The trip to lepakshi was not a planned one. Its been months we travelled on weekends, thinking that we would have a proper mini vacation going to a hill station, staying at a resort for few days and coming back. It kept delaying and the travels never happened. If not a proper vacation, I started to yearn for a long drive. Like the Yelagiri drive.
So over the weekend, we decided we could have a short drive and come back the same day. It was Onam. But nevertheless, the reasons were many to tempt us to drive out.
We had planned to start around 6am on Sunday, reach early morning around 8.30 or 9 at the temple, have breakfast at the Kamat Upachar hotel, and return back. But as usual, plan A did not work. The alarms did not ring at 5 as they were set to ring only on weekdays. Yup, mistake happens.
So onto plan B. I woke up around 6.15, a bit late, wondering whether to start late or shelve the whole idea. The tea was made, after RK realizing the alarm mistake, kept pushing ahead the plan of starting late. We started off finally at 7.30am on Sunday, September 7th, 2014.
Lepakshi is around 125kms from Bangalore towards north direction.
We reached Kamat Upachar around 9.30. The usual idli vada and poori masala were gobbled up in few minutes.
The drive was very smooth on NH 207(AH 43), with two toll roads, the Devanahalli Toll plaza (Rs.115 for return trip) and the Bagehalli Toll plaza (Rs.115 for return trip). At Kodikonda, there was a left to be taken from the main highway, small narrow road, but with not much potholes, which leads to Lepakshi village after around 15kms. The big Nandi (bull) made out of single stone could be seen on the way, and within 500m, the temple entrance greets you on the left. The car parking was charged at Rs.30, but there was no entrance fees or camera fees to the temple.
Guides are available, but we did not see any while entering the temple. As we walked around, some big groups were seen showing off the historical spots by the guides. Though we saw the Ganesha, shiva linga, hanging pillars, the kalyana mantapa, and the dining plate, wee missed the Durga paadam (Sita devi’s foot imprints) and the red eyes of the temple builder. Talk about the disadvantages of not having a guide to show you around!
Around 1.15pm we started the return journey, after seeing the big Nandi bull ahead for few clicks. The hot sun and the travel had made Nayana weary, and she dozed off immediately after having some snacks. Since we knew the roads, we sped at around 100 kmph at few places, and hence reached Bangalore back at around 3.30pm.
We were not sure of having late lunch as the restaurants close up early. After calling and confirming that the onam feast at Kerala restaurants, Kaayal, was open till 4.00pm, we sped to the restaurant to snack on the expensive food (Rs.400/- per person) for the special day.
I did overhear RK saying, we covered 275kms on that day! Short and crisp long drive indeed for a special Sunday.