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What if I told you there’s a temple where a pillar defies gravity, hanging in mid-air with no support? Welcome to Lepakshi Temple in Andhra Pradesh, also called the Sri Veerabhadra Temple, a marvel of ancient engineering and a treasure trove of myths and legends.Built in the 16th century, this temple is not just a testament to architectural brilliance but also a canvas for exquisite frescoes and intricate sculptures. Whether you’re an architecture buff, a history enthusiast, or a curious traveller, Lepakshi Temple promises to leave you spellbound.

Lepakshi Temple History

Carvings of Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu at Lepakshi Temple.

Image Credit: Reddy Bhagyaraj for Wikimedia Commons

The Lepakshi Temple holds a prominent space in defining the cultural essence of Andhra Pradesh. Apart from being a religious attraction, the temple offers visitors a deep insight into the ancient period’s rich architecture and stone carvings. The Lepakshi Temple complex is one of the divyakshetras (abodes of Lord Shiva) and was built by two brothers, Virupanna Nayaka and Viranna. Both of them served under the rule of the Vijayanagar Empire when it was commanded by King Achyuta Deva Raya at Penukonda. In addition to the must-see shrines and mandapas, the majestic seven-headed serpent statue and a giant Nandi Bull statue are sights to behold.

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Lepakshi Temple Architecture

Seven hooded serpent statue at Lepakshi Temple in Andhra Pradesh.

Image Credit: Narasimha Prakash for Wikimedia Commons

The Lepakshi Temple is a masterpiece of the Vijayanagara period, and the temple’s craftsmanship is excellent. The features of this style include the carving, the large monolithic structures, and the frescoes. Some of the unique characteristics are the hanging pillar, the paintings on the ceiling of the Kalyana Mandapa, and the exquisite carvings of deities and divinities. The main shrine is that of Lord Veerabhadra. The sanctum sanctorum has a beautifully carved idol of the deity and the walls of the sanctum sanctorum have carvings and paintings on them.

The Kalyana Mandapa is a hall said to have been constructed for the marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvathi. The mandapa has carved pilasters that portray scenes from the wedding and is, therefore, a focal point of the structure. Another essential shrine located within the Lepakshi Temple is the Papanasa Lingeswara. This shrine is also associated with Lord Shiva and is in the form of a Lingam; devotees believe it to be very holy.

Lepakshi Temple Attractions

 Giant Nandi Bull at Lepakshi Temple.

Image Credit: Hari Krishna for Wikimedia Commons

Among the most famous sights of the Lepakshi Temple is the huge statue of Nandi, which is worth mentioning. This monolithic bull statue is one of the largest in India and is carved out of a single granite stone and is placed at the entrance of the temple. The other attraction is the hanging pillar, which has been a mystery to architects for centuries. This pillar does not make contact with the ground.

Guides showcase by passing a piece of thin paper under it. The walls and ceilings of the Lepakshi Temple are painted with beautiful paintings and paintings of mythological scenes. These are bright paintings made from natural dyes and they are still relevant today and they are still able to attract visitors.

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Lepakshi Temple: Nearby Places To Explore

The Lepakshi Temple is worth the travel in its own right but if you are in the area, you can also experience some of the following destinations to round up your trip.

Penukonda Fort

Penukonda Fort is the best place to visit.

Image Credit: Aasfa Khatoon for Wikimedia Commons
Just a short drive from Lepakshi, Penukonda Fort is a historical site that offers stunning views and a glimpse into the region’s rich past. This ancient fort, once the Vijayanagara Empire’s second capital, is a history and architecture treasure trove. Penukonda Fort is located about 30 kilometres from Lepakshi and is renowned for its impressive ramparts, watchtowers, and ancient temples. One of the main attractions is the Gagan Mahal, a beautiful palace within the fort complex. The fort’s strategic location and historical significance make it a must-visit for history enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Best Time to Visit: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Ticket Price: Free Entry
Days Needed: 1


Nandi statue in Hindupur near the Lepakshi Temple.

Image Credit: Narasimha Prakash for Wikimedia Commons

Hindupur, located 15 kilometres from Lepakshi, is a bustling town that serves as a transport hub and offers a peek into local culture. The town is home to several temples and markets, making it a great place to experience the local lifestyle and cuisine. Hindupur is also known for its vibrant festivals and fairs, which draw crowds from nearby villages and towns. The main temple in Hindupur is the Anjaneya Swamy Temple, dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The town’s markets are a great place to shop for traditional handicrafts and local produce, providing a delightful cultural immersion for visitors.

Best Time to Visit: Anytime in Winter Months
Ticket Price: Free Entry
Days Needed: 2

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The Anantapur Clock Tower at night.

Image Credit: Maheshrig for Wikimedia Commons

Anantapur, around 80 kilometres from Lepakshi, is known for its historical sites and beautiful landscapes. Notable attractions include the ISKCON Temple and the serene Penna Ahobilam Temple. The town is also famous for its unique rock formations and natural beauty. Anantapur’s history dates back to the Vijayanagara Empire, and its architecture reflects this rich heritage. The local cuisine, bustling markets, and friendly locals make Anantapur a charming destination. Visitors can explore the nearby Gooty Fort and the picturesque village of Dharmavaram, renowned for its silk sarees.

Best Time to Visit: Anytime in Winter Months
Ticket Price: Free Entry
Days Needed: 1


 Puttaparthi town is the birthplace of revered Sathya Sai Baba.

Image Credit: Williampfeifer for Wikimedia Commons

Puttaparthi, located 60 kilometres from Lepakshi, is the birthplace of the revered spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba. The town is home to the Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram, attracting thousands of devotees and tourists annually. The spiritual ambience and serene surroundings make it a peaceful retreat. In addition to the ashram, visitors can explore the Chaitanya Jyoti Museum, which chronicles the life and teachings of Sai Baba. Puttaparthi also hosts various cultural events and spiritual discourses, offering a unique blend of spirituality and culture. The nearby Chitravathi River and meditation gardens enhance the town’s tranquil appeal.

Best Time to Visit: Early morning
Ticket Price: Free Entry
Days Needed: 2

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Nandi Hills

 Beautiful foggy evening at the Nandi Hills to visit near Lepakshi Temple.

Image Credit: Wise Droid for Wikimedia Commons

Nandi Hills, situated about 90 kilometres from Lepakshi, is a popular weekend getaway known for its scenic beauty and pleasant climate. The hills offer breathtaking views, lush greenery, and several trekking trails, making it a favourite spot for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The main attractions include the Nandi Temple, Tipu’s Drop, and the summer residence of Tipu Sultan. Nandi Hills is also famous for its sunrise and sunset views, providing spectacular photo opportunities. The cool breeze, serene atmosphere, and panoramic views make Nandi Hills a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Best Time to Visit: 6:00 am – 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Ticket Price: Free Entry
Days Needed: 1

Lepakshi Temple Timings

an inside view of the Temple.

Image Credit: Bikashrd for Wikimedia Commons

Lepakshi Temple Timings start at 6 AM and close at 6 PM, giving ample time to explore its many wonders. Those who prefer less crowded can plan for morning visits, while those who hate exploring when the sun is right above, can opt for late afternoon visits.

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How To Get To Lepakshi Temple

 reach to the Lepakshi temple in Andhra Pradesh by train.

Image Credit: Pastor Sam for Wikimedia Commons

By Air: The nearest airport to Lepakshi Temple is Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, approximately 100 kilometres away. You can hire a taxi or take a bus from the airport to the temple. The drive takes around two hours and offers a scenic route through the countryside.

By Train: The nearest railway station is Hindupur, which is about 15 km away from Lepakshi. Hindupur is well connected with other cities through regular trains. Some of the nearest cities are Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad. After reaching the railway station, local transport like taxis and auto rickshaws can be availed to reach the temple.
By Road: Lepakshi is easily accessible by road. One can drive down from Bengaluru, which is about two hours away. The roads are good, and the ride is quite smooth. There are also normal bus services from neighbouring cities such as Hyderabad and Anantapur, which makes it easy and cheap for travellers.

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Lepakshi Temple is not just an archaeological marvel but a history of India in a nutshell, a place where one can feel the history and culture of the country. From the Nandi statue to the painting on the walls of this temple, every corner has a history to reveal. Therefore, let’s prepare to pack our bags and get set to discover the beauty of Lepakshi Temple. So, when booking a trip to Andhra Pradesh, include Annavaram, the lively city, on your list.

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Cover Image Credit: Bikashrd for Wikimedia Commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Lepakshi Temple

Are there any entry fees for Lepakshi Temple?

No, Lepakshi Temple does not charge any fee for entry and it is open to all people. Although, you can donate for the well-being of the temple and its architecture.

Is there any possibility of having any guided tours in Lepakshi Temple?

Yes, there are guided tours and the guides give a lot of information about the temple and its construction.

When is the best time to visit Lepakshi Temple?

It is recommended to visit during the cooler months, which are from October to February. The weather is quite good and you can easily explore the nearby places.

Is it allowed to take photos inside Lepakshi Temple?

Yes, photography is allowed but the use of flash is prohibited inside the temple. So it is advisable to take pictures outside the temple hall.

Is there any festival that is celebrated at Lepakshi Temple?

Yes, the temple celebrates different Hindu festivals, although the most popular one is Maha Shivaratri. You can plan your visit during this time and seek the blessings of lord shiva.

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Category: Andhra Pradesh, Places To Visit, Temples

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