Lepakshi

Here is where the famous symbol of a Nandi is really situated. The giant monolith of Nandi. Lepakshi is also famous for its miraculous hanging pillar.
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It is a heritage site thankfully being preserved and maintained by Archeological Survey of India. Its a nice one day drive for Bangaloreans. A mere 125 kms. For those who use public transport, you may find this post more useful.
From Bangalore it requires you to take any (KSRTC or Private service) bus that is headed towards Hindupur or Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh, other route is to head towards Chikkaballapura(it may be easier to return from this route). You can board these buses without any prior booking from either Majestic bus station or Hebbal (opp Esteem mall) costs 80/- per head. It takes about 2-3 hours to reach Hindupur, take a drop and then look for a bus or local transport till Lepakshi. A bus or auto ride shouldn’t cost more than 20/- as per local rates, but since we looked to be from Bangalore, we paid almost 100/- for the ride. After about 1 hour the bus drops you right in front of temple, in the Lepakshi village.

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People tend to spend atleast 2 hours in this temple campus, as this campus holds quite intriguing pieces of art, and is a very relaxing place. Advise you to hire a guide who explain you many nuances of the campus, as most of them are very humble and you don’t need to haggle at all. Only thing disappointing was the haphazard town that has grown around and between this temple campus and the huge Nandi monolith – they are supposed to be a combined experience, the village around completely hampers this. It is sad, there was no one monitoring whenever this urbanisation took place.

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At the temple the stories and meanings behind all carvings and paintings will amaze you. All paintings being on the ceiling, have managed to still be visible, but this place needs some serious frescos done – well most heritage sites in India are subjected to ignorance. The famous hanging pillar is found here. The temple structure is supported by 80 pillars, however with certain dynamics of the architecture, the single hanging pillar holds the weight of rest 79 pillars. In the past whenever an architect or even British officers tried to bring support to the hanging pillar, there were cracks and crevices created into rest of the structure, deeming it to crumble soon. So it has remained hanging ever since. Every temple has a surrounding campus, with the main temple at the centre. A huge monolith of Nandi was placed to face the main temple at about 500 mts, however a disconnect has been created between the structures by the town – as I mentioned earlier.
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You can return by taking a bus either towards Hindupur or Chikkaballapura, or a local auto to the NH 7 highway junction (the locals will easily guide you), where you will find buses going towards Bangalore every 15 mins. In 2-3 hours you will be back in Bangalore.

Best time to visit this region is in the winters Nov- Jan.

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