The Holy Abode – Veerabhadra temple

10.12.2016:

While I was in the bus, I got to speak with the locals travelling along with me and when they heard me saying that I was here to see the Nandi, they asked me to visit the 16th century Veerabhadara (Lord Shiva) temple also.

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I walked back to the temple, one among the three famous shrines of Lepakshi which is just 10 minutes walk from the Nandi. There are few interesting legends associated with this temple. It is believed that this temple has been built on the spot where Jatayu (the bird God) fell after being injured by Ravana who was kidnapping Sita. When Rama reached the spot, he saw Jatayu and remarked, ‘Le Pakshi’ which translates to ‘rise, bird’ in Telugu and hence the name Lepakshi for this town 🙂

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The temple is built on a low, rocky hill called Kumarasilam (Translation – Tortoise hill) and dates back to 1583 and was built by two brothers, Viranna and Virupanna, who were the royal treasurers of the Vijayanagar kings. The temple is built in the Vijayanagar architectural style and has beautiful sculptures adoring the walls. There is also a belief that the original temple has been constructed by Saint Agastya himself.After climbing some 30 or 40 steps, I reached the Dwajastamba and I entered the temple from the left side.

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The temple’s main deity is Lord Veerabhadra, the fiery god created by Shiva from his hairs in his rage after the immolation of Sati Devi during the Daksha Yagna. There are also other manifestations of Lord Shiva like the Kanakala Murthi, Dakshinamurthi (Guru of Gurus), Tripuranthaka or Tripurasurasamhara (vanquisher of demon Tripurasura), Ardhanareeshwara (the half-female, half-male form, where Shiva and Parvati are equally represented in one body). This temple also has the fiery goddess Bhadrakali. After the darshan, I walked around the Garbagriha and I noticed what made this temple stand apart!

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Those are the finest specimens of mural paintings of the Vijayanagar kings. It is said that the 24 ft by 14 ft fresco of Veerabhadra on the ceiling, before the main sanctum sanctorum is the largest in India. They are beautiful and the attention paid to their details is amazing. The colors are strikingly contrasted – black limework against an orange-red background with some green, white, black, and shades of ochre-gold and brown make for a stunning visual spectacle. It is said that most of those were natural dyes or pigments and the paintings depicts the scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Most of these paintings are now fading and are peeling off in many places. I think it’s time for the government to act for their better maintenance and expert restoration!

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Another important feature of this temple is the famous “Hanging Pillar”. This pillar doesn’t fully rest on the ground and to prove that, the guides over here executes a newspaper test and pass the newspaper from one end of the base to the other! There are about 70 pillars in this temple, but this one is the best known and is a tribute to the engineering genius of ancient and medieval India’s temple builders. However, it is a bit dislodged from its original position — it is said that during the British era, a British engineer tried to move it in an unsuccessful attempt to uncover the secret of its support.

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I entered the outer enclosure of the temple where there is a huge Ganesha in stone, leaning against a rock as well as a massive Naga (the Snake God) with three coils and seven hoods, which shelters the Shiva Linga. The temple is divided into three parts, the ‘Mukha Mandapa’, the ‘Artha Mandapa’ and ‘Garba Griha’ and the ‘Kalyana Mandapa’ with 38 carved monolithic pillars. Legend also has it that Lord Shiva and Parvati were married on the spot where Kalyana Mandapa now stands (the most photographed place in the recent times).

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There is also another legend attached to this temple. It is said that Virupanna, the royal treasurer, was accused of drawing funds without the king’s permission from the state treasury to build these shrines and is supposed to have blinded himself. And there are two red stain marks on the western wall of the inner enclosure and these are believed to be the marks left by his bleeding eyes. But I couldn’t find them :(. Might be next time! Time to go, as it’s getting dark and I have to reach Anantapur town!

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Mother’s Day – It’s Everyday….

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Today I want to take a break from my routine writings. As the world is set to celebrate the Mother’s day, I too would like to wish all the great mothers out there a very Happy Mother’s Day.. For me, as a child of a wonderful mother, everyday is a mother’s day though.. 🙂

When I sat on my couch thinking what should I write about my mother.. A question hit my mind. The question is Will I ever be able to write a great story or an epic which could be sweeter than the word “Mother”? Yes, the word “Mother” itself is a great epic which no other could ever beat.

As I could not write a story, I thought of singing a raga for her.. Again another question.. This time it is, Can I sing a better swara (music note) than the swara “Mother”? Isn’t it the Mother, who is the supreme swara for the song of my Soul?

While struggling about where to start and what to write.. The frame of the Almighty on my wall drew my attention. This time it’s a flow of questions and theories… Whether it is Lord Ganesha for the Hindus, or the Jesus for Christians, they too have their mothers. Even though they are Gods, they too were born by sharing an umbilical cord with their mothers. It is only a mother who can give birth to anyone. Doesn’t this mean that “Even a God must have been born from a mother’s Womb”? Then “a Mother who can only give birth to a God or to any other great mother, is THE GREATEST OF ALL”?

I think my quest is over. Finally, I found out what I should write.. I should write thanking my mom for everything..

Thank you mom.. Thank you for

                                Bringing me into this world by sharing your blood and flesh..

                                Teaching me to rise by holding my fingers..

                                Guiding me to walk in the right path always by correcting my wrong steps..

                                Searching me when you don’t hear me..

                                Wiping off my tears, when I cry..

                                Soothing me when I was in discomfort..

                                Helping me to find myself, when I was lost..

                                Blessing me to live for an eternity by saying “God Bless U”..

                                                It’s U my dear mom.. It’s U..

                                                Without U, there is no I..

                                                U r my mornings.. U r my evenings..

                                                U r my dusk.. U r my dawn..

                                                U r my success.. U r my defeat.

                                                       U r my name.. U r my fame…

                                                U r my happiness.. U r my sorrow..

                                                U r my best pal.. U r my best critique..

                                                U r my strength.. U r my weakness..

                                                U r my breath.. U r my expression..

                                                U r the happiness of my heart and mind..

                 On this Mother’s Day, what can I give my greatest mom other than saying that “If given a chance, will be born to her as the same child and always bow my head in front of her with utmost reverence”

I once again wish all the mothers A VERY HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY..

 

Thank you Sushma for the wonderful doodle.. 🙂 

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