Distance: 150 x 2 = 300kms.
Directions: Bengaluru – Devanahalli - Chikballapur - Lepakshi
Participants: Madhu (k./Barca) > Arun(Slowpoke) > Karthik (Sp).
Bikes: Unicorn > Pulsar.
Previous visit: Mysore- Old Pure Ways.
IN LESS THAN 50 WORDS:
Well, this was another classic run to one of the best ancient sites of South India. The ancient history that goes along with this place is something that still fascinates me. Even the name of the place (“Lepakshi”) itself has two stories.
INTRO & PLAN:
Lepakshi had been on our ‘conquer list’ for quite some time. All the articles i had read about this place, its history, importance of the monuments present at the place made us carry out this wonderful chapter. Even Arun had returned from Madras for a week vacation. So he along with Madhu were the only two on the confirmed list.
TIME: 22:00 (15/5/2013)
Yeah I was up at around 03:00hrs, had some coffee, did a few push ups and sit ups, then sat back listening to music for the next 3hrs :P. Arun & Madhu arrived at my place at about 06:30, after a formal greeting we went to our bakery for some tea. After having some hot tea we departed Bangalore.
TIME: 06:45 hrs
RIDE 1: (Bangalore – Devanahalli – Chikballapur - Lepakshi)
This was a 150kms stretch of pure cruising. Throughout this stretch we were speaking to each other cracking jokes. We rode non-stop till Devanhalli, after which we took the Chikballapur highway and stopped at a hotel(which seemed more like home). Trust me this is one breakfast i’ll never forget. The only thing that was more satisfying than the super food was the ambience and the concern the people offered. We had heavy breakfast after being asked to taste first and then order.
After a heavy breakfast, we left towards Chikballapur. The air was gradually getting hotter as we rode on. After crossing the Karnataka- Andhra Pradesh border, we rode about for about 20-30mins to reach the deviation to Hindupur. Along this deviation does lay Lepakshi. The roads after the deviation were superb. Two-lane and super curvy roads covered by the shade of the trees along both the sides of the road made riding a bliss. Sat on the road and fooled around all along this stretch before we reached the ancient town of Lepakshi
TIME: 10:15 hrs
Yeah as we were riding we spotted the world’s largest Nandi. We pulled over and decided to visit this wonderful place. This Nandi is the largest in India as well as the world, the second being at Tanjore, and the third at Chamundi Hills. It looked as if it was peacefully basking in the hot sun of the Andhra Skies. We decided to sit in the shade of the park which surrounded the peaceful Nandi. We spoke of all kinds of possible shit for the next 30mins before we left to the actual place, Lepakshi.
We parked our bikes and set foot inside the temple premises. That ancient heavy air circulating round us could be easily felt. And all the ancient tales of this age old place started revealing itself before very own eyes (last sentences were bomb! Im impressed myself :P)
Haha okay, listen up i’ll list the important places and a few historic events that took place at Lepakshi. When you guys go over there, you shouldn't stand like a lost nomad. So here goes.,
1. Lepakshi – The name itself has a couple of stories attached to it. The first one being an incident of the great Ramayana. I’m sure everybody reading this would have heard about the Sita kidnap story by Ravana. So when Ravana was on his way to Lanka with Sita, a mythical bird (“Jatayau”) tried to rescue Sita from his clutches and as a result its wings were chopped off. When Rama found the bird fallen he called out “Le Pakshi” (Rise Bird). The bird had fallen at this place, so the name.
The second story is a gruelling one. Virupanna, a merchant was the one who had the temple constructed during the 16th century (1530-1542A.D). When the king was off town, Virpanna used the kingdom’s treasury to construct Veerbhadra temple without the king’s permission. When the king came to know about this he asked his guards to pluck out Virupanna’s eyes. But then Virupanna plucked his eyes out on his own and threw them on the temple walls. So the second name is “Lepa – akshi” (village without eyes)
2. Ceiling Paintings & Wall carvings – The entire ceiling of the main temple is filled with beautiful paintings depicting various instances like war, sacred rituals etc., The walls exhibit carvings clearly of Vijayanagar Style. One of the main carvings is that of the dancer with three legs.
3. Hanging Pillar: Oh yeah this is my favourite feature of this temple. It is a suspended column hanging down from the ceiling. The pillar is literally hanging from the roof (Eg for a Cantilever, haha Proud Mech Engineer). We did spread a kerchief below it, just to check :P. Back in the days the Britishers did try to study it, when they tried re-positioning this pillar; all the pillars within the temple re-aligned themselves. Fearing the collapse of the structure they left it on its own. (Our ancestors totally owned the subject called mysterious engineering)
4. Serpent Mage: Alright this has to be the main attraction of tourists. This is the picture everybody gets in their mind when the word Lepakshi is uttered. It is a fantastic 7 headed Serpent protecting a Shiva Lings that sits below. Legend says when the sculptor’s mother had gone to prepare lunch; the sculptors carved this structure before their mother returned. (Off the record, when i said the same, Arun and Madhu’s response was either she would have been a bad cook or the house was far far away :P) But then i went back and did my research and the time duration was 30mins.
5. Shiva Parvathi Mantap: The Ancient ruins that lay behind the Serpent Structure is believed to be the wedding place of Shiva & Parvathi. On all the pillars, present are the carvings of the Gods who had attended this holy ceremony.
Okay there are a few more things, but i’ll stop with the stories now. Raise you lazy bum, go out & explore!! We finished the temple rounds in about 1.5hrs.
RIDE 2: (Lepakshi – Dhaba – Chikballapur – Devanahalli - Bangalore)
This stretch was again for 150kms, but with a lot of stops. Oh yeah we ended up at some nice dam as well. So as we left Lepakshi we bought some gifts for back home by then our tummies were grumbling. We rode back to the highway but unfortunately the hotels weren’t open, so we continued further to find a Dhaba.
Settling down at the dhaba we ordered some lunch. Everything that was bought was so hot (khara) we had to drinks lots of water. After the lunch we took off from the place. Then on it was agreed that we ride 30kms at stretch and take 10min break. The plan went very well and on the way we also visited a small reservoir which was completely dried up. We reached Devanahlli at about 14: 00. From then on the traffic gradually began to increase. But we made it back home very happy with the place we had covered.
TIME: 16:00 hrs
“This had to one of those chapters where we are taken out from our present and put back a few centuries ago. Every nuke and corner of the place amazed us and made us feel proud of our ancestors. They surely kicked some As*!! Cheers to that”
Until Next time Cia \m/