Veerbhadra Temple

Hindu Temple in Lepakshi

This temple’s Naga-lingam (a phallic representation of Shiva) is crowned with a seven-headed cobra. Check out its unfinished Kalyana Mandapam (Marriage Hall), depicting the wedding of Parvati and Shiva, and its Natyamandapa (Dance Hall), with carvings of dancing gods. The temple’s most stunning features, though, are the Natyamandapa’s ceiling frescoes. Photography is strictly prohibited, however.

The town gets its name from the Ramayana: when demon Ravana kidnapped Rama’s wife, Sita, the bird Jatayu fought him and fell, injured, at the temple site. Rama then called him to get up; ‘Lepakshi’ derives from the Sanskrit for ‘Get up, bird’.