Ancient temples always have had a great impact upon me. They have transformed me to another era. Perhaps to my past life. That is why I feel a very strong connection with those broken statues and the dialipidated buildings. I had been to Bangalore to visit my cousin. We roamed around Bangalore and visited almost every place of tourist attraction. The next day when I told my cousin that I was bored, he asked “Shall we go to the ancient Lepakshi Mandir.” I absolutely seized the opportunity.
So we were in Lepakshi. This is the place where Jatayu fell when he fought with Ravana. I felt bad for Jatayu. Yet my heart was full of respect for him. I prayed the Lord that the qualities of Jatayu – valour, honesty, courage, faithfulness be imbibed in me. Such was the impact of visiting Lepakshi. It filled me with the courage to stand for what was right.
Again this is the place which finds mention in the Skanda purana. This is one of the sacred one hundred and eight important pilgrimage sites of Lord Shiva. The Virbhadra temple situated here is on a hill. The hill is called Kurma Sailam, because the shape of the hill is like a turtle.
Visrupanna was the governor of Vijaynagara. Penukonda was under his province. He used the state funds to build the temple. The temple is externally plain. But once you enter it, it will mesmerize you. Such is its impact. Rather the impact of its sculptures and carvings.
I entered the Gopuram gate which is on the north side. It contained many sculptures. Those of the dancing celestial beauties, which looked so alive. I could feel the rhythm of their dance movements. So true to life were these sculptures. They had such a great impact upon me.
Plus there are popular stories from the Ramayana and the Mahabharta depicted through carvings on the wall and also paintings. The colours of the paintings are vibrant even today after passage of more than five centuries. I mentally bowed to all those artisans. I prayed them to install in me the same degree of perseverance which they had. I felt even if I could get half of their patience and perseverance, I would be a better person. Such was the impact of the paintings and sculptures of Lepakshi.
My heart was filled with pride. I was proud to have been born in a country where even the birds fight for the cause of right. Where the art and architecture was at its zenith. Where the time has stood still and the bygone era comes to life in the form of people and culture in the stone. It was indeed a proud feeling. Such was the impact of visit to Lepakshi upon me.