Lepakshi is a small town which is distinguished from others by two extraordinary monuments – the temple complex dedicated to lord Veerabhadra and the huge statue of Nandi the bull – carved out of a single block of stone. It’s 1.5 hours north of Bangalore so ideal for a day trip.
Lepakshi (Lepa-Akshi) means ‘village of the blinded eyes’. Legend has it that the builder of the temple was ordered , by the King, to be blinded because he emptied the treasury constructing the temple. The builder (Virupanna) got wind of this and tore his eyes out himself and threw them into the temple, leaving two stains on the walls. (Yuk – Horrible Histories in the making!)
The Shri Veerabhadra Swamy Temple was constructed around 1533. The Temple inside two enclosures , with three entrances to the first enclosures. It encloses 5 different shrines, ranging from the enormous Nagalingam, the seven headed snake, to the small alter of Durga Devi. The centre of the second enclosure is the active temple with individual shrines inside. It is intricate skilful architecture and ther are carvings covering the walls and pillars, with paintings and murals on the ceilings.they are amazing.
The Lepakshi Nandi is said to be the largest Nandi sculpture in India. It is approx 6m high and 10m long and sculpted out of a huge granite rock. It faces towards the temple and is decorated with a necklace, muvvahara and a hara of bells. It also has short horns. It is depicted in the characteristic pose of Nandi but with the head held higher than usual which is unusual as Nandi is usually depicted as submissive to siva.