Mahanandi is a small temple located in the district of Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh is a shivaite pilgrimage center which attracts thousands of visitors all around the year. This place is famous for the Mahanandishwara Temple of Lord Shiva. Mahanandi village is surrounded by green forest and has nine Nandi temples in its vicinity, Mahanandiswara Swamy Temple being one of them. The nine Nandi temples are as follows “Mahanandi, Shivanandi, Vinayakanani, Somanandi, Prathamanandi, Garudanandi, Suryanandi, Krishnanandi and Naganandi”. The Mahanandi Temple is 1500 years old and the “Maha Shivaratri” is celebrated in grandeur in the month of February and March.
The original shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva dates back to 7th century. Though, several remarkable additions to the temple has happened under the rule of various dynasties. The village of Mahanandi is surrounded by the dense forests of Nallamala hills and the Mahanandi temple is around 18 km from Nandyal town and 300 km from Hyderabad. This temple along with the other Nandi shrines located within the radius of 15km is known as the Nava Nandis. The main attractions here are the architecture and history of the temple, the remarkably crystal clear temple pools speculated to have healing qualities, and picturesque surroundings. If you’re looking for adventures beyond a visit to the temple, then this place may not be for you.
Mahanandishwara Swamy Temple is built with a Vishwakarma Brahmin Style of architecture. The freshwater pool in the temple is termed as “Kalyani”. There are nearly three pools in Mahanandi Temple. Two pools lies outside the temple. The third pool which lies within temple premises has uninterrupted water flow which originates from the basement of Garbha Graha where main deity (Shiva Ling) is placed. This 60 square feet tank has a Mandapam at its middle and the inlet and outlets of tank are built in such away, the water of tanks remains at five feet high. Thus devotees can have a dip in this holy tank. Also another interesting feature of this tank water is that during winter the water will be hot and during summer the water will be cold. Unlike other temple, here devotees are allowed to offer prayers to Shiva Ling and touch the water underneath the Lingam in the main Sanctum Sanctorum.
Mahanandi is 15 KMs from Nandyal and 80 KMs from Kurnool and about 290 KMs from Hyderabad.