THE HANGING PILLAR OF THE LEEPAKSHI TEMPLE, INDIA

By Moksha Grover

India has been called the land of mysteries since time immemorial, whether for its various enigmatic natural phenomena or eccentricities associated with its religions and culture. And while science has worked hard to debunk and find a logical reason behind every riddle, there still remain some that give rationalists a run for their money. India truly has zillions of secrets buried deep in its most bizarre of places, that either leave people wide eyed with shock or freak them out when they learn about them.

Most of the Indian mysteries are found in temples. One such temple is the beautiful 16th century Veerabhadra temple, also known as Lepakshi temple, located in the small historical village of Lepakshi in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is built in the typical style of Vijayanagara architecture. There are many exquisite sculptures of god, goddesses, dancers and musicians, and hundreds of paintings all over the walls, columns and ceiling depicting stories from the epics of the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Puranas. In the temple. This includes a 24 feet by 14 feet fresco of Veerabhadra, the fiery god created by Shiva, on the ceiling, which is the largest fresco of any single figure in India. At the front of the temple is a large Nandi (bull), the mount of Shiva, which is carved from a single block of stone, and is said to be one of the largest of its type in the world.

Viranna and Virupanna, who were Governors under the Vijayanagar Empire during the reign of King Achutaraya built the Veerbhadra Temple. Some sort of engineering wonder is associated with this temple. Among the 70 stone pillars, there is one that hangs from the ceiling. The base of the pillar barely touches the ground and is possible to pass objects such as a thin sheet of paper or a piece of cloth from one side to the other. It is said that the pillar is a bit dislodged from its original position when a British engineer tried to move it in an unsuccessful attempt to uncover the secret of its support.It is absolutely stunning to even dare imagine what instruments could have been used to have a wafer-thin gap between the pillar’s bottom and the surface of the rocky stone floor under it. If you ever visit here the guides who take you around will do different things to prove that the rock solid stone pillar is indeed hanging and is suspended, not touching the floor.

The village of Leepakshi has great significance in the Indian History.Lepakshi is associated with the bird Jatayu of Ramayana. He fell down wounded here while rescuing Goddess Sita and was commanded to rise by Lord Rama, hence the name Le Pakshi, which in local language means rise bird. This legend can also be supported by a giant foot mark at the temple which is believed to be of Sita.

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