Friday, April 10, 2009


Name : Lepakshi - Sri Veera bhadra Moorthy Temple on the KURMA SHILA Hill.

Location : Lepakshi is situated at a distance of 110 km from district centre of Anantapur, Karnataka.

Lepakshi is a group of temples built, in the 16th century, on a single granite outcrop that is curved like the back of a tortoise. The hill was called Kurma-shila ( the tortoise-hill ).

Legend : Once Dhakshan the father of “Uma devi” performed a grand yagna. (Ritual before fire) Though Dhakshan was the father in law of Lord Shiva, he refused to invite Lord Shiva to participate in that yagna. But Uma Devi wife of Lord Shiva longed to attend the yagna. It was against the will of her husband. She went to Dhakshan’s yagna. She faced disrespect from her father, in the yagna function. She committed suicide at that yagna-sala itself. By knowing this matter Lord Shiva went to his father-in-law’s palace in the shape of Veerabhadra and killed his father in law by cutting off his head. Then Lord Shiva with his super power gave life to his wife to come alive. At that time the other deities prayed Lord Shiva to give life to Dhakshan being his father-in-law. All the deities wanted the yagna to be completed. So Lord Shiva placed a goat’s head to Dhakshan’s body and gave life to him also.

History : Sri Virupanna, who worked as a Treasury Officer of Penukonda Fort of Vijayanagara Empire, took up the construction of the Lord Veerabhadhra Temple at Lepakshi in the 16th-century.

Temple & Deity : Temple is famous for the seven-hooded coiled serpent carved out of a single stone and the Panchalingas. The Panchalingas are the five main lingas in the Leepakshi temple complex comprising of the Papanaseswara linga of sage Agastya, the Rama linga, the Nagalinga (17ft high), the linga consecrated by Hanuman and the Tandaveshwara(Veera bhadra Moorthy) consecrated by Virupanna.

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 in accompaniment. The unfinished Kalyanamandapa on the other side contains sculptures of dikapalakas on the pillar.

From the centre of the mantapa emerges a dome, twenty-one feet high, like a great lotus of heaven. In this huge mantapa, the ceiling is divided into different panels by beams that are painted with some of the most exquisite murals of the Deccan.

Rituals & ceremonies : By worshipping this Veera bhadra Moorthy idol the devotees will be blessed with progress in all fields of life. Because the efforts of Lord Shiva took place in a war and involved in a nature of enemity, the devotees in their life facing such troubles should follow worshiping “Veerabhathra Moorthy” for the suitable remedy.

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