(Last Updated on : 08/11/2014)
Veerabhadra temple is situated in Lepakshi in Anantapur
district of Andhra Pradesh state of India
. This Hindu temple
is an example of Vijayanagar architecture. It was built in the 16th century and is nestled on a mound. The presiding deity of the temple
is Veerabhadra. The temple is known for its intricate architecture. It features a wealth of sculptures in the mantapas and pillars with life-sized images of dancers
, etc. A huge granite nandi bull stands outside and is carved out of single rock. The ceilings are covered in mural paintings
. It is constructed on low rocky hill, which the locals call as Kurmasaila, because it resembles a tortoise. History states that two brothers Viranna and Virupanna, the governors of Penukonda, constructed the temple.
Architecture of Veerabhadra Temple
The temple sanctum stands in the middle of two irregular enclosures and the entrance is through a huge hall. Every vacant spot on the walls and pillars is filled with sculptures. The north-east columns in the centre of the hall has the figure of Natesha between Brahma
and a drummer
, while in the adjacent corner a maiden cavorts between another drummer and cymbalist. On the southwest, there is Parvati
, while a three-legged divinity dances all by himself in the northwest corner.
Close to the main hall is a pillar, where locals kneel on all fours. This is the 'suspended pillar' of the olden days.
This pillar did not touch the floor and it was possible to pass a piece of cloth through the gap. Now, it touches the ground, but only just in one corner, this happened when a British Engineer disturbed the balance while examining it.
The ceiling has frescos and these narrate the life of the patrons as well as episodes from the Mahabharata
. The sculptures
continue right into the temple sanctum. The main deity is a life-size image of Veerabhadra carrying weapons. In the compound there is a multi-hooded Naga shielding a granite linga shaped from a natural boulder. A little ahead is a large unfinished hall with intricate carvings of sages
and holy men on the columns. The big granite bull is on the main road, 200 metres from the temple. It is positioned in such a way that it faces the huge serpent inside the temple.
Connectivity of Veerabhadra Temple
The temple is well accessed by airway, railway
and roadway. The nearest airport
is at Bangalore
which is approximately152 km away. The closest railhead is Anantapur. Nandyal
are also convenient railheads. Ananthpur is well connected by Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport.