Tuesday, March 25, 2008
LEPAKSHI, an unfulfilled dream
The endeavor of fleeing rulers of Vijaynagar to build an alternative edifice @ Lepakshi must be visited by all puritans. The earnest desire to emulate the grandeur of Hampi Heritage is unravelled at Lepakshi.
At the enterance a huge Nandi is sculpted, which happens to be largest Nandi in India. As one enters the temple one is presented with a visual treat of pillared structure of Veerabhadra temple. The mural paintings on the ceiling is unmatched in artistic excellance. Unfortunately there is no effort to preserve the paintings. The least that the ASI can do is to provide a protective glass panels with dehumidifying silicones to preserve the heritage. If left unprotected the mural paintings will vanish with a few years.
It is alleged that the ruler of the time suspected the architect Jakana for misappropriation of funds, inorder to prove his innocence he banged his head against the walls and plucked his eyes as a testimony of his sincerity and threw the eye balls on the wall of the temple. The curse of the architect befell on the ruler, who was killed in the battle and his dreams of completing Kalayana matapa ( marriage hall ) was aborted.
The paintings on the cieling are so natural but in various stages of destruction, once again ASI needs to get its act together before another heritage site crumbles, mainly the paintings. One can see this paintings seems to have faded to its extinction.
Many of the depictions on the pillars and the facade of granite are figment of imagination and inspiration from the epic Ramayana. The perfection attempted in short duration of time span to emulate or outdo the grandeur of Hampi by the architect has to be appreciated. He had drawn fine print to complete the project with limited funds squeezing in all the resources. Probably he was aware of the prestige conscious ruler who was running short of patience and funds unlike his predecessors.
Improper access roads to the reach Lepakshi is a big downer, tension seems to always prevailing in the town due to communal dis harmony, tourists driving down to Lepakshi have to be doubly cautious of being misguided by sadistic local population. We were misguided by one such bikers. The Govt of Andhra seems to be ignoring Lepakshi due to its closeness to Karnataka. It remains an unfulfilled dream even today to resurrect the past and preserve the heritage. The architect soul will never rest in peace till the present rulers set right the mistakes committed by royalty.
The true legacy of Lepakshi can be only fulfilled with dozens of tourist flocking and admiring the undaunting effort of Jakana and saluting his spirit of architectural excellence and towing the right path. Lepakshi is the symbol of re-engineering with limited resources.
Veerabhadra is the main diety of Leepakshi, which happens to be our family goddess too. It is great to visit a heritage site which takes back one to his roots. However I am apprehensive that all the poojas and the priests will destroy the heritage just like what happened to Melkote temple, wherein all the gold jewellery was robbed. The current market value is worth more than 10 crores, whereas paintings and statues are in danger @ Leepakshi.
The biggest Nandi is found in carved in Leepakshi, we missed visiting the same, next time around we will make it. The photograph is courtsey is flickr member whom I acknowledge.
Lepakshi is just 120 kms from Bangalore, if one travels via NH 7 and takes a detour to the immediately after crossing Andhra Border. It is just 17 kms away from the highway. If one goes a little further he can visit Madaksira and Pavgada fort.