LEPAKSHI TEMPLE

The grandeur of the Lepakshi temple

SUDHA MAHALINGAM Photographs by Sudha Mahalingam

 

This impressive sculpture of Nandi, carved out of a single rock, faces the main shrine of the Lepakshi temple complex. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
The unfinished kalyanamandapa. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
A view of the Natyamandapa, or mahamandapa. The paintings are found here and on the ceiling of the verandah around it. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
Five-headed Sadasiva. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
Curious devotees check the “Hanging pillar” theory by running a piece of cloth under it. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
Cow, calf and bulls in the natyamandapa. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
Columns featuring musicians, including Nandi, playing the mridangam. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
Heavily armed ganas dominate the columns. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
Purushamriga (Indian sphinx) depicted worshipping a Siva linga. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
An elephant performing “abhisheka” (ritual bath) to a Siva linga. This part of the monolithic boulder that also has carved out of it a Ganesha shrine and seven-headed serpent with a Siva linga. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
A Siva linga being guarded by a seven-headed serpent, another side of the monolithic boulder with the Ganesha shrine and the elephant perfoming “abhisheka”. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
A Ganesha shrine carved in the same monolithic rock that has a Siva linga being guarded by a seven-headed serpent and the elephant performing “abhisheka”. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
Some of the murals have faded or look smudged. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
A panel depicting Dakshinamurthy. Parvathi can be seen holding lotuses and with hands folded in “anjali mudra” (salutation). Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
Parvathi’s toilet. The seated figure is male while a group of elegantly dressed women gaze at him. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
Maids of honour at the marriage of Siva and Parvathi. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
Siva and Parvathi playing a game of dice while Nandi (bull’s head on human body) looks on. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
The mural depicting Kiratarjuniya, an episode from the Mahabharata. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
The mural depicting Kiratarjuniya, an episode from the Mahabharata. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
The ASI has restored the paintings several times since 1979, but many details were lost because of neglect before that. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
A panel showing the rescue of Markandeya by Lingodbhavamurti. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
Tripurantakamurti, a manifestation of Siva holding a deer (mriga) and an axe (parashu) in two hands. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam
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