Hanging Pillar of Lepakshi: In the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, there is a small village called Lepakshi, known for its rich cultural heritage and ancient temples. One of the most famous attractions of Lepakshi is the Veerabhadra Temple, built during the reign of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 16th century. Among the many architectural wonders of this temple, the hanging pillar stands out as a fascinating example of ancient Indian engineering.
The Mystery of the Hanging Pillar:
The hanging pillar of Lepakshi is a rectangular stone column that supports the ceiling of the temple’s main hall. What makes it unique is that the pillar appears to be hanging from the ceiling without touching the ground. The pillar is carved with intricate details of Hindu mythology, and its base is decorated with motifs of elephants, lions, and horses.
The Hanging Pillar and its Secrets:
Despite its impressive appearance, the hanging pillar of Lepakshi is not just a decorative feature. It is a testament to the engineering genius of ancient Indian architects who were able to create a structure that defies gravity. The pillar is made of granite, which is a hard and durable material. It is 23 feet tall, with a circumference of 5 feet and a weight of approximately 80 tons. However, the pillar is not fixed to the ground, and its base is only 1 inch in diameter, making it appear to be hanging from the ceiling.
The Legend of the Hanging Pillar:
The hanging pillar of Lepakshi is surrounded by many legends and myths. One story goes that a British engineer tried to uncover the secret of the hanging pillar, but in doing so, he damaged the structure, causing it to lose its balance. It is said that the pillar regained its balance only after the engineer’s death. Another legend has it that the pillar was built by the gods themselves and that it is a symbol of the divine power that protects the temple.
The Scientific Explanation:
While the legends surrounding the hanging pillar of Lepakshi are intriguing, there is a scientific explanation for its construction. The pillar is not hanging, but rather it is supported by a small area of contact between its base and the ground. The base of the pillar is designed in such a way that it distributes the weight of the structure evenly, allowing it to remain stable despite its unusual appearance.
The hanging pillar of Lepakshi is a marvel of ancient Indian architecture that has fascinated visitors for centuries. It is a testament to the skill and ingenuity of ancient Indian engineers who were able to create structures that continue to defy explanation even today. Whether you choose to believe the myths and legends surrounding the pillar or the scientific explanation, there is no denying the beauty and wonder of this unique piece of history.