Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Temple and Monolithic Bull (Nandi) at Lepakshi in Anantapur district known for the tradition of Vijayanagara carving and painting art, has found a place on the tentative list of the Heritage Committee worldwide and the same was published on the U
nesco World Heritage Convention website.
It is one of the two entrances to the Telugu States, which includes Qutb Shahi Monuments of Hyderabad, Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi Tombs and Charminar. The website says the nomination was submitted by the state through the Permanent Delegation of India to UNESCO on February 17 this year under the cultural category. The entry has the reference number 6607.
nesco as a disclaimer stated that publication of the Tentative List does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever by the World Heritage Committee, the World Heritage Center or the UNESCO Secretariat concerning the legal status of a country, territory, city or area or its borders. He gave the geographic coordinates of the two locations in the list. The ceiling murals of Lepakshi Temple are unique striking features of the heritage site.
Sri Veerabhadra Swamy Temple, also known as Lepakshi Temple, is dedicated to Veerabhadra (the fiery incarnation of Lord Shiva). According to the inscriptions engraved on the prakara temple walls, the village is alternately called Lepaksha, Lepakshi and Lepakshipura. The literal meaning of the word is Lepa + Akshi, an embalmed eye or a painted eye. Due to several stories signifying the meaning of the name of the village, it is difficult to understand its origin, the entry states.
All India Panchayat Parishad Chairman Jasti Veeranjaneyulu had written to the Archaeological Survey of India asking them to treat Lepakshi’s submission as entry to obtain the U
nesco Heritage site label as of March 2017.
The importance of the place dates back to the Indian epic of the Ramayana. It is believed that the Jatayu bird, injured by the king of Lanka Ravana, fell here after a battle against the king which took away Sita, the wife of Rama, the king of Ayodhya. When Rama reached the place, he saw the bird and compassionately said to it, ” The Pakshi– which means “arise, bird” in Telugu.
Nandi is a gigantic sculpture of a bull carved into a huge granite rock. This monolithic sculpture is a unique example of its kind. It faces west and looks down Naga Linga located at Sri Veerabhadra Temple. On the east face of a block of granite in a second enclosure, is a basalt S Iva Linga covered by a monolithic sculpture of seven hooded Naga.