Lepakshi and its temple of pillars

by Ananth Monnappa May. 25, 2017 2457 views

For a long time every weekend or any other holiday has been a hunt for places to shoot, largely it is in and around Bengaluru for me. I am always on the lookout for places that fit three criterion, such as

1. Is the place at a distance that I can travel easily (my time starts from 4 in the morning till 11 in the night, from the city that includes riding, shooting, resting, and heading back).

2. Does the place offer any element that is inspiring for me to shoot.

3. Is it safe to travel in a small group (max 3-4 individuals).

Riding has been a refreshing experience for me so far. I have always had friends who were eager to travel and shoot with me. Cameras charged, fuel in our bikes, directions set, and on a very very small budget we would set out early in the morning to the decided place. One of such places was Lepakshi, which is around 120kms from the city towards Anantapur.

The Veerabhadra temple is the spotlight of this place and is so for very good reasons.

Pillars surrounding the temple complex, they form a outer square for the temple.

Pillars surrounding the temple complex, they form a outer square for the temple.

As always I had done a fair amount of research about the place before heading there. So for starters I learned that the temple has Vijayanagara style architectural features, having been built in the 16th century. The paintings on the ceilings and carvings on the pillars represented stories from Ramayana, Mahabharatha and other puranas.

The main shrine is surrounded by more than a few hundred pillars.

The main shrine is surrounded by more than a few hundred pillars.

One of the mural paintings on the ceiling of the main hall.

One of the mural paintings on the ceiling of the main hall.

This was the very first temple that I was shooting. It is strange when you visit a religious and spiritual place as a photographer.

Standing still and telling us stories, beautifully.

Standing still and telling us stories, beautifully.

You are not there for any other purpose than photography, but the act of photographing these places dives you deep into the presence and ambience of the place, you tend to move beyond time as you begin to recognise the enormity of the place in its significance in time and space, rather than just a place to worship God. Strong beliefs made this place into a reality, speaks of conviction of man.

A Shiva linga with the multi-headed serpent over it.

A Shiva linga with the multi-headed serpent over it.

The visuals and the structures instilled a sense of history, of a time past, wherein I try to relive the lives of people who built it, who visited and celebrated it for the very first time. The time that they were a part of, the cultural and traditional elements that made them believe, when life was still simple.

The space behind the temple.

The space behind the temple.

Edge of the temple hall, one can see the number of pillars that exist till the brink.

Edge of the temple hall, one can see the number of pillars that exist till the brink.

Standing in the midst of it all I try to build a bridge between us and them, whoever they were, they were and what they left behind as their legacy. Centuries later it still exists, echoing the voices of the time that is lost, only standing still through time to remind us where we came from and what we were as humankind among all other creatures.

Time spent to last through time.

Time spent to last through time.

I believe in the power of a photograph, photos give humans a sense of possession of the past and a place, much like why I love to shoot.

Fading through the sands of time.

Fading through the sands of time.

For me photography is something that I cannot describe easily, it is much more than a few things that the world sees it as. Documentation, art, immortalisation, memorialisation, drama in time, possession of the past, life in a frame, etc,. Some of the things that I consider photography to be.

Pieces of time past.

Pieces of time past.

The equipment I was on was again a Canon 6D with 17-40mm and 50mm prime lens. It was a beautiful experience visiting this place, spending about 7-8 hours from home to back home again.

That was my Lepakshi experience, I thank you for your time and hope you guys enjoyed it. Let me know what you feel about it. Keep coming back for such photos and for my take on photography.

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Granabby 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Fascinating series!  What is a purana?

3 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
Ananth Monnappa Replied to Granabby 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Puranas translate to old texts. A part of Indian literature pertaining to Hindu religion and its deities. Texts that are mainly legends, myths and folklore surrounding different gods.

3 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
Granabby Replied to Ananth Monnappa 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Neat to learn something new every day!  Thanks😀

3 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
Ananth Monnappa Replied to Granabby 3 weeks, 1 day ago

The only way to live 😊 happy to hear that. Good day.

3 weeks, 1 day ago Edited
Sydney Solomon 3 weeks, 5 days ago

Hi, Ananth, 
Great photos, do you have a problem, if I use your photos, to translate into digital art?

3 weeks, 5 days ago Edited
Ananth Monnappa Replied to Sydney Solomon 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Thank you. You can use my photos as long as you give me credit for them :)

3 weeks, 2 days ago Edited
Sydney Solomon Replied to Ananth Monnappa 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Thank you Ananth for sure I will....I always have for the other Photobloggers.

3 weeks, 2 days ago Edited
Ananth Monnappa Replied to Sydney Solomon 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Wonderful blush

3 weeks, 2 days ago Edited
Ram Ya 1 month ago

#5 Love the dramatic clouds you have captured here. Effect is more pronounced due to the black and white treatment
#10 Wonderfull bokeh effect

You have managed to capture breathtaking images here. Each one of them seems to have captured depth as well.
Loved the story of this sacred place. Thank you for taking us all with you, Ananth.

1 month ago Edited
Ananth Monnappa Replied to Ram Ya 1 month ago

Thank you for being a part of it.

1 month ago Edited
Jisa Mathew 1 month ago

Beautiful piece of writing and pictures.Long way to go Ananth.

1 month ago Edited
Ananth Monnappa Replied to Jisa Mathew 1 month ago

Thank you blush

1 month ago Edited
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