history, Tourism, Travel

Lepakshi Temple.

Lepakshi is historical ancient village in Anantpur District of Andhra Pradesh located at just 15 kms from Hindupur, 120 kms from Anantpur and Bangalore and 225 kms from Tirupati. Lepakshi is one of the key spiritual, cultural and heritage site of Andhra Pradesh, thus well-known tourist place and especially for one day trip from Bangalore. Shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Veerbhadra, Papanatheswara, Raghunatha, Sri Ram and Durga are located in the same complex on a hillock – Kurma Saila – tortoise shaped hill in Lepakshi. Veerbhadra Temple is most important in all these shrines. Veerabhadra Temple also referred as Lepakshi Temple is solely dedicated to the deity of Lord Veerabhadra Swamy, a fearsome form of the Lord. The rich notable architecture of Veerbhadra temple is very famous across India. It was built during the Vijayanagar period in 1530 BC by Virupanna Nayaka and Viranna – who were brothers and governor in Vijayanagar Empire. According to Skanda Puranas, it is one of the important temple Divya Kshetras, an important pilgrimage site of Lord Shiva.

The famous fresco paintings are particularly detailed in very bright dresses and colours with scenes of Rama and Krishna from the epic stories of the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas. Large Nandi of 23ft in length and 20ft in height is carved from a single black stone, which is one of the largest monolithic Nandi in the world and major attraction near Lepakshi Temple at Basavanna Temple. The images on the pillars and walls of divine musicians, saints, dancers, Goddesses, 14 avatars of Shiva are the major attractive site for the tourist.

There are lots of tale associated with Lepakshi Temple wherein key legends are described here.

Lepakshi is the place where the bird Jatayu fell down after war against the Demon King Ravana who had abducted Ma Devi Sita. When Lord Sri Rama reached the spot during search of Goddess Sita, he saw Jatayu and said caringly, “Le Pakshi” – ‘rise, oh bird’ in Telugu, this is how this spot was popular as Lepakshi.

Another tale associated with Lord snake, the Naga of the Nagalinga was carved out of a single stone by sculptors while they were waited for their mother to prepare lunch.

The hanging pillar supported from the top is a surprise for the visitors where you can pass paper or thin cloth below which indicates the pillar is not supported by the ground.. It is also said that if anyone tried to move one pillar is then all other pillar will start move, what an engineering. To the south of the main shrine is a huge Nagalingam, standing on a granite block, shrouded by a seven-headed cobra, magnificently carved out of single rock which cannot be found anywhere in India. Right across the incomplete Kalyan Mandapa due to certain reason may be, one can witness a red mark in one of the walls which resembles an eye. Another attraction is huge footprint near Kalyana Mandapa and it is said that this is Goddess Sita’s footprint. Water from unknown source from underground constantly sipping and washing this foot in respect of Ma Devi Sita.

How to reach Lepakshi: It is very easily approachable through road via Hindupur. There is also availability of private – state buses and taxi – cab to reach the temple. APSRTC buses leave for Lepakshi every 30 minutes from Hindupur. The nearest railway Station is Hindupur railway Station at a distance of 12kms. The nearest Airport is Kempegowda International Airport at a distance of 68kms and Bangalore at around 100 kms.

Additional Details of Lepakshi Temple

Best Time To Visit: Through out the year

Address: Veerabhadra Temple, Lepakshi, Anantpur, Andhra Pradesh

Activity: Study Architecture, history of Ancient India

history, Tourism

Kanyakumari.

Nestled at the extreme southern end of India, Kanyakumari is a beautiful coastal town of Tamil Nadu. Since its evolution, this peaceful town has been considered to be a major hub of culture, art, and religion in the country. Kanyakumari city showcases to the world the perfect amalgamation of enthralling natural beauties and captivating ancient architectural marvels.

The city of Kanyakumari is beautifully enticing, owing to its spectacular scenic environs and brilliant iconic structures. Enclosed by magnificent mountains, lined by stunning sea shores, and bordered by lofty coconut trees and paddy fields, this city is set to mesmerize every traveler. The mountainous terrains, undulating valleys, hill patches, and pristine beaches can leave anyone awestruck and spellbound. In addition to all these natural elements, the city’s iconic monuments and majestic temples also add to its incredible beauty.A long list of the major attractions of the state of Tamil Nadu are sheltered in Kanyakumari. The important tourist spots of this place include religious sites like Thanumalayan Temple, Kumari Amman Temple, and Lord Subramanya Temple; historical spots like Vattakottai Fort, Padmanabhapuram Palace, and Vivekananda Rock Memorial; and natural beauties like Thirparappu Falls, Courtallam Falls, and Sanguthurai Beach.Kanyakumari tourism has ample scope for the tourists to engage in a number of fun-filled activities. From enjoying water activities at Kanyakumari Beach to marveling at the life-like statues of famous personalities at Wax Museum and from witnessing the breathtaking sunset at Sunset Point to marveling at the Thiruvalluvar Statue, Kanyakumari will offer you an action-packed trip down south. Kanyakumari experiences tropical climate, with summers being moderately humid, monsoons bringing in frequent rainfall, and winters remaining pleasant. With less humidity and clear skies, the winter months from October to March make for the best time to visit Kanyakumari.

history, life

Mahabalipuram.

Mahabalipuram is a small town situated in the southeastern part of Tamil Nadu, stretching between the Bay of Bengal and the Great Salt Lake. It is a renowned representative city of our rich Indian culture and heritage. It is mainly a seaport, which lies 58 km away from the capital city Chennai.Mahabalipuram is a place that is famous for its temples and monuments, especially the very famous Shore Temple. It consists of three temples built in one single complex, that was constructed way back in the 8th century. Another famous temple is the Pancha Rathas.As the name suggests- they are a group of five temples sculpted in the form of chariots. The Descent of the Ganga is a giant rock with an open mouth in the form of sculpture. Some other popular tourist attractions in Mahabalipuram are Arjuna’s Penance, the Crocodile Farm, the Cave temples, the Indian Seashell Museum, Krishna’s Butterball. Along with these, there are innumerable monoliths, temples and stone carvings that are a testimony to the rich cultural heritage of India.Even though Mahabalipuram is a small town situated in the suburbs, it is well connected by buses and cars because of its immense popularity amongst Indian and even foreigners. These buses ply from different parts of Chennai, Chengal Pattu and Kanchipuram.The weather here remains cool and moderately humid throughout the year, which makes it possible to visit any time of the year, even though the best time to visit is between October and March. The town is well equipped with multiple accommodations according to the tourists’ choice and budget. Local restaurants, as well as multi-cuisine restaurants, are available for a culinarily rewarding trip as well. The local language spoken here is Tamil, although the locals are fluent in other languages like English and Hindi as well.
history, Travel

Murudeshwar.

Murudeshwar Temple

Murudeshwar Temple

Murudeshwar temple is one of such temples which look quite contemporary though it belongs to the ancient era. The temple is dedicated to worshipping Lord Murudeshwara considered to be one of the forms of Lord Shiva. The temple is situated in India in the state of Karnataka. The temple has one gripping thing is that it is surrounded by Arabian Sea from three sides and the temple premises begins with a twenty storied Gopuram. Besides that the thing that makes it way more bewitching is the location of a huge statue of Lord Shiva which is the second largest statue of Lord Shiva in India.

The twenty storied Gopuram at the entry of the temple complex is around 237.5 feet tall and is called as Raja Gopuram. The temple has been built on a small hillock called as Kanduka. A list has been built for the convenience of the devotees which carries them to the hill top and to the top of the Gopuram. The most exciting thing about the temple is the scenic view of the Lord Shiva statue along with the breathtaking view of the seashore. At the foot of the temple is located a temple devoted to Shri Rameshwara. Next to the idol of Lord Shiva is the also present a shrine devoted to Shaneeshwara while below the Lord Shiva’s idol is a small cave. At the entry gate of the temple are the statues of two elephants which are believed to act as the guard to the temple. Within the temple premises is present a depiction of Lord Shiva giving the teaching of Geeta to Arjuna and beside that the depiction of Ravana giving the Atma Linga to Lord Ganesha. Except the principle sanctum, which still holds the same old flavour, the whole temple has been transformed in the contemporary style. The contemporary temple had been built by R.N Shetty, a philanthropist and businessman.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TEMPLE

  • It is believed that, Lord Shiva had given the Atma Linga to Ravan as a gift for his penance, which sits originally in the heart of Shiva. The temple features the cloth which covered the Atma Linga. It is also said that all the Gods, according to the Hindu scriptures attained invincibility and mortality after worshipping Lord Shiva.
  • Karnataka is believed to contain Lord Shiva’s Pancha Kshetra and Murudeshwar temple is one of the Pancha Kshetra of the state, and the four other being Dharmasthala, Nanjanagud, Gokarna and Dhareshwara.
  • The most noticing highlight of the temple is the mammoth statue of the Lord Shiva which has been built such that that the rays of the Sun first falls on the Shiva’s statue. This Shiva statue here at the temple Murudeshwar is the second largest statue of Lord Shiva, the largest being the Kailash Nath Mahadeva statue in Nepal.
  • Inside the main shrine of the temple is a Deep which is believed to be burning the way it burnt when the temple was built. In order to get blessing of the God for prosperity and good luck, people pour oil into the burning Deep and see their image into the oil.
  • The gigantic Gopuram at the entrance is believed to be the second tallest of all the Gopurams in the world and has a height of 237.5 feet while the tallest Gopuram is located at Srirangam temple in Tamilnadu.

HISTORY AND THE LEGEND ASSOCIATED

The temple itself has been named as per its significance, Murudeshwara refers to Shiva. The interesting story of the temple has been linked to the ear of Ramayana. As a result of the penance dedicated to the Atma Linga, Lord Shiva gave the power of invincibility and immortality to Hindu Gods. Consequently Ravana, the king of Lanka also tried wooing Lord Shiva by worshipping him so as to attain invincibility and immortality. When Lord Shiva appears before Ravana after looking at his devotion, and he asks Ravana to tell him, whatever he wants. Ravana then asks for Goddess parvathi and Lord thus gives Parvathi to Ravana.

On the way to Lanka, Narada muni deceits him into believing that the one who was with him was not Parvathi and the real Parvathi is in Pathala. Consequently Ravana went to Pathala and married a king’s daughter who believed was real Parvathi. After knowing that he has been fooled by Naryana, he again sits to meditate As a result of which Lord Shiva Appears. This time he asked Lord Shiva to bless him with the sacred Atma Linga and Shiva accepting his demand, gave him the Lingam but puts a condition before Ravana that if ever this Lingam will be kept on the ground all its powers will come back to Lord Shiva.

This made narada to realise that with Atma Linga in his hands, Ravana will create havoc on the earth by obtaining immortality and so he thought of approaching Lord Ganesha for help. While Ravana was on the way to Lanka, Lord Vishnu planned to remove the effect of the Sun’s light so as to make it appear as dusk which will compel Ravana to perform his evening rituals and he will have to put the Linga on the ground. While he was thinking of the curse of Atma Ling, a Brahmin boy approached him who was actually Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesha had taken up the form so that he would put the Atma Linga on the ground while he goes for the evening rituals. Lord Ganesha’s plan worked and when Ravana returned he found the Linga on the ground. This made him furious and he understood about the plan and out of anger he tried destroying the Lingam. In the process he threw the case which was covering the Lingam to Sajjeshwara at a distance of 23 miles while the lid of the case he threw to Guneshwara and Dhareshwara situated at a distance of about 10-12 km. And the piece of cloth covering the Atma Lingam he threw to Mrideshwara which was later named as Murudeshwara.

Also, at Murudeshwara, saint Bhagirath awaits for Ganga to come on the earth from the hair lock of Lord Shiva.

BEST MONTH TO VISIT.

November to February

HOW TO REACH.

Nearest Road – 165km from Mangalore and 455km from Bangalore

Nearest Railway Station – Murudeshwara station is only 2 km away from the temple.

By Air – the nearest airport from the temple is Mangalore International airport which is situated at a distance of about 165km from the temple.

TEMPLE TIMING

Day Timing – Opens at 6am and closes at 8:30pm.

Lunch Timing – 1 pm to 3 pm

Morning Puja – 6:30am to 7:30 am

Afternoon Mahapuja – 12:15 PM to 1 PM

Night Puja – 7:15 PM to 8:15 PM

FESTIVALS CELEBRATED AT THE TEMPLE

Maha Shivaratri (February or March) and Karthik (November to December) Purnima is celebrated in the temple with full fervour and enthusiasm.

NEARBY TEMPLES

Nearby temples to Murudeshwara temple includes Sri Mahabaleshwar Temple, Gokarna Idagunji Maha Ganapathi Temple and Kollur Mookambika Temple.

history, Tourism, Travel

 Hampi – The Land of Culture and Religion.

H

ampi is located in the Karnataka state of India. It is situated on the banks of Tungabhadra River, and is around 74 km away from Bellary, another tourist attraction around Hampi. It is recognized as the World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Hampi used to be an important part of Vijayanagara city (1343 – 1565), which was later ruined but this beautiful place commonly referred as the temple town still exists. It always remained a priority for different rulers because of its geographical location. It is covered by impregnable hills on three sides and Tungabhadra River flows on the fourth side making this place secure and also magnificent from the scenic point of view.

Paradise for wanderlust folks

Hampi is a house to many temples which makes it an important religious center. This place is worth visiting since it holds great significance archeologically and also architecturally. Moreover, it is wonderfully enclosed with lofty mountains and smoothly flowing River which adds up even more to its already present attractiveness. According to statistics, this is the most searched place on Google in Karnataka.

Tourist attraction in and around Hampi

There are many more sightseeing options in and around Hampi and those who pay a visit here quite surely visit the surrounding places also.

Virupaksha Temple

This temple was built in the 7th century and it was a small shrine back then but was developed later into a beautiful one by the Vijayanagra rulers who dedicated this to their Lord Virupaksha. For people living nearby, it serves as a center for their religious believes.

Vittala Temple

This temple is a dedication to Lord Vittala who was believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It came into existence in the 15th century and serves as a major attraction to tourists. There is a large stone chariot that reflects the architectural skills back then.

Archaeological Museum

This Museum was established by the Archaeological Survey of India. When we talk about Hampi being a historical attraction, this Museum plays a vital role as it is a home to antiques and great sculptures. Most of the findings were carried on by British people and later in 1972, the antiques were shifted here.

Underground Temple

This is one of the oldest temples in Hampi dedicated to Lord Shiva. Most of the parts of this temple remain submerged in water because it was built several meters below the ground level.

Bellary

This city is known for the largest single rock mountain in the world. It is 60 km away from Hampi and the second fastest growing city in Karnataka. Bellary fort is also a tourist attraction.

Anegodi

Before Hampi, Anegodi was the capital of the region. It is situated on the opposite bank of the river and is a farming village. The places to visit here are Anegodi fort, Chandramouliswara Temple Pampa Sarovar, and Bukka‘s aqueduct.

Anjaneya Hill

It is located 4km away from the heritage site and is considered to be the birthplace of Lord Hanuman. There is a temple dedicated to him commonly called as the Monkey or the Hanuman temple.

Kamalpura

It is situated at the southern part of the ruins. It is also a small village and famous for Ganigitti temple, Bhima’s Gateway and museum. This village also holds importance in history.

How to reach Hampi

Hampi can be easily reached by all the modes of transport thus, providing fine connectivity for the tourists.

By air

There are two airports, nearest is in Hubli which is around 143 km away from Hampi and another one is in Belgaum which is around 720 km away. Tourist can easily fly on any of the airports. Cabs and taxies are available outside the airport that drops you to your destination.

By rail

This is the recommended mode to travel since Hospet Junction which is the nearest railway station is only 13 km away. There are many overnight trains available. Some of them are direct to Hospet Junction and there are other overnight trains available that will drop you to Hubli. Trains are cheaper and comfortable too. There are buses and rickshaw’s available outside the station to take you to Hampi.

By road

There are daily buses available from Bangalore, Mysore and Gokarna to Hospet. From Hospet you can easily get a bus or cab to reach to Hampi. There are many private buses available that drops you to the village overnight. For those who wish to travel by car, pathway till Chitradurga is in excellent condition but the path from Chitradurga to Hospet is in hostile condition and must be avoided. For those who are traveling via Bangalore, the main highway from Bellary to Hiriyur is recommended.