Mahanandi Temple

Mahanandi Temple Garbhagriha is built purely in the Nagari style. A huge Nandi lies in front of the Lord’s shrine and possibly the place is called as Mahanandi Tirtha because of this Nandi. The tank lying behind is known as Rudra Gundam and there are two more tanks called Vishnu Gundam and Brahma Gundam.

Mahanandi Temple  History

As per the Legends, Nanda was ruling over the region of Navanandis in which Mahanandi is situated. The king once had in his dream of performing Abhishekam with milk to the Idol. Herds of cows were therefore brought from far and near to supply the required milk. One black cow in the herd used to be the main supply of milk to the King. This cow used to roam freely and feed in the forest. In the course of time, it was noticed that the cow was not yielding milk and was away for longer periods. One day the cowherd followed the cow to the forest to find out why the cow was not yielding milk. He noticed that cow emptying milk on the ant-hill. The milk was flowing into the ant-hill, a young child in the form of Lord Krishna peeped out of the ant-hill and gave Darshan to the cow, after which the cow returned to the cowherd. The news was carried to the king, the next day the king also followed the cow and hiding in a dense bush. The cow arrived and circled round the ant-hill, being wrapped in devotion to the Lord. The Lord in the form of a child appeared and accepted the offering of the milk from the cow. The king in surprise stepped upon some leaves and being disturbed in its devotion, the cow became nervous and stepped on the ant-hill in fear. The hoof of the cow was imprinted on the ant-hill. The king regretted and prayed for forgiveness to the Lord, and the Lord is pleased with the king’s repentance, ordained that the ant-hill trodden by the cow would cool itself and would become a Swayambhu Linga at Mahanandi. These two signs are still visible on the top of Linga at Mahanandi.

The legend associated with Nava Nandi

One version is that at the beginning of Krutayuga one Parvata (Hills) had two sons named by 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 (Stone). The Lord was so pleased with his devotion and converted Silada into a holy hill and began to live upon the hill. In the same manner, Second son Nandi also performed penance for Lord Siva and the Lord converted him as his Nandi or his Vahana. The place where Nandi performed penance is considered to be the portion where the present Mahanandi exists.

Another version is that dynasty of local kings known as Nandas ruled here in the 11th century AD and they built a number of temples and worshipped their tutelary deity namely the Nandi.

Interesting places near Mahanandi Temple

  1. Padma Nandi
  2. Naga Nandi
  3. Vinayaka Nandi
  4. Garuda Nandi
  5. Brahma Nandi
  6. Surya Nandi
  7. Vishnu Nandi
  8. Soma Nandi
  9. Siva Nandi

Mahanandi Temple Timings

  • Temple openings Hours: 6 am – 8:30 pm
  • Darshan Ticket Cost: Free entry for all devotees.
  • Darshan duration: 20 to 30 mins during weekdays. 30 to 45 mins during weekends.

How to reach Mahanandi Temple?

By Air

  1. The nearest airport is at Tirupati which is 271 km away.
  2. Hyderabad International Airport is 290 km away.

By Train

  1. The nearest Railway station is at Nandyala which is 12 km away.

By Road

  1. Nandyala is well connected with all parts of Southern India.

Mahanandi Temple  Gallery

Reference Links:


  1. Timings for bathing in rudhra gundam in mahanandi