Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Temple, also known as Lepakshi temple is dedicated to the cult deity Veerabhadra. The temple is based in a small village in Lepakshi, Rayadurg, Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. There are 3 temples in this Lepakshi temple Dedicated Lord Shiva, Sri Vishnu and Sri Veerabhadra Swamy. There are around 70 pillars in this fabulous 16th century stone structure of Vijayanagar style architecture.
This temple houses the largest sculpture of the demon king Veerabhadra. Moreover, a large part of the temple is located on a small rocky hill called Kurmasailam. The word “Kurmasailam” translates to turtle hill in the Telugu language.
One of the pillars of the Lepakshi temple is popular as Aakaasa Sthambha. This pillar does not rest entirely on the ground. In British times, the British engineer’s labor attempted to move and was in vain. However, this caused the pillar to dislodge from its original position. Besides the hanging pillar, the other thing to see is the spectacular Nandi which is almost a kilometer before the main temple. It measures 27 feet long and 15 feet high and is said to be the largest monolithic Nandi in India.
There are 3 distinct Mandapas, first is Mukhya Mandapa or Natya or Ranga Mandapa, second is Artha Mandapa and Garba Griha, third is Kalyana Mandapa and the last Mandapa is unfinished. A huge Ganesha idol is at the outer enclosure of the temple. And it leans against the rock which is perpendicular to a huge Naga with three spirals and seven hoods. This Nagalinga is the largest in India. The footprint of Mata Sita is there in the temple compound. The beliefs say that the footprint was imprinted on the ground at the time when Ravana took Sita to Lanka.
Every day Abhishek is performed from 7:00 AM to 7:30 AM in Lepakshi Temple. At first Shivalinga puja is performed and Lord Veerabhadra is worshipped. In the morning, the Veerabhadra appears in Bala rupa Alankarana, and turns into a hero with a mustache by the evening
Devotees perform Abhishek to Lord and Mother and offer clothes. Offerings are also made in the form of a sweet pudding: Sarkarai Pongal Nivedhana. As in the temples of Lord Vishnu, here too the blessing of Sadari with the lotus feet of the Lord is offered to the devotees. Betel leaf is given as prasad in the temple.
Photography is allowed inside this temple. Wear traditional clothes the temple authorities prohibit jeans, t-shirts, shorts and skirts etc in the temple premises.
Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Temple Timings: 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Lepakshi Temple Architectural Features:
The architectural features of the temple are in the Vijayanagara style with profusion of carvings and paintings on almost all exposed surfaces of the temple. It is one of the centrally protected monuments of national importance and is considered one of the most spectacular Vijayanagara temples. The fresco paintings are particularly detailed in very bright colors and dresses with scenes of Rama and Krishna from the epic stories of the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas and are well preserved. There is a large Nandi (bull), the mount of Shiva, about 200 meters (660 feet) from the temple that is carved from a single block of stone, said to be one of the largest of its kind in the world. . The temple houses many Kannada inscriptions as it is located near the Karnataka border.
Lepakshi Temple History:
The temple was built in 1530 AD. (1540 AD is also mentioned) by Virupanna Nayaka and Viranna, both brothers who were Governors under the Vijayanagar Empire during the reign of King Achutaraya, in Penukonda, originally from Karnataka. The temple consists only of Kannada inscriptions. The cost of building the temple was borne by the government. According to Skanda Purana, the temple is one of the Divya Kshetras, an important shrine of Lord Shiva.
How to Reach Anantapur Lepakshi Temple:
The nearest airport is Sri Sathya Sai Airport in Puttaparthi, which is 80 km away from Anantapur.
Government buses, private taxis and auto-rickshaws are available to reach the temple. The nearest railway station is the Hindupur railway station which is 12 km away.
Buses and taxis from all places in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are available to reach the temple in Anantapur.
Anantapur Lepakshi Temple Address: