Nava Nandi Kshetrams


As per Hindu Mythology, Nandi also known as Nandeeswara is the first and main servant of Lord Shiva and Parvati and also the vehicle of Lord Shiva. The Hindu Legends describes the relation of Shiva with Nandi. There will be no Temple of Shiva without Ganesh, Nandi and Chandeeswar. If we gone into the history, the excavations conducted by the Archeological Survey of India at Mahanjadaro and Harappa considered to be in the North-Western part of South Asia of Sindh Dynasty prevailed during 5300 to 3000 years ago, several idols of coins having Bull pictures along with Pasupathi. It is confirmed that Nandi was worshipped along with Pasupathi, the other form of Lord Shiva.    

Nandi is the son of Sage Shilada, performed penance to obtain immortality and to obtain child with the blessings of Shiva. Shiva blessed him with a male child and Nandi born with diamond shield to Shilada. Nandi developed as a great devotee of Shiva and performed penance at Nandikeswar Temple on the banks of Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh State and old holy place Tripura Teerdha to bless him as the Janitor of Kailash, residence of Shiva. Nandi obtained enlightenment from Shiva and Parvathi. He sends disciples to eight directions to spread the enlightenment. Nandi conflicted with Ravana and cursed that his kingdom will be burnt with a resident of forest. As per legend Ramayana Hanuman from forest and burned Ravana Lanka.               

Legend is while Shiva teaching Veda to Parvati, she lost her concentration and born in another form as a fisherwoman. Nandi felt for inclusion of Parvathi and Shiva. He has started to give troubles to the people in the form of a Whale. Shiva arrived in the form of fisherman, defeated the Whale and married Parvathi in the form of fisherwoman. Thus Shiva and Parvathi included as one.    

There is a legend that a cowboy used to feed grass to cows in Nallamala Forest, that one cow not delivering milk at their house that on the next day he followed the cow and saw it goes to an anthill and giving milk. After seeing the cow boy, the cow which stands on the anthill ran away and the print of the hoof of the cow falls on the Siva Linga in the anthill. The Villagers came and dig the anthill. They saw the Siva Linga with the hoof print of the cow. They constructed temple on the Linga and it is the present Maha Nandi temple. The hoop print is on 7 Nandi out of the 9 Nandi.  

There are nine temples of Nandeeswara in and around Nandyal. The locations are Pradhama Nandi, Naga Nandi and Soma Nandi in Nandyal, Surya Nandi in New Bollavaram, Siva Nandi in Thinnanur, Vishnu Nandi near Telugu Ganga Canal, Garuda Nandi, Maha Nandi and Vinayaka Nandi in Maha Nandi. After visiting Pradhama Nandi, Naga Nandi and Soma Nandi in Nandyal, pilgrims has to travel Maha Nandi visiting Siva Nandi, Vishnu Nandi, Garuda Nandi on the before reaching Maha Nandi. The pilgrims are suggested to start before sun rise, since all the temples will remain closed at 12-00 Noon, and re-opened at 4-00 PM. There is one Karavena Satram at Maha Nandi and Pilgrims to be reported before 9-00AM for their free feeding. There are also hotels including the guest house of AP Tourism Development Corporation. People believe that the Darshan of the Nava Nandi in one day (i.e.) sunrise to sunset is equivalent to the Siva Darshan at Varanasi. The road map to visit Nava Nandi temples furnished in a picture for guidance. Before commencement of Yatra, Pilgrims have visit worship Lord Vigneswar in the Chandrasekara Swamy Temple of Nandyal for success of Yatra.  

There is a legend on Naga Nandi and Garuda Nandi, where Nagaraja (King of Snakes) and Vinata, mother of Garuthmantha performed penance respectively. Nagaraja performed seeking protection of Shiva from Garuthmantha destroying their race and Vinata for the success of Garuthmantha in getting Elixira from heaven to get relief of himself and his mother from slavery of Snakes (Nagu) and their mother Kadru. We are giving brief of the Legend. Sage Kshyapa, son of Lord Brahma married Kadru and Vinata, daughters of Daksha. They are so beautiful and jealous on each other. Kashyapa with great excessiveness asked to ask their intention for grant of boon. Kadru asked for one thousand sons of heavy strength and Vinatha asked for two sons’ valiant than the sons of Kadru who secure glory. Kashyapa gave boon to them. Kadru given birth to thousand eggs and Vinatha given birth to two eggs. Vinatha gav her two eggs to her maids to safeguard them. The maids put them in warm vessels and protected them day and night. The eggs of Kadru were hatched and a race of snakes came from the eggs. Five hundred years were elapsed and Vinata suffer with jealous and impatience as her eggs was not hatched. She broke one of her eggs. The upper part of the fetus formed but the lower part not prepared. Aruna came from the egg and gave curse to Vinatha stating that she has killed him without forming, that she will suffer as slave to Kadru, that the second egg hatched for another 500 years and the child come from the egg will release her from her slavery.           

The discussions between Kadru and Vinatha led to an argument and Kadru asked Vinatha to specify the color of the horse of Indra. Vinatha answered the color from nose to tail as White and Kadru rebutted it stating that the entire color is while except the tail which is in black. They came to a bet with the outcome of slavery of the defeated to the winning person. Kadru asked her children to support her for willing in the bet by rounding them to the tail of the horse. They have not foot forward to do so and Kadru given curse them to burn into fire intentionally. This is the reason, for which the snakes were got into fire in the Sarpa Yaga performed by Janamejaya, grandson Dharmaraja. Brahma primarily accepted the curse but on the request of Kashyapa, he has amended the curse to the righteous and truth speaking Snakes. Then the Nagus discussed with each other and wrapped to tail of the horse at the time of execution of the bet. Hence the tail seems to be black and Vinatha defeated.  She became slave of Kadru. In due course the second egg hatched and Garuda came with heavy brightness and overheat. On the chant made by the Gods he has reduced his power. Garuda used to serve to Kadru and her sons along with his mother. Garuda asked his step brothers to tell the ground to release himself and his mother from slavery. They asked him to bring Elixirfrom heaven to release them from slavery. Vinatha performed penance at Garuda Nandi about Shiva to protect her son Garuda gone to obtain Elixir from heaven.    

In due course Garuda gone to Heaven, fought with the Gods and reached the Vessel containing Elixir. He saw the fire at sky level around the vessel and Garuda swallowed the water in the sea and powered on the fire. Later he has changed he reduced his body to small and reached the vessel. He found that two big snakes are protecting and he powered dust over the snakes with heavy speed to blind them. He caught the vessel and left the place. Indra saw that Elixir was stolen and Garuda escaped from the Vajrayudha launched by Indra. Garuda met Vishnu on the way and asked boon to be high over Vishnu.    

Vishnu granted boon and placed him in his flagstaff. Vishnu explained to Garuda about the cruelty of his step brothers. Vishnu further explained that since Garuda promised only to bring Elixir and not to give to Nagus and suggested to maintain stratagem in giving Elixir to Nagus. Garuda arrived to Nagus and asked for the release of his mother from slavery. Vinatha was released from slavery. Garuda asked them to be clean before taking Elixir. Nagus went to the river for cleaning and Indra taken away the Elixir Vessel kept on the grass known as Darbhalu. The Grass is most beloved to the Gods. Garuda and Indra became friends and Garuda declared as King of birds whereas Indra to the others. Vishnu satisfied and blessed him as his vehicle and granted boon Nagus as food to Garuda. Henceforth Garuda used to kill Nagus and take as his food. Nagaraja made penance of Shiva in Naga Nandi to protect from Garudha. Brahma amended the curse of Kadru not to effect to the virtuous and truth speaking Nagus on the request of Kashyapa. Shiva blessed Vasuki and wearing as his Necklace and Vishnu blessed Adi Seshu as his bed.