Sunday, July 27, 2008

Story relating to Lepakshi

There is more than one story or a legend attributed to the origin of this place. Some say that the name Lepakshi was given to the village when Lord Rama, asked Jatayuvu, the mythological bird who was injured, to “le-Pakshi” i.e. “get up”. Every one knows that when Ravana kidnapped Sita, there came Jatayuvu to the rescue of mother Sita and got killed trying to save her. Legend says that this is the place where it all happened, and as the bird lay injured on the hill, Lord Rama came there in search of mother Sita. Jatayuvu informed Rama as to who took mother Sita and where they went. This helped Lord Rama in waging a war against Ravana thereby getting back mother Sita and getting rid of a cruel king. The temple also has an imprint of a lady's leg in the rock, which the locals say it if the foot print (which is unusually large for a person) of mother Sita.

As per local legend Lord Shiva and Parvati were married on the spot where the Kalyana Mandapa stands.

Another story of how the place got its name is attributed to a story centuries later to the builder of the temple which stands today.Veerabhadra temple is a notable example of the Vijayanagar style of architecture. A reference is made in the 'Skandapurana' to Lepakshi as one of the hundred and eight important 'Shaiva Kshetras' (shrines). Though the temple of Veerabhadra is claimed to have been constructed by Saint 'Agastya' himself, it was developed into the present exquisite shrine by 'Virupanna', the treasurer of the Vijayanagar Kings.He conceived the idea as he found the image of Veerabhadra.He executed the plan in the absence of the king and used the treasure when he was away at Vijayanagar. When the construction was almost finished and it was being supervised the king returned and found the treasure empty. The king ordered, as a punishment to this heinous crime, that he should be blinded. The treasurer being a loyal person carried out the punishment spot with his own bands. Even today one can see two dark stains upon the wall near the 'Kalyana Mandapa', which are said to be the marks made by his eyes, which he himself dashed against the wall. The builder did not survive for a long time and the village is called "Lepa-akshi Lepakshi", i.e., a village of the blinded eye.

Yet another story goes that in ancient times, the village was used for the preparation of “Akshi Lepam” i.e. eye make-up, hence the name. For those who are content with any version, it is the treasures of Lepakshi that allure one to its sites.

also read...

A visit to Lepakshi

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