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Showing posts with label Andhra Pradesh. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Andhra Pradesh. Show all posts

The Lepakshi Temple - Poetry on Stones

At times when airlines inform you well in advance about your flight getting late, but you might have already started moving towards airport, what will you do in such a situation?
You have 2 options; interesting one is to continue to airport, enjoy food and drinks at airport lounges, have a jolly good time and relax. And boring option will be to start searching for any on the way attraction and wear out yourself. It happened to me when, I was already on way to Bangalore from Vijaynagar. To decide, I opted for the boring option to explore Lepakshi, a small village in Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh which was 15 km from the highway.

After accounting remaining travel time, I had precisely 2.5 hours to spend at Lepakshi. Lepakshi as pronounced locally is the place where king of bird “Jatayu (जटायु)” left this mortal world, in arms of lord Ram. There after Lord Ram requested heaven to accept Jatayu by saying "Le-Pakshi" (take the bird) and that is how, we now know the place as Lepakshi.
This small village is house to one of the most amazing architectural wonder in India, perhaps in the world, the Veerbhadra Temple with hanging pillar. I knew that I was about to step into a wonderland, the moment I took the first step inside the sacred premises. 

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VarahNarsimha Simhachalam Temple

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Situated near to Vizag (around 18 Km.) on a hill top, Simhachalam temple, known as "Simhachalam Devasthanam" is believed to be as the oldest temples in the world. The word Simhachalam means the hill of the lion and this temple is a true portrait of rich heritage of Vizag.

Bhakt Prahlad needs no introduction and probably is the most told story to every kid in our country. This is the hill where Lord Vishnu had appeared to save Prahlada who was dropped from top of the hill, by the demon Hiranyakshipu into  the sea. Later on after demon Hiranyakashipu was killed by Lord Vishnu incarnated as Lord Narsimha, Prahlad had built the first temple at this site. Lord Vishnu is worshipped as Lord VarahaNarasimha (वराह नरसिंह ) here.

The present structure of temple was constructed by King Sri Krishna Devaraya. However a few scripts found here dates to 9th century, Chola Empire and 13th century AD as well.

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Ahobilam - The Spiritual Safari

Ahobilam, a noted pilgrimage centre for Hindus, is situated at distance of around 130 km. from Kurnool Railway Station, 68 Kms from the Nandyal Railway Station and 24 km. from Allagadda.


Ahobilam, consists of lower Ahobilam and Upper Ahobilam, is the place where Lord Narasimha had manifested himself in a natural cavern of rock to rip apart the most ferocious demon Hiranyakashipu.

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Thotlakonda Buddhist Complex...

Apart from the beaches, ports, steel plant and refinery the place Vizag has been once a flourishing centre for Buddhist culture. It was a surprise for me too till I actually reached this place called “Thotlakonda Caves”.  As I always say Travellers never think of themselves as foreigners, whatever time I could have managed from my schedule I stepped out to relish the soothing ambience at Thotlakonda.

It is believed that Vizag had been once a part of legendary Kalinga Empire and Buddhism flourished here under the patronage of rulers of Kalinga. The place must have been flourishing centre around 200 BC - 200 AD.


Thotlakaonda is around 15 Km. from Vizag enroute to Bheemlipatnam. Way to Thotlakonda will be at your left hand side, please be vigilant or ask the locales. Situated atop a hill, Thotlakonda caves make a picturesque site for the visitors and archaeologists too. Caves were discovered during an aerial survey by Indian Navy in 1970's.



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Submarine Museum, Vizag

One of the most visited and important landmark of Vishakhapatnam tourist circles, is the Submarine museum situated on Ramakrishna beach road.
Which once, was used to tame the mighty oceans and roam freely inside the vast seas is now open to general public. This musuem has been crafted out of INS-Kurusura, which got decommissioned in February 2001 after 31 years of service to the nation.

Till now I had read about submarines only in fiction stories and seen in movies like "20,000 leagues under the sea and League of Extraordinary Gentleman". This was the moment of cherishing the childhood dream of seeing a submarine.


Everyone thinks that life of sailor is very adventurous, however after coming here we get to realise that "Life of a sailor is not easy", visiting this museum, one can get a look into the life of the sailors/ marines who used to stay in the submarine for 90 days at a stretch.

It was the time to go inside the submarine and check, what a submarine looks like:
Instruments, controls, switches, pipelines at every point in the submarine

Staying with live torpedoes. 6 torpedoes are kept loaded at front and rear side, ALWAYS LIVE.
Taking turns for sleeping and eating:

and sharing only 2 washrooms between 72 persons:
Surrounded by cluster of pipelines
Though the submarine used to carry 36 tonnes of fresh water, however that was barely sufficient for drinking, cooking and washing face only. That means 72 sailors used to remain underwater for 90 days at a stretch without taking a bath and carrying 22 torpedoes to guard our nation.  
Despite being decommissioned, this submarine still receives the navy's "Dressing Ship" honour, which is usually only awarded to active ships, last one being at January 27th 2014.

Next time whenever you see a defence person, convey your regards for his selfless service to make sure that we can sleep peacefully. 


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Vizag or Vishakhapatnam

Vishakhapatnam”, formerly known as “Vizag”; the name in itself is sufficient to flood the memory with the pictures of ships, lighthouses and ports. Apart from being the largest port by volumes in India, Vizag has also been blessed with picturesque beaches and numerous tourist attractions. No wonder it is one of the hot favourite tourist destinations in southern part of India.

"Kailasgiri" park is one such spot. Facing the sea, sitting atop a cliff, as the name suggests, the mere look of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati's giant statues provides a rich nutrition for a devout's soul.

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