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From January 12, 2024, at Kala Ram Mandir in Nashik, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has begun an 11-day sacred ceremony, leading up to the consecration of Shri Ramlala at the Ayodhya Dham temple on January 22. The Prime Minister visited and worshiped at the Veerbhadra Temple in Lepakshi, Puttaparthi, located in Andhra Pradesh.

What is Lepakshi temple?

  • It has shrines dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, Papanatheswara, Raghunatha, Rama and other deities. Whether it is the smaller carvings on the pillars of the Veerabhadra Temple or the monolithic Nandi, said to be the largest in the world.
  • The temple was built in 1530 AD by Virupanna Nayaka and Viranna, both brothers who were Governors under the Vijayanagar Empire during the reign of King Achutaraya, at Penukonda who were native to Karnataka.
  • The architectural features of the temple are in the Vijayanagara style with profusion of carvings and paintings at almost every exposed surface of the temple.
  • The presiding deity of the temple is Veerabhadra, a fearsome form of Shiva.
  • The temple complex is located on a low-lying hill known as Kumarasailam, because it resembles a tortoise (kumara tortoise, sailam-hill). The temple is enclosed by two walls and can be divided into three sections-the Natya Mandapa (dance pavilion) ; the Ardha Mandapa (foyer) and the sanctum and the Kalyana Mandapa (wedding hall).
  • The ceilings of the Natya and Ardha Mandapa have several murals illustrating scenes from the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Puranas.
  • One of the major highlights of the temple is the Hanging Pillar, which seems like the 70 other pillars in the vicinity, but does not actually rest on the ground.
  • Another attraction of the temple is a giant footprint engraved in the stone. Believed to be Sita’s, its big toe is perpetually filled with water.