanka.

What caught my attention was the mural of Lord Veerabhadra. Measuring 12 feet by 23 feet, it is supposed to be the largest mural of its kind in all of Asia. It depicts Lord Veerbhadra afloat in vast blue sky, accompanied by other Hindu deities. Episodes of Puranas and Hindu Epics surround him.

One noteworthy work here the legend of Manuchola who serves justice to a cow while sacrificing the life of his own son. Aren’t cows always considered holy and important since times immemorial in India.

Another mural depicts Bhagwan Shiv disguised as a mendicant, tests the devoutness of Sriyala, his mother and his father. To prove his reality, he asks if they have the heart to kill their one and only son and feed to him. They did! Elated, Shiv ji brought their son back to life!

Interesting facts

Did you know there are small holes near the murals of Lepakshi temple? These served as palettes to make various colors using only natural ingredients. It is not easy to spot. Ask your guide to show it.

Inscriptions in Lepakshi Temple

Inscriptions in old Kannada (Halegannada). There are several ancient old Kannada inscriptions on the floor and walls of Lepakshi Temple. I saw similar medieval inscriptions in the temples of Pattadakal, Aihole in Karnataka etc.

Hire a local Guide in Lepakshi

Local Guides speaking in multiple South Indian languages such as Kannada and Telugu are easily available for reasonable prices.  The guides speak English and Hindi as well. They will narrate the entire Lepakshi Temple story in a logical sequence and show you around. Apart from spotting important hidden places and learning about history, you will also contribute positively to local economy if you hire local guides.

The Temple Priest of Lepakshi

Unlike other ancient Hindu temples, the Temple Priest of Lepakshi doubles up as a guide. He knows languages such as Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and English and will narrate the history of Lepakshi temple in the language of your preference. The good part is that the priest will not pester you into offering prayers or donating money. After he is done showing you the best places to see here, he will leave you on your own.

What else to see in Lepakshi Temple?

Other noticeable features and major attractions of Lepakshi Temple are as below:

  • Half relief carvings.
  • The verandah with endless rows of pillars.
  • The tree without leaves which stands at the temple premises like a badly made horror movie.
  • A small temple devoted to Ganesh ji.
  • Ornate Gopurams.
  • Carvings of Lepakshi saree Designs on pillars.
  • Notice the rock chain
  • See sculptor of Vastu Purush
  • See the Padmini race lady carving.
  • The meditation chambers built within verandahs.
  • The impressive Vimanas or the temple towers.

Carving of a Chinese man who used to come to South India for bartering Indian diamonds in exchange of mere perfumes (duh!). It is common knowledge that in places like Hampi, diamonds and vegetables were often sold alongside on streets.

Excursions from Lepakshi Temple

There are many interesting places of interest near Lepakshi Temple. Other places I visited during my 2 months long trips in South India are:

Murudeshwar Temple in Karnataka 

Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole in Karnataka

Gokarna Beach Trek in Karnataka

Coorg in Karnataka

Thrisuur in Kerala

Mattur, Jog falls and Shimoga in Karnataka

Chennai in Tamilnadu

These made for easy and quick getaways from Bangalore.

The Basavanna Temple

I actually walked up to this massive Nandi statue after I visited the Lepaskhi temple complex, though it lies a kilometer before the temple. Surrounded with manicured fenced gardens and a half-heartedly maintained pond, I went agape mouth at the gigantic structure which is also one of the biggest Nandi statues of the world!

Measuring a whooping 15 feet in height and 27 feet in length, Nandi, the giant gatekeeper, guards Lepakshi silently. Often referred to as the biggest monolithic Nandi of the world, it is a must visit place in Lepakshi.  Yes, it was cut out of a single stone! You can read that again.

Soul Window facts

Nandi Bull, the symbol of eternal wait, is traditionally found near a Shiva temple, sometimes standalone but never missing from the main temple premises. Nandi Bull, the gate guardian deity of the holy Kailash Parbat, now in Tibet, is the vahana or mount of Shiv bhagwan.

Of all the Shiva temples I have visited, the Nandi always sits in the courtyard facing the garbhagriha which houses the sacred Shivling. Do notice the beautifully carved jewelry Nandi is adorned with.

Festival of Lepakshi

Lepakshi festival

Lepakshi festival is celebrated for 2-3 days here with the aim of promoting and preserving the heritage and architectural beauty of this medieval temple. It is one of the top things to do in Lepakshi.

Dussehra, Diwali and Mahashivratri are the other major Hindu festivals celebrated in Lepakshi.

Souvenirs Shopping Guide to Lepakshi Temple

There are very few Souvenirs Shops in Lepakshi despite being a major attraction in this area. I saw some shops that lined the streets. Most of them sold pooja samagri, toys and food.

Vegan and vegetarian food guide in Lepakshi

While driving to and from Bangalore, you can stop at one of the local restaurants for a quick bite. The taste at these places is brilliant and costs almost nothing. I avoid the clinical air-conditioned food chains for their unhealthy and overpriced food. You can too. 

Carry some comfort food with you as there are not many places where you can eat in Lepakshi. I had amazing Bele Holige which is somewhat similar to Pooran Poli of Maharashtra.

Solo Trip Tips for Lepakshi Temple

I visited Lepakshi Temple as a solo, male Indian traveler. I never felt any hassle. In fact, it was my easiest solo trip in India.   

Lepakshi Temple on a low backpacking budget

It is possible to visit Lepakshi Temple under INR 100. Yes, that is what I spent on only bus tickets and snacks. I do not know any other place where I had spent so less. Where else but India can you visit a historical place for less than the price of a coffee?

Luxury travel Tips for Lepakshi Temple

You can enjoy the world class luxury facilities available at Bengaluru and make a day trip to Lepakshi Temple on a private car.

ATM in Lepakshi Temple

There are very few ATMs in Lepakshi Temple because it is located in a remote area. It is better to carry some cash from Bangalore as digital payment is not accepted in Lepakshi.

Entry Fee of Lepakshi Temple

It is free to visit Lepakshi Temple. Yes, there are no charges to visit the temple.

Is Lepakshi Temple Safe to visit?

Is it safe to visit Lepakshi? Yes, it is very safe to visit Lepakshi Temple despite its remote location. The locals are friendly and mostly keep to themselves. You will also not see people nagging you to buy things here.

Duration of Lepakshi Temple Tour

What can I do in 1 day in Lepakshi Temple?

A good idea is to start at 6 a.m. from Bangalore. This way you will reach Lepakshi Temple by 9 a.m. It takes just 3-5 hours to see all top places to visit in Lepakshi, depending on your pace and interest. If you are not as obsessive about historical places, then even 2 hours are enough for sightseeing in Lepakshi.

What can I do in 2 days in Lepakshi Temple?

If you have extra time then you can stay in Lepakshi for an extra day. Some decent hotels are located near the statue of Nandi ji. Staying overnight at a remote place like Lepakshi has a charm of its own.

Why Lepakshi Temple is Offbeat

I found Lepakshi Temple off the beaten track. Despite being located so close to Bengaluru and Mysuru, most people don’t go here and keep going to the usual suspects such as Nandi hills and Coorg. In a way, the best part was that I was one of the very few outsiders visiting the Lepakshi Temple. Most of the visitors were local people. That makes this hidden gem (quite literally), a true offbeat destination to explore near Bangalore. Due to this, I also saw lack of crowds and absence of commercialization. What’s not to love? Perhaps this is how it must have been centuries ago! None of us will ever know!

Toilet facility in Lepakshi

I was impressed to find super clean toilets right outside the Lepakshi Temple. It was maintained and cleaned continuously by hired ladies.

Languages spoken in Lepakshi

Telugu is the main language of Lepakshi and Andhra Pradesh. However English and Hindi is also understood by (very) few people here.

Photography Tips for Lepakshi Temple

The golden hour around Sunrise and Sunset is the best time to capture the beauty of Lepakshi Temple in all its glory.

Where to stay in Lepakshi

Lepakshi lacks ultra-luxurious hotels due to its remoteness. I saw two decent hotels near the statue of Nandi ji. A Government run hotel is a nice option. It is run by APTDC. They also have in house restaurants where you can find vegan and vegetarian food.

The nearby Hotel Nandini is also known for great tasting vegetarian meals. Maybe you can give them an order before you go to see statue of Nandi ji and come back to have the meal.

Best Time to Visit Lepakshi Temple

Winter: Winter is the best time to visit Lepakshi Temple. I visited Lepakshi Temple on 1st September. The weather and temperature of Lepakshi was pleasant during this time. It can get a little hot even in winter afternoons here.

Summer: It can get very hot in summer in Lepakshi as temperatures soar.

Monsoon: Contrary to popular belief, rainy season is actually lovely time to be in lepakshi Temple. The weather is pleasant and the surrounding greenery is soothing to the eyes.

Lepakshi temple Dress Code

You must dress respectfully in Lepakshi Temple. Avoid wearing shorts, mini skirts etc. Jeans, T shirts, Shoti, kurta, Salwar kameez and sari are acceptable dress to wear in Lepakshi temple.

Soul Window Tips

It is a hot and open area. Always carry water bottle with you. It is a religious and spiritual place so dress accordingly.

Timings of Lepakshi Temple

It is a Frequently asked question on Lepakshi Temple. Lepakshi Temple open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Early mornings are best time to visit as the stone floor is cooler (It is hot in noon and shoes are not allowed). Also, crowds will be far less in the morning.

Local Transport for sightseeing in Lepakshi

Local transport such as shared autorickshaws were available in Lepakshi but I didn’t need them as most of the points of interests are located next to each other. I just took a free walking tour to these heritage sites.

How to reach Lepakshi Temple

Can we visit Lepakshi temple from Bangalore? Located just 135 kilometers away from Bangalore on the Karnataka- Andhra Pradesh border, Lepakshi makes for an easy weekend trip from Bangalore, by both personal vehicle and public transport. Nandi Hill, near Bangalore falls in the route so you can stop here for a while before wheeling away on the baby bottom smooth 4 lane highway. Reach

Route

The easiest and most popular route to Lepakshi passes through the NH7 or Bangalore-Hyderabad highway. Bangalore International airport aka BIA and Hebbal flyover fall on the same route. The public bus I had hopped on took the same route. Till BIA, the traffic was off putting and it took us a long time to arrive here. Once we crossed BIA, it was a smooth pleasurable ride till Lepakshi.

What to expect on route?

I passed many picturesque locations on this route but not before suffering a signboard which said, “Welcome to Zion. Where Jesus is lord.” It could probably be Zion Assembly of God Church, Madiwala, Bangalore. En route, the controversial Dokhma aka Parsi tower of silence, built in 1940 CE also caught my attention. It is located on Hebbal Road and is cremation ground of some odd 700 Parsis living in Bangalore.

Reach Lepakshi Temple by bus

You can easily visitLepakshi Temple from Bangalore for as low as INR 100 per person. You can just walk in and catch any Government bus plying on the Bangalore-Hyderabad route. However, you need to change buses at the state border. Even autorickshaw and tempos run to Lepakshi Temple from the border. Private buses are not recommended as they sometimes delay and cheat. Government buses are always punctual unlike the trains.

Soul Window Tip

I took a bus to Lepakshi from Majestic bus terminal

I took the bus to Lepakshi from the Terminal 3 of the famous Majestic Bus stand of Bangalore. It is located at walking from terminal 1. You can catch the bus to Kodikonda check post of Anantpur. Bus to Hindupur also drops at Lepakshi. I waited for a long time for a bus going directly to Anantpur but to no avail. After some wait, I finally boarded the bus from Platform 1A of Majestic to Gauribidnur. From Gauribidnur, I took connecting bus to Hindupur. Bus was standing near the mosque of Gauribidnaur. This bus dropped me straight at the doorstep of Lepakshi Temple. I snacked on Bele Holige which I picked from a random shop in Gauribidnaur. Bele Holige is same as Obbattu or Puran Poli of Maharashtra. This was my quick vegan lunch.

The bus started at 9:51 a.m. from Bangalore and reached Gowribidnur at 12 p.m. (Rs. 76). From Gowribidnur, I took direct bus to Lepakshi at 12:11 p.m. in front of Masjid for Rs. 35. I reached Lepakshi at 1.15 p.m. It took me more than 4 hours on bus due to various stops. But it will take much lesser if you have a private vehicle with you.

While returning I left Lepakshi and headed to Hindupur at around 4 p.m. for just INR 10 . I started at  4 p.m. and arrived at Hindupur at 4:40 p.m. From Hindupur I took another bus to Bangalore at 5 p.m. I arrived in Bangalore at 8 p.m. Bus from Hindupur to Bangalore took only INR 100.

You will pass through small railway stations. I saw a field which had more graves than humans. The green of the fields made it a beautiful journey for me. Obala Laxmi Narsimha Swami Temple is also located nearby. I had also passed through Kothur.

En route, I also saw Sri Ghati Subramanya Swamy temple and Doddahallapur. A colorful door with images of Hanuman ji, Ramji and Sita ji also caught my attention from the moving bus.

By Self Drive

It is fun to drive to Lepakshi Temple from Bangalore on the ‘smooth as a glass floor’ 4 lane NH7. The road narrows down as you arrive closer to Lepakshi Temple, though the build quality of roads remain excellent.

After BIA, you will hardly see any traffic. It takes only 2.5 to 3 hours to reach Lepakshi from Bangalore, including breaks for fuels, breakfast, loo et cetera and initial heavy traffic in the city. If you don’t feel like driving you can also hire a cab from Bangalore which has plenty of such options available.

By Rail: Banglore has the nearest big railway station from Lepakshi.

By Air: Banglore has the nearest international airport from Lepakshi.

Distances from Lepakshi temple

Distance between Bengaluru and Lepakshi is 123 kilometers and it takes only 2 hours and 15 minutes via NH 44.

Distance between Mysore and Lepakshi is 297 kilometers and it takes only 5 hours via NH 44.

Duration of Visit to Lepakshi Temple

How many days to spend in Lepakshi? I visited Lepakshi as an easy weekend getaway from Bengaluru. Even though I took multiple public transports, I was back to Bangalore within a single day.

Conclusion: Why visit Lepakshi Temple?

Is Lepakshi Temple worth visiting? A perfect mélange of architecture, leisure, spirituality and religion, folklores, Lepakshi Mandir makes for a quick weekend destination from Bengaluru. I visited it in a day and retuned back to Bengaluru on the same day. 

Lepakshi Temple is a wonderful offbeat destination in South India as not many people go here. I had not done much research before visiting Lepakshi Temple. This made me miss out on some details. You can use this handy guide on Lepakshi Temple to ensure that you see all the important places here.


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