Road map with driving directions from Anantapur to Penukonda |Lepakshi and Puttaparthi are located not very far from Penukonda
Penukonda fort is an ancient fort which has historic importance. Penukonda used to be the summer resort of Sri Krishnadevaraya. There is a building in the fort named Gagan Mahal in which he used to stay during summer.
There is also a prison in which Timmarusu was kept. It is a very small construction with only small windows for ventilation. Timmarusu was the man behind the success of Krishnadevaraya but his end was very tragic. There was a conspiracy against him in the royal palace and the king himself imprisoned him and became the cause of his death.
Local people of Penukonda proudly claim that there are 365 temples here and if one temple is visited per a day it takes one year to complete the visits to all the temples. Most famous of all the temples are the twin temples Shivalayam and Ramalayam. Each stone used for the construction of surrounding walls of the temples have the stories related to Lord Shiva or Lord Rama. These wall paintings fascinate the visitors with their beauty and elegance.
Recently a big statue of Kumbhakarna is constructed which is 44 feet high and 144 feet long. Hundreds of kids can play on the statue and ladders are also provided for them. There are 3, 4 rooms in the stomach of Kumbhakarna.
Journey to Lepakshi from Penukonda takes one and a half hour. Statue of Basavanna can be seen at the entrance of Lepakshi village. A big granite boulder is made into a statue of Basavanna. This statue is 15 feet tall and is the largest in the world.
Veerabhadra swamy temple in Lepakshi is situated on a small hill. Visitors have to climb many steps to reach the temple. The temple is so beautiful and grand that it can be compared to the Sri Kalahasthi temple. A Natyamantapam with 70 pillars is a marvel with a hanging pillar. A paper can be inserted in the gap under the pillar. Architects of that era should be applauded for this wonderful creation. A seven hooded snake statue is present at the back of the temple which is another wonder.
Puttaparti – Chaitanya Jyothi Museum
Many exhibits that depict the srishtiwaadam which is quiet opposite to the modern evolution theory are esthetically displayed in the museum.
Puttaparthi Prashanthi Nilayam is visited daily by many people from abroad also. Many facilities are provided for the visitors. A canteen provides tiffin, lunch etc for very fewer prices. Lunch is provided for just Rs.6 and not only the devotees and visitors but the people of the village can also eat here after taking coupons.
There is a great hall inside Prashanti Nilayam, where 20,000 persons can sit. Devotees wait here patiently for the darshan of Sai Baba.
An airport is also constructed at Puttaparthi. Satya Sai Baba has donated crores of rupees for many schemes like drinking water scheme. He also established a university and a super speciality hospital.
Road map with driving directions from Anantapur to Penukonda :