Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mahanandi Kshetram

Water was literally flowing all round, the temple to the paddy fields and to the surrounding village. Just imagine the blessed land with 5 underground springs with crystal clear water, as if it is cleaner than RO water. The five springs are known as Srisailam Dhara, Narasimha Dhara, Nandi Teerta, Daivodini Dhara and and Kailash teerta all flow into the pond inside the temple.


Mahanandi is located around 12kms away from Nandyal town in Kurnool district. It can be reached from Ananthpur via Tadipatri and Nandyal or on the reverse direction from Srisailam, via Giddlur, to Nandyal. Another route can be vide Gooty, Yaganti and Nandyal from Bangalore on NH 7.

The temple is located literally at the foot of the hills of Srisailam forest, naturally the locale is filled with scenary. The temple has three enterance and a ticket counter is located at the main enterance of the temple. The temple is closed between 1 to 3.30 Pm, one has wait for it to open. In the meanwhile one can check out the Nandi temples and other minor temples located in and around the place.

This main shiva shrine has a linga which is known as swayambu Linga, which is in the natural form, maybe found in the river bed. The pond within the temple premise is known as Rudra Kunda, where the devotees bathe with great devotion and gaiety. There is a small mantap at the centre with a Linga embedded.

Main gopuram is built in a typical Dravidian style of architecture, the blend of the north Indian and Jain architecture too is witnessed in the temple premises.


A number of dynasties have been associated with this temple. The temple has been under constant renovation from the times of Nanda king, son of Uttunga Bhoja, ruled over this region. The Mahanandeswara shrine was subsequently renovated by his descendents from 12th century onwards. One copper plate inscription refers to Veera Narasimha Raya from the Vijaynagar empire bestowing donations on the temple trust. The southern gate was erected in 1480 AD by Pinhaba Chetty in memory of his grandfather. The lizard symbol on the temple indicates that originally jains were responsible for contruction of the temple in the 7th century AD during the chalukyan reign. Within a radius of 16 km there are 9 nandi temples, which are known as Padma Nandi, Naga Nandi, Vinayaka Nandi, Garud Nandi, Brahma Nandi, Surya Nandi, Vishnu Nandi, Soma Nandi and Shiv Nandi. The town Nandyal is derived from Nandi Alayam.

Mahashivratri festivity is celeberated on a grand scale at Mahanandi. Piligrims flock this temple during Mahashivaratri in large number and during the sabrimala season too. Thus Mahanandi is a fine pilgrimage town for all hindus. I was surprised to find Muslims too visiting the temple and savouring the prasadams. There was objection by the watchmen when a lady wanted to enter the sanctum with burkha, she was asked to remove the burkha which seemed logical from security point of view. Thus the temple has secular leanings.

Currently there is some renovation activity being undertaken outside the temple premises. The boundary is being extended to signify the heritage site, which may have been much larger in area, till it was encroached by shopping complex.

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