Woke up at 6 in the morning and we are going on a trip from Bangalore. Any guesses? We are going to Lepakshi. It is situated in Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh. Basically we are going to a temple there. Not as pilgrims. Just because it is old temple. It was constructed back in the 15th century. On our way we saw vineyard and stopped. We are going to check this out. Come. Let us go inside. So I am Hari, I am Lakshmi. Welcome to TinPin Stories. Our idea is not only to cover Lepakshi But also to watch and experience the cultivation on both sides of the highway. Country side Karnataka is extremely beautiful. I am not a big fan of Bangalore. But I love Karnataka villages and they are beautiful. They cultivate a variety of crops On our way we saw vineyards. Other than that there were Rose and Marigold fields. Then mustard fields. A variety of vegetables and a lot more. We couldn’t stop at most places. But now we have stopped for something. Look at this. We can see few people plucking flowers at a distance. We will go there. Come. Where are you from? We are from Kerala That guy whom you saw owns this field. It is vast. It doesn’t look big from here, but a lot of area used for cultivation. It is scattered. They said they get yield throughout the year from these plants. May be these flowers will be travelling to Bangalore in few days. May be it ends up in the hands of those kids at the traffic signals carrying rose bouquets. We were extremely hungry. Stopped for breakfast. Ordered Dosa, Vada and Coffee. Food is not that great. It is just fine. Done with breakfast. Lepakshi is 50 kms far and 30 kms to cross Karnataka – Andhra border. From the border Lepakshi is around 20 kms So, our next stop is Lepakshi. We will not be stopping in between as we are late. It is 9 AM already Temple closes at 12:30 PM. Need to reach before that. Just 2 mins back we left that restaurant. Told you that we will not be stopping in between. How can we not stop after seeing this? It is a ocean of flowers. I think it is cultivated foreseeing the Onam festival in Kerala. As there is huge demand for these flowers there during Onam. It is not just a treat for your eyes, but also smells great. Brings back memories of those Onam celebration days in the school. Nostalgia! We reached. There is a small parking space outside. So many old ladies are coming and asking for money. We gave money to few. But more are coming. We kept our helmets and stuff there. In that shop. A lady who owns that shop said we can keep the stuff there for free. There is a shoe rack at the temple entrance. There are no locker facilities available. Let us get in. That is the temple. There is boy feeding coconut meat to these dogs. Kept our shoes on the rack. That guy in the background looks fishy! Sri Veerabhadra temple was constructed in the year 1533 AD. It was erected during the days of Vijayanagara ruler Achuta Deve Raya. His two governors, Virupanna Nayaka & Viranna Nayaka constructed it. The temple has a lot of sculptures and mural paintings which will remind you of the Vijayanagara architecture. The temple is of Veerabhadra who is an avatar of lord Shiva. The temple is mentioned “One of the sacred temples of Shiva” in Skanda Purana. Temple is divided into three – Arda Matap, Mukha Mantap & Garbagriha. Rituals happens here till this date in this small yet big temple. There are more tourists here than pilgrims. When you come inside, The fist thing you notice on your left is the Kalyana Mantap Construction of this part of the temple is not complete. You know why? Like mentioned earlier Virupanna and Viranna Nayaka (brothers) who were the governers here, Used money from Vijayanagara Empire account, To construct this temple. So the story goes like this. When emperor came to know that expenses of construction were much more than what was expected, and cut the funding. There were not enough fund and that made the Kalyana Mantap incomplete. This Shivling that you just saw, Is placed on a serpent. This is the only sculpture in the world where there is a Shivling on the serpent. Generally the serpent just covers Shivling. Now we are getting into the interesting part. Even the Andhra tourism board uses this story to promote the temple among travelers. The story is that, There is a Mantap here with lots of pillars. Out of all those huge sculptured granite pillars. One hangs from the ceiling. Which is unbelievable. Let us go check this out. Even some YouTube videos are been promoted with title “Hanging Pillars of Lepakshi” This is the pillar that we have been taking about. A major part of the base has no connection with the ground But a small portion is connected to the ground. How can it float? It is a huge and heavy pillar. It is not a hanging pillar. Still it is really a small area which is touching the ground. Remaining pillars here are fully in touch with the floor. There is story behind this too. When the British were ruling, One British architect had a curiosity. “What is one pillar is removed out of this Mantap” So this foreigner along with his helpers tried to displace the pillar with a liver. This made an imbalance in the ceiling and the whole Mantap began to shake. This made the pillar lean a bit to one side. Even now you can easily spot the difference as all other pillars are standing straight. Some people even still say there is a small gap below and the pillar is levitating. Lakshmi is having a scarf Let us try one experiment. It went under the pillar for a major part. But at one point it got stuck. It really got stuck. As few people mention in Youtube videos and blogs, This is not a hanging pillar. It is just a normal pillar which is been displaced. This is where the main idol is situated. An avatar of Shiva. Cameras are not allowed inside. The name Lepakshi has a meaning to it. In Ramayana, when Ravana kidnapped Sita There was this bird named Jatayu who came to help Sita. When Ravana chopped of one its wings it is said that the bird crashed somewhere here. When Rama was on his way to Lanka to save Sita, He saw the dying Jatayu and says “Le Pakshi” Which means “Rise Bird” That is how Lepakshi got its name. There was a Nandi statue which was supposed to great us at the entrance. But because we were late we got inside the temple fist. It is the biggest Nandi statue in the world. It is a monolithic statue. Means it is been carved out of a single rock. It is 27 ft long and 15 ft tall We can go there on the way back Shoes is still there but that fishy guy is not there. He has trust issued. Not about trust! He kept on looking at my shoes when I kept it on the rack. One important thing to mention. The temple timings are between 05:00 – 12:30 in the afternoon and then from 4:00 – 08:30 in evening. When you come to Bangalore during vacation Lepakshi is a small drive from there. Hardly 2-3 hours it will take. Roads are really good. It is a must visit place. This is the Nandi statue we were talking about. It is huge. Bigger that what we expected. The closer you go the bigger and bigger it looks. You can see a Jatayu on top of a hill from here. That is Jatayu theme park. Let us go there. There is an entrance fee of Rs.10 per head to enter into this Jatayu theme park This the maximum height we can climb. You get a wonderful view of the village, shepherds rearing goats, small houses.. That is Veerabhadra temple Small houses here too. ‘Adhan from a mosque at a distance’ Once when we were about to end a vlog, it was time for Adhan That was repeated today. Trip to Lepakshi gave us some wonderful experiences and stories. We took a detour through the village roads too. Hope everyone like this video. If you liked this vlog, Please do subscribe. It is time to go back. We will be back next week with more stories, experiences and tastes. Until then Bye!