Mahanandi is a village located east of the Nallamala Hills in Kurnool District, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is a picturesque village surrounded by thick forests. Within 15 km of Mahanandi, there are nine Nandi shrines known as Nava Nandis. Mahanandi is one of the Nava Nandis.
The Mahanandiswara Swamy Temple, an important shrine, is located here. This ancient temple dates back over 1,500 years. The inscriptions of 10th century tablets speak of the temple being repaired and rebuilt several times.
Mahanandi Temple is located at a distance of 72 KMs from Srisailam Jyothirlinga & Shaktipeetha Temple.
The popular le also says that the temple was built at the time of Nanda under the direction of a Himalaya Rasa Siddha mention is made of Mahanandi as Mahanandi – Tirtha copper plate inscription of Krishandevaraya of the Vijayanagar line of kings, where it is stated that Mahanandi is one of the sacred places to which the King’s brother simha Deva Raya made valuable gifts. There are referring to this place in the inscriptions of Hampi also. There inscription of Sivarianda dating back to 1046 A.D. mentions Mahanandi Tirtha.
Significance of the Temple
The temple is famous for its fresh water pools, called Kalyani or Pushkarni. The architecture of the pools and temple shows the skill of the Vishwakarma 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 Shiva Linga (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.
Important festivals celebrated at the temple..
The Shivaratri is the most important festival. In the Kartika masam, pilgrims worship in Srisailam Mallikarjunaswamy Temple and then at the shrine of Padma Nandi, which is two miles further ahead. They then go to the Naga Nandi that is a mile to the west, and then proceed to Brahma Nandi, Soma Nandi, and Shiva Nandi, which are all nearby. They move on to Krishna or Vishnu Nandi, three miles to the northeast and from there complete the pilgrimage by worshipping Vinayaka Nandi, Maha Nandi, and Surya Nandi. The traditional belief is that the worship of these Nava Nandis should be finished in a day before sunset. The other festivals like Dasara, Ugadi etc. are also important.