One day trip from Bangalore: Lepakshi
Morning 9. We set out for a journey to Lepakshi, which was 120 km away from Bangalore. We took the Hyderabad Highway (NH 7). The road was nice and empty without any congestion. We had decided to have breakfast at either Nandi Upachar or The Indian Parota Company as we have heard a lot about them. But we ended up having breakfast at Udupi Swada, which was near to The Indian Parota Company and we didn’t regret the decision. The restaurant was spacious, the ambiance was nice, decorated with beautiful paintings on the wall and the behavior of staff was courteous. The food was served quickly and it was delicious and sumptuous. The price was reasonable and it is a recommendable place to have your morning breakfast.
After a satisfactory breakfast, we started our journey to Lepakshi. The highway was nice and our journey was smooth. The day was cloudy and sometimes an occasional drizzle made our outing more enjoyable. One can see the cloud over the top of Nandi Hills from a distance. Small and beautiful rocky mountains were all across the road and view with the cloudy sky was amazing to watch.
Finally, after crossing Bagepalli, we took a left towards Lepakshi. It was only a 20 min drive from the highway. The temple was very easy to locate. After reaching the temple, I realized how old it was. The temple was built like a small fort, with big stone walls serving as a boundary. Everything was made in stones. Beautiful sculptures carved in the stones are stunning. The temple was big and everywhere we could see some form of carvings. There were a lot of pillars with beautiful sculptures.
Entering the main temple where the deity Veerabhadra was worshipped, our eyes got transfixed at a pillar, which is known as the Hanging pillar. Literally, the pillar was not fixed in the ground, but there is a small space underneath. In every pillar, there are different types of stone carvings, some showing the Gods, some showing the victory stories of the Kings, and some others showing the people dancing and celebrating their cultures. There was a piece of Lord Ganesha carved out from stone which was a meticulous work. The stone statue of a Shiva lingam was also impressive. In fact, every corner of the temple, some form of carvings could be found and it filled me with awe.
After visiting the temple, we went to Nandi which was a little over 200 meters from there. It was a big monolithic stone structure, making it one of the largest Nandi in India. After spending a few minutes, we headed back to Bangalore after relishing on sweet coconut water. After Bagepalli, there was one Mayuri Restaurant where we had our lunch. The food was Andra style which tasted good (but the ambiance was not). We reached Bangalore by 5 in the evening.
Overall, I would say the experience was a nice one and if you’re planning to go on an enriching quiet one day trip, Lepakshi should be on the top of your list.
Posting a few pictures. You can find them on the top.
NOTE: According to mythology, Lepakshi is the place where the bird Jatayu died while fighting demon king Ravana (refer Ramayana). Rama uttered the word “le-pakshi” referring his soul to rise higher and attain liberation. From that day, the place is named as Lepakshi. Also, the temple was named Veerabhadra temple (Veerabhadra is a form of Shiva).