Lepakshi has been appearing as one of the frequent suggestions every time I look for places to visit around Bangalore. The unique naaga-linga structure had caught my attention easily. I wanted to see it for real. Also, as usual, I started to look for places on the way to plan my day better.
The Hyderabad highway was the best pick for my journey towards Lepakshi. I decided to take the state highway via. Doddaballapur while returning and visit Vidurashwatha on the way. This place is known for witnessing an incident similar to Jallianwala Bagh. Also, if my time calculations matched, I wanted to have my lunch at the Ghati Subramanya Temple which is a slight diversion from my return route. The biggest challenge now was the vehicle. I own an Activa and definitely, it’s not suited for such a long journey. This means I need to travel at a moderate speed taking a breaks at regular intervals. But I wanted to take this one risk to avoid postponing my plan further.
Finally, the day was here and I started at sharp 6 AM to make sure there is ample time to spend at places and to accommodate any Murphy’s law. The only thing I had missed to be prepared was the tire pressure of my vehicle. This had kept me under pressure for most of my journey. Almost 90% of the journey towards Lepakshi was smooth due to the flawless national highway and I ensured to stop for every 40KM to take a break.
Lepaksha is situated very close to the Karnataka and Andhra border. After about 3.5 hours of journey, the first thing I spotted was the Jatayu theme park. This actually didn’t pop in the Google maps when I had searched earlier and unfortunately, it was closed. The place is in close vicinity to Jatayu Moksha Ghat and could be a new inclusion to the place. The next place to visit right opposite to the Jatayu Theme park is the Nandi. The place is well maintained by the authorities. The spectacular statue of Nandi is caved on a single rock.
About few meters ahead from Nandi is the Veerabhadra Temple which was the destination of the day. The entire temple structure is marvelous and built completely with stone. There was not a single inch without the carvings and each pillar had their own story to tell. After admiring the architectural beauty of the temple, I was finally in front of the Naaga Linga. It was exactly as it looked in the pictures and I was spellbound for a while looking at the mammoth sized structure only to be distracted by everyone else around me trying to take pictures with Bahubali pose.
Jatayu Theme Park
Pillar with minute details
Pillars with life-sized carvings
Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu
Symmetrically placed pillars
I met few travelers there who suggested me to visit Bhairsagar Lake which houses plenty of migrating birds. The well known Penukonda fort is also at a close vicinity, but due to constraints in my timings and the resources, I planned to save these places for my next trip.
The next place in the list was Vidurashwatha, which is about 33KM from Lepakshi. I took the road towards Hindupura and then a diversion to the state highway to Bangalore. I was at an hour deviation from my planned timings, but things were still in control. It was around 12:00 PM when I reached Vidurashwatha. The monument of freedom fighters and the famous Ashwathanarayana temple are next to each other. The place was a witness to the brutal killing of 32 freedom fighters and a monument has been built in the honor of them. Veera Saudha situated in the vicinity has a photo gallery which speaks the story of the struggles which led to the independence.
Ashwathanarayana temple has more than a thousand idols of god Naaga and has hundreds of devotees visiting every day. The temple also houses the Ashwatha tree which was believed to be planted in the times of Mahabharata. The tree collapsed a few years ago and now has a part of it which is worshipped by the people.
Freedom fighter's memorial
Naaga idols in the temple premises
Things were fine when I left Vidurashwatha and I had to reach Ghati Subramanya Temple which was around 50KM from there. Murphy’s Law happened and it started raining. The breeze was so strong that I had difficulties controlling my two-wheeler. After 15 minutes, it was manageable drizzles and I decided to skip Ghati Subramanya and head straight to Bangalore. When I reached the diversion towards the temple, the rain had already stopped and I chose to take a chance here and continue with my original plans of visiting the temple. It was overcrowded there, but I managed to get the gimps of god and have a sumptuous meal at the temple. Rice, sambar, and buttermilk were all I needed after the long tiring journey. The jaggery-poha payasam was an added bonus.
It drizzled again while I traveled towards Bangalore but the experience was still pleasing.
1. Do not travel in a two-wheeler like Active for more than 200KM at a stretch in a single day. It does cause back pain. Now I know 😛
2. The May and June month is a heaven to jackfruit lovers and you can spot plenty of vendors throughout the journey.
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