Posted by: Ramesha JS | October 14, 2011

LEPAKSHI Heritage Photo Shoot

First October 2011 Saturday another mile stone for Wide Angle, Bangalore team. Second photo walk to Lepakshi, a rich heritage temple located on the Karnataka Andra Border village.  Fifteen members were traveled in Four car and one bike. Previous night heavy rain threatened my plans.  But by 5am rain stopped.  By the time I reach the meeting place BDA, Giri and team were already ready for the show. Slowly on the way members joined and journey started.  I and Lohith parked  our two wheelers at Reliance  petrol pump and accompanied in Pawan’s car.  Weather was pleasant and NH7 was Wide enough for wide anglers. By 8 am had breakfast at Kamath Upchar after Chikkaballapur. Team interaction happened on the lawns of hotel and by this time slowly people came to know each other.  From here destination is few hrs only. Crossed the Bagepalli Toll and few meters ahead took Left deviation near Kodikonda Check post.  By the time reached Lepakshi it was sharp 9 AM.

 From this point onwards till 12.45 we have took the photos of Sculptures, walls. Pillers, long corridors, what else not. Each other discussed about how to take better shots, how did u took this ?, How to adjust my settings on camera, What are these modes on my camera, which lens,  pros and cons, etc..  Many of them are first comers with WA and   few first take.  That’s what is needed Sharing and learning together, Spend few hrs with new friends, Enjoy the day and hang to your work next day.

About Lepakshi Temple (From Different Sources)

This temple dates back to the 16th century AD, a wonderful example of the Vijayanagara  Architectural style and art and a master piece of art work done by the Vishwakarma Brahmin Stapathis who sculpted this temple. This was built in the 16th century and sits on a mount. The presiding deity is Veerabhadra.  In the exquisite shrine is a wealth of magnificent sculpture in the intricate mandapams. One mandapam has pillars with life-sized images of dancers, musicians and other sculptures, created by the artisans of the Vijayanagar Empire. The huge granite Nandi Bull is carved out of a single stone. The ceilings have breathtakingly beautiful mural paintings

The temple is divided into three parts – the ‘Mukha Mandapa’, (also called ‘Nitya Mandapa’ or ‘Ranga Mandapa’), the ‘Artha Mandapa’ and ‘Garbha Griha’, and the ‘Kalyana Mandapa’, with 38 carved monolithic pillars in grey sandstone is unfinished. These three form a triangle with a common Mandapam.

The Lepakshi Virabhadra Temple is known for the carved pillars and sculptures that are visible once you pass through the main entrance.   Among the more notable sculptures are:

The Natyamandapa, or Dance Hall, is supported by 100 pillars finely sculpted with figurines of a dancing Siva, Nandi, Tumbura, Rambha and other celestial beings playing the drum, veena and other instruments

Kalyana Mandapam (Marriage Hall):

The Kalyana Manadapam is without a roof as its construction was left unfinished.  According to mythology the marriage between Lord Shiva and Parvathy is supposed to have happened here. 

The 38 pillars of the wedding hall have images of Lord Shiva and Parvathi along with sculptures of dikapalakas, sages, deities, and guardians.

The imposing Seven headed monolithic Naga (Serpent God) sheltering a Shiva lingam.  The legend is that this sculpture was created by workers over time while they were waiting for their lunch to be

prepared and served.

The central mandapam has a dome that rises 21 feet.  The inside ceiling of this huge mandapa is divided into different panels by beams that are painted with some of the most exquisite murals of South India – some of them echo the murals found at Ajanta Caves – but the style of painting is unique and has come to be known as Lepakshi Paintings. 

Lepakshi Paintings:

Much of the glory of Lepakshi lies in the amazing frescoes on the ceilings of the Virabhadra Temple.  These painitngs are characterised by elegant linework set against the trademark orange-red background.  What makes the paintings striking are the beautiful costumes, detailed hairstyles, jewellry and textile patterns. The figures are shown in profile with prominent eyes and sharp facial features.   Given the use of vegetable dye paints, the range of colours are limited to white, green, black, and several shades of golden yellow and brown.

The paintings include a series of episodes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics as well as the Puranas.  Examples include:

Parvati and Maid: This painting shows Parvati with her maids getting ready for  her wedding. 

Boar Hunt: The painting shows a wild boar charging at Arjuna and Lord Shiva as they are preparing to shoot him with thier arrows.

Dakshinamurthi: Dakshinamurthi (or Lord Shiva as a Mendicant) is shown seated on a hill sharing his philosophies to sages who have gathered at his feet. 

Marriage of Shiva and Parvati: Arguably the most spectacular of the paintings at Lepakshi, shows the wedding of the two gods in progress with beautiful detail on costumes, jewellery and guests

We windup from Lepakshi after visiting the Big Bull statue which is half km away from temple. Nandi facing towards Serpent head shivalinga at Veerabhadra temple.

Left by 12.45 and planned to visit Veerapuram on the way which has a small lake  houses migratory  birds. Local say  no use as there are no birds. We dropped the idea and straight  headed to hotel for lunch. Went to Nandini Family Restaurant next to Kamath and had  belly full of full meals.  From here all said good bye for now till next walk.  


Kamat Upachar: 10Kms after Chikballapur ( Bangalore-Lepakshi direction) is a well known highway chain of restaurants, known for South Indian Veg food. Its coupled with BP petrol station

Nandini Family Restaurant   : Next to Kamath and good Andra  food (both Veg and Non veg).  Worth for money, people friendly atmosphere.

How to  reach  ?

–> Bangalore – Yelahanka – Devanahalli – Chikaballapur – Bagepalli – Lepakshi.

Keep straight NH 7  no deviations all the towns are by passed.  After Bagepalli Toll pass further 500mts and take left deviation @ KADIKONDA check post to reach Lepakshi (17Kms)

(C) Ramesha JS


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