Mahanandi is a holy shivaite ancient pilgrimage center located in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh dedicated to Lord Shiva. This 7th century shrine is a beautiful temple with unique rough uncut linga with two cavities. The specialty of this temple that the priests allow us to touch the Lord. The other uniqueness of this temple is the huge Nandi in front of the main shrine. This temple is unique in South India because the vimana (tower) over the linga is built in the North Indian style. The main gate of the temple faces west. There is a tank here, 60 sqft and 5 ft deep. The mystery is that no one knows how the water enters this tank.One only knows that the water is always the same level and completely crystal clear.
Mahanandi is one of the nine Nandis, surrounding which there are eight temple of Nandis. They are: Prathama Nandi situated near the Nandyal railway station, Naga Nandi is inside Anjaneya temple to the west of Nandyal, Soma Nandi which lies towards the east of Nandyal near Atmakur, Surya Nandi is located four miles east of Nandyal and six miles west of Mahanandi, Vishnu Nandi also known as Krishna Nandi is located about two miles from Mahanandi, Vinayaka Nandi is situated towards northwest of the main temple, Shiva Nandi is nearly 13kms from Nandyal and Garuda Nandi lies to the west of Mahanandi temple. All the nine temples of Nandiswara are equally sacred but of all these temples, Mahanandi receives more name and fame.
Mahanandi is a beautiful temple town with the existence of the famous Mahanandishwara Temple, with presiding deity of Lord Shiva, makes the place religiously significant. This temple town is located at the east of Nallamala Hill ranges with nine temples of Nandi (Nandi- bull which is considered as the vehicle of Lord Siva) situated within a range of 15kms of radius. At a distance of 15 km from Nandyal, 80 Kms from Kurnool and 290 Kms from Hyderabad, it is located near Gopavaram village.
This 7th century shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva is very famous and sacred place. Though the initial structure was built by Chalukyas in 7th century, several additions were done by Nanda Dynasty in 10th century and Vijayanagara Kings in 15th and 16th centuries. The gopuram over central sanctum is built in Badami Chalukyan style of architecture and other structures in the temple are in Vijayanagara style.
The remarkable feature here is the crystal clear water in Pushkarini which flows throughout the year. The water is so clear and pure that even a needle at the bottom can be seen clearly. There is a huge Nandi statue outside the Mahanandiswara Temple
Specialty of Holy water Pool
The temple is famous for its fresh water pools, called Kalyani or Pushkarni. The architecture of the pools and temple shows the skill of theVishwakarma Brahmins. The main temple is surrounded by three pools: two small pools at the entrance and one big pool inside the temple itself. This holy tank is 60 square feet (5.6 m2) with an outdoor pavilion called a mandapa in the centre. The inlets and outlets of the tank are arranged so that the depth of the water is constantly kept at five feet, thus enabling pilgrims to bathe in the holy waters.
A peculiarity of the water source is that it has a constant flow irrespective of the change of seasons. The water source originates at the Garbhagruha (inner shrine) just below Swayambhu Linga. One can touch the water near the ShivaLinga (symbol of Shiva). The devotees can offer prayers and touch the Shiva Linga. This is unusual, because traditionally at temples, the main deity is kept away from the touch of the devotees.
The water is famous for its crystalline and healing qualities and is ever tepid. The outgoing water irrigates 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) of fertile land surrounding the village. The surrounding areas are under production with rice fields, fruit, vegetable and flower gardens.The temple is well known for the konneru. The water during the winter season will be very hot and vice versa during the summer. During the early mornings, you can feel the water luke warm and water gets cooled gradually with the rise in temperature.
Significance of Sri Mahanandeeswara Swamy Temple, Mahanandi:
The most significance of the temple is its sacred water pools known as PUSHKARNI’s. There are three pushkarani’s which are located within the temple compound. Among them the pushkarni infront of the Garbhagriha is called as RUDRA GUNDAM. The water in the pushkarani is crystal clear.
The other two pushkarani’s are situated at the entrance of the main temple which are called as VISHU GUNDAM and BRAHMA GUNDA.
The uniqueness of the Pushkarani is that the depth of water level is maintained at constant of 5feet in all the days irrespective of the natural seasons. It is believed that the spring water flows underneath the Shiva Lingam(the main deity of the temple) in the Garbha griha and falls in the main pushkarani. There is an outlet in this pushkarani from which water comes out and falls into other two pushakarani’s.
It is believed that the spring water has its own significant for medical value which cures several diseases. This spring water is mainly used for irrigation purpose in and around the temple village.
Legend Of Mahanandi Temple
There are two popular legends as to why the place came to be called Nava Nandi. One version is that in the beginning, of Kritayuga, one Parvata had two sons called Silada and Nandi. The eldest son Silada got his name due to his strict penance in which he gave up eating any food except Sila or stone. The Lord was pleased by his devotion and converted Silada into a holy hill and began to live upon him. In the same manner, the second son Nandi also meditated upon Lord Siva, and the Lord converted him as his Nandi and made him his vehicle. The place where Nandi conducted his tapascharya is considered to be the portion where the present Mahanandi exists.
The other version is that a dynasty of local kings, known as Nandas, ruled here in the 11th century A.D. and they built a number of temples and worshipped their ancestral deity the Nandi, hence the name Mahanandi. It is said that King Nanda, who was ruling the province of Navanand, where Mahanandi is situated, thought of performing ‘Abhishekam’ to the Lord (anointing the idol of Lord in milk). The thought was put into action and hundreds of cows were brought for this from Gopavaram (a small place where cows were being reared). One among them was a black cow that was the main supply of milk to the king.
In due course it was noticed that the cow was absenting itself for long time and also its milk produce lessened. On finding the reason, it was reported to the king that the cow stood over the anthill and the milk oozed out into the anthill. A young child in the form of Lord Krishna peeped out, gave darshan to the cow and disappeared. On listening this, the king followed the cow expecting to get the glimpse of this amazing thing. The cow did the same as its routine and on seeing this, the King trampled upon some provisions. Being disturbed in its devotion, the cow stamped the anthill in fright and the child disappeared.
The hoof of the cow was imprinted on the anthill. The king got frightened for disturbing the devotion of cow over the lord and prayed the Lord Shiva for forgiveness. Pleased with the king’s devotion, Lord Shiva ordained that the anthill trodden by the cow would cool down and would become a Swayambhu lingam at Mahanandi. Over a period of time, the temple was constructed and Lord Shiva (in the form of Shiva lingam) along with Nandi (His vehicle) was worshipped in this temple. It is said that the two signs (said to be the footprint of the cow) on the top of the Linga at Mahanandi are still visible.
Temples here have received the patronage of kings of several dynasties including those of the famous Vijayanagar kings.
Other Specialties of Mahanandi
Sri Kamaeswari Devi Temple
Lord Mahanadeeshwara’s wife is Sri Kamaeswari Devi. The temple of the Devi is located on Nandeeshwara temple’s southern side. Generally, pilgrims who come to worship the Lord Shiva, they first take a divine bath at this Rudragundam, and then only they get the blessings from the Kameswari Devi & Lord Shiva. People considered that Devashilpi who built the Devas, has made Lord Shiva’s temple. At this Lord Shiva’s temple Nandana king & his associates practiced the spiritual rituals. In the year of 1939, the temple of Sri Kameswari Devi Alayam was renovated. In the current time, you can see the marble image of the Sri Kodanda Ramalayam has been places in the premises area; it was constructed in the year of 1953. This temple contains idols of Lakshmana, Goddess & Shri Rama, which are tremendously beautiful. Your eyes will definitely get high amount of pleasant feeling after seeing the amazingly beautiful idols.
The 8 Nandis
This pilgrimage is one among the Nava Nandis. These are located in the nearby area of this pilgrimage in the distance of fifteen kilometers. the 9 temple’s name are such as Surya Nandi, Vishnu Nandi, Naga Nandi, Garuda Nandi, Soma Nandi, Vinayaka Nandi, Prathama Nandi & Shiva Nandi.
This nandi is situated on the western side of the Mahanandi temple.
This nandi is located over the high soil, it is closer railway station called Nandyal.
This is situated about four miles on eastern side of the Nandyal, & on the western side of Mahanandi about six kilometers.
It is located in the internal side of the Anjaneya temple, on the western side of the Nandyal.
It has been placed on eastern side of the Nandyalm, close to Atmakur.
Almost thirteen kilometers ahead from the Nandyal, you can see the Shiva Nandi. Kadamala Lake is nearby landmark of this place.
It is located on the northwest side of the Mahanandi Kshetram.
From the Mahanandi pilgrimage it is about two miles away and this is also called as Krishna Nandi.
Festivals at Mahanandi
The most important annual festivals which being celebrated in the temple are MAHA SHIVARATRI Brahmotsavams, KARTHIKA POURNAMI & KARTHIKA MAHOTSAVAM. The other festivals are Ugadi Utsavam, Srirama Navami, Vinayaka Chavati, Vaikunta Ekadasi, Paruveta Utsavam and more monthly(masa) festivals.
Magha Bhula Chaturdasi
In Mahanandi temple, practice the Magha Bhula Chaturdasi, they performed it for seven days during the month of February & March. To attend this festival people from different country come to Andhra Pradesh state. Daily about twenty thousand people come here, to visit this place.
The temple is kept opened from 5:30am to 9:00pm. in all the days in a year. There is no closing of the temple during the day time.
How to reach Sri Mahanandi Temple
Sri Mahanandeeswara Swamy Devasthanam is located at a distance of 15km from Nandyal town. The nearest railway station is Nandyal Railway station. The Nandyal town is situated at a distane of 75km from Kurnool city, the district headquarter.
The nearest Airport is Hyderabad about 215km from Kurnool city. The other route is Bangalore-Nandyal route: Bangalore->Gotty->Yaganti->Nandyal->Mahanadi Temple
The nearest Airport is Hyderabad about 215km from Kurnool city.
TTD Choultries, Devasthanam(Temple) Choultries, Naganandi Sadan and more are available for accommodation in Mahanandi village.
Accommodation Details: 08514-234728
There is a guest house called Shambhu Priya and also the hotels, where you can do stay and take a rest while your trip of Mahanandi pilgrimage.
Address for Communication
Sri Mahanandeeswara Swamy Devasthanam,
Temple Office: 08514-234726/284620
Executive office: 08514-234728
Official Website: www.themahanandi.org/about/ –