Lepakshi Temple in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh is famous worldwide for hanging pillars. The exterior of the temple has a huge dance hall with 70 stone pillars on the roof. One corner pillar is the famous Hanging Pillar which does not touch the floor of the temple at all and there is a small gap between the temple floor and the base of the pillar which gives the impression of a hanging pillar. There is a dance pavilion in the center of the temple. It is said that if a person lifts a cloth from one side of the pillar to the other, his wish is fulfilled. This unique pillar of the temple is a big secret for the millions of tourists who come here every year.
According to the legend, Lord Rama came here during his exile along with Lakshmana and Sita. The village is also considered as the place where Jatayu fell after Ravana was injured while being kidnapped by Ravana. Lord Rama and Lakshmana find Sita injured and Jatayu dying and Jatayu informs them of the fight to tell them that Ravana had gone south. Lord Rama then embraced him as shi le pakshi, hence the name of the village.
Le Pakshi is a Telugu word meaning shi arises, bird ‘. The temple is said to have footprints of Lord Sri Rama, while many believe it to be the footprint of Mother Sita. It is believed that after Jatayu was injured, Sita came to the ground and left her footprint and assured her that the water here would continue to give life to Jatayu until Lord Rama came here. There is a wonderful Shivalinga located here, Ramalingeshwar, which was established by Lord Rama himself after the funeral of Jatayu. Another Shivling nearby is Hanumanalingeshwar. It is said that after Shree Rama, Mahabali Hanuman also established Lord Shiva here.
According to mythological beliefs, this temple was built by sage Agastya. But according to historians, the temple was built in 1583 by two brothers (Virupanna and Viranna), who worked for the king of Vijayanagara. This temple is built for Lord Shiva, Vishnu, and Virabhadra. There are also different temples of the three Gods here. There is a large Nagling statue in the temple complex, which is made of a single stone. It is believed to be the largest Nagling statue of India, whose statue is made of black granite stone, with seven hood snakes carving on top of a Shivling.
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