Mention of a bit of history and hearsay is needed here. It was a period between the 15th -16th Century AD. Kings of Vijayanagara dynasty were in reign then. Here at Lepakshi on a rock formation that resembled a tortoise, ‘kuurma sila’, chisels in the hands of the local sculptors are believed to have worked under the patronage of two men named Viranna and Virupanna. Both were part of the royal machinery and they were believed to be performing the duties of treasurers. Therefore, they had the access to the royal money, which they utilized for the construction of the temple at Lepakshi and for the wages of the sculptors they employed. The king was, however, not informed. For taking this liberty, Virupanna had to pay a heavy price in the end, in the form of losing his both eyes as punishment. It is the popular belief that, after listening to the judgment pronounced by the then king, he himself inflicted the punishment on his own. He plucked his own eyes out and threw them away onto one of the walls of this temple, yes…it is what people say and show the markings which are still there. These are stories that are to be believed and not to be believed at the same time.
We see. We all see. Of all of us, some, however, see differently. Viranna and Viruupanna, for sure, were two of those who could see differently. They both saw something lying in the stone and underneath the stone. They had the determination to bring out what was in it and lying beneath. The result is the temple complex Lepakshi. It is believed that seven walls, out of which now only three remain, once surrounded the temple complex.