Lepakshi and Bhoganandishwara Temple
This was our second trip of this month. Lepakshi was on our go-to list for a long time. We planned well for this trip. My brother Rajath also joined us. Lepakshi is a place in the Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh and is around 130 km from our home. The place is famous for its beautiful and very old temple (built during Vijayanagar empire).
The images on google made us forget about the sunny weather of Andhra Pradesh and made this a must-visit-place for us. While doing the planning, we also found an ancient temple called Bhoganandishwara temple at the foothills of Nandi Hills which is also very old and rich in architecture. Since this temple is on the way, we decided to visit this during our return journey.
As planned, we started from home at 7.45 AM, had breakfast at Swadishta Ahar near our home, filled fuel for our tourer Nano, and started our trip at 8.15 AM. Moderate morning traffic helped us reach Hebbal in half an hour. The easy way to reach Lepakshi is via NH7 (Devanahalli > Chikkballapura road). This is the most opted route as the road condition of this National Highway is too good. However, Thilak did not want to go through this route. He likes to travel through small villages and watch their lifestyles instead of going through boring highways. So, he had planned to go via Doddaballapur road to Lepakshi and while coming back, he had planned to come via NH7.
As per his plan, we took Hebbal > Yelahanka > Doddaballapura > Gauribidanur > Hindupura road to reach Lepakshi. The road was narrow but the road condition was good. As expected, we came across many villages, landscapes, dry mountains, etc. The journey was beautiful. We encountered many huge dry hillocks on the way. The weather was too hot. We wondered how people live in such a deserted place. In Hindupura, we took a right turn to reach Lepakshi. There are no clear signboards. Thanks to Google maps which made us take the right direction.
We reached Lepakshi village at around 11.30 AM. The weather was extremely hot. Lepakshi is a very small village which made it easy for us to spot the temple. Thilak parked the car in the parking area and we all went inside. The temple was huge and very well maintained. As per the records, the temple was built in 13th century. But, the sculptures were still fresh. There were lot of mural paintings in the temple roof. The art on the pillars were very beautiful. The main temple was dedicated to God Veera Bhadra and there were many shrines dedicated to various Gods. After receiving prasada from the priest, we started exploring the place.
The hanging pillar made us wonder about the geniousness of the ancient generation. The veranda had many pillars each unique in art. There was a huge Naga sculpture which was the main attraction of the temple. Then, we saw another main attraction of the temple, the Kalyana Mantapam. I loved this one a lot. We took many photos. The sunlight was perfect for photography. After spending some time, we decided to leave from the temple at 1:00 PM.
In front of the temple, there was an APSTDC (Andhra Pradesh tourism department) hotel. Looks like, this was opened recently because we had not read about this hotel in any of the travelogues. We had authentic Andhra meals at the hotel. Right to this hotel entrance, we could see one more attraction of Lepakshi, the huge monolithic Nandi. We took some photos of Nandi and started our return journey.
Our next destination was Bhoganandishwara temple. With the help of Google maps, Thilak found a way to reach Gauribidanur without entering the toll road. The road was not in a good condition. We reached Gauri Bidanur at around 4 PM and from there, we proceeded towards Chikakaballapur and then towards Nandi village. We could reach the temple at around 5 PM. This temple was also very huge and very old (built in 800 AD). Nandi Hills was just behind this temple.
We had been to Nandi Hills many times before but we never visited this ancient beauty. The carvings inside the sanctuary of the temple were as great as Belur-Halebidu sculptures. The place was not very crowded and was extremely peaceful. There was a beautiful Kalyani in the temple. Even though the temple closing time is 7 PM, the guards close the entrance to Kalyani as soon as the sun sets. We spent some time exploring the place and started our return journey at around 6 PM and reached home at 8 PM.
This was a very well spent day. The beautifully carved stone pillars, the amazing mural paintings, and the overall architecture of Lepakshi temple were definitely indescribable. Many people visit Nandi Hills, but most of us are unaware of Bhoganandishwara temple. We felt very happy for finding this precious hidden jewel.
- Route Travelled: Onward: BTM Layout > Hebbal > Yelahanka > Doddaballapura > Hindupura > Lepakshi
Return: Lepakshi > Gauribidanur > Chikkaballapura > Nandi (Bhoganandishwara temple) > Devanahalli > Hebbal > KR Puram > Marathalli > Silkboard > BTM Layout
- Total distance (To & Fro): 300 km
- Mileage (Car): 22 km/l
- Fuel expense: 900 Rs
- Total expense: 1525 Rs
- Photos: Lepakshi and Bhoganandishwara Photos