The Veerabhadra temple is also known as Lepakshi temple. It is situated in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. This temple is an ultimate testimony for Vishwakarma brothers, who sculpted these temples.
This temple is considered as one of the 108 ShivaShiva
Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ... Kshetras.
This temple is dedicated to Hindu deity Veerabhadra.
It is believed that Veerabhadra relieves the person of his sins and grants them wisdom.
According to Hindu mythology, SatiSati
The name Sati means true and justifying her name... was the consort of Shiva and self-immolated in yajna fire. After that Shiva got infuriated and gave rise to Veerabhadra.
Veerabhadra is depicted as a warrior who eventually blinded God BhagaBhaga
The Bhaga aditya stands... (God of wealth) and fought with many other countless gods. They fled the battlefield unable to sustain his power.
There are many temples dedicated to Veerabhadra. They are situated in the town of VeerbhadraVeerbhadra
This form of Shiva was formed... , near Rishikesh in Uttrakhand and Pasumbalur, near the Perabalur district in Tamilnadu.
The temple's plan is irregular. Its three main parts are as follows:
Virabhadra shrine with its ardhamandapa
All the three glimmer with painting and sculpture.
Most of these sculptures portray the mythological puranic episodes like 'Ananthasayana', 'DattatreyaDattatreya
Dattatreya is a Hindu deity who has the virtues of all the three Supreme Gods of Hindu,...', 'Chaturmukha Brahma', 'TumburuTumburu
Tumburu is described the son of sage Kashyapa and his wife Pradha. Among the sons of Kashayapa, his four Gandharva sons Tumburu, Bahu...', 'NaradaNarada
Narada, also popularly known as Narada Muni, is a great Vedic sage and is one of the most significant and iconic characters of the Hindus. ' and 'Rambha'.
In the central part of the temple, where the Virabhadra shrine stands, there are eight shrines in all. Each shrine has sixteen massive pillars depicting life-size sculptors of deities. On the ceiling, there is a huge and celebrated painting of Lord Veerabhadra.
The mukhamandapa (Main Hall) has oblong structure 24 m by 7 m that is supported by seventy brilliantly sculptured columns. There are sixty more columns in the outer rows. Two of them are virtually hanging pillars. On the roof of the main hall, there are eight rectangular painted panels. One that is longest is about 18 m in length and only 2m in breadth. Here, the story of King Manunidhi Chola is painted. Three large slabs in the second prakara carry striking sculpture. One of them is of the GaneshaGanesha
The guardian deity of Hindus, also known as the Ganapati (The God of all groups) is the son of Lord Shiva .... This image is 2.3 m high, and it stands on a 1.40 m high platform. Near to it there is a huge Shivalinga under a seven hooded cobra. The height of this Cobra is 5.5 m high. One can find the crack in the center of the base. According to the local legend, one of the sculptors made this during his lunch hours. During that time, the sculpture's mother brought him his meal. She saw the sculpture of her child, she was surprised. She praised the beauty of the sculpture. Immediately there is the spilt in the base of the sculpture. A mother’s praise of her son's sculptures was considered inauspicious.
In the kalyanamandapa, there are thirty-eight columns that excellently depict divine figures. These columns India’s second largest sculpture of NandiNandi
Nandi is one of the most iconic and famous characters of Hindu mythology. He is the vehicle of Shiva and also the gatekeeper of the abode of Shiva and Parvati. (the bull) nearly about 6 ft. Height and 8 mts. placed about 200m, north east of the Veerabhadra temple. The majestic artistry of Nandi Nandi is the mount of Lord Shiva. It is a bull which guards the Shiva and his devoteessculpture is mesmerizing for the tourists.
The temple is a storehouse of painting and sculpture. Its murals claim an honored place in the annals of Hindu aesthetics.
One of the most famous paintings from temple's splendid paintings is the colossal painting of Virabhadra in the central hall. In the 'Hall of Dance', one can trace eight panels, depicting Puranic legends on the ceiling. Most of the paintings and murals have been devastated by the ravages of times.
It can be concluded that Veerabhadra temple is a notable store of expertise work, which is on the verge of extinction. This temple has the blend awesome architecture, mythological tales, paintings and sculptures and thus certainly deserves a visit.
The saga associated with the Veerabhadra temple:
One day Virupanna went to the Kurmasaila hill. This hill is also known as the hill of the tortoise as it resembles a resting tortoise. There he happened to see a small temple of Papanasa.He decided to construct a temple complex there.
Virupanna was working as the treasurer of the province of Penukonda, thus, had the finance at his disposal for building the temple.
He engaged many architects, sculptors and painters. To start with, he had a huge prakara wall built to enclose the Papanasa shrine and many others in its proximity. He had many mandapas that also erected within. But, meanwhile, envious persons told the emperor that the treasurer had misappropriated the money.
He asked Virupanna to present in the court. In the anticipation of the punishment, he plucked out his eyes and smashed them upon a wall in the temple. There are red spots on the wall as the remnant of this incident. During rains, the red spots begin watering, and people believe that Virupanna is weeping. The blinded Virupanna used to roam about the temple. He felt bad that he had to leave the temple, of course, left unfinished. He wailed his hard fate that he could not able to see the glory of the Almighty.
According to historical facts, Virupanna had built the Kalyana Venkatasavara temple in NaryanVanam and made gifts to the Tirumala and Sri Kalahasti temples.
He was promoted from an original post to high office in Penukonda and Chandragiri provinces. Though people exaggerated about him in their folklores, but the fact remains the same that he had built the Veerabhadra temple.
During the month of February, there is a lot celebration that last for ten days, including the car festival that is conducted in the temple. During the festival, Veerabhadra is packed with pilgrims from all over the country.