18 August 2008

Nandi the Bull

Yesterday, Sunday August 17th, visited Arunachaleswarar Temple (Big Temple) after a long absence. Many people who live in Tiruvannamalai visit the Temple daily, in much the same way devotees who live in the suburb of Ramana Nagar, often visit one of the major ashrams located in that area. I always enjoy my visits to BigTemple and if it was closer to my home, would visit much more regularly.

Whilst there I checked out a couple of items readers of Arunachala Grace have written about. The first request came from Grasshopper, who asked for some photographs of her favourite, Periyar Nandi. The second request (which I will fulfil in the following post) was for information of Temple timings (in addition have also included information about specific pujas available at the Temple).

The Periyar (Big) Nandi statue at Arunachaleswarar Temple is located in the Fifth Prakaram facing the Vallala Maharaja Gopuram and just outside the One Thousand Pillared Mandapam.

Nandi, is most renowned as the carrier and principal follower of Shiva. He is also the gatekeeper of Siva’s abode, which explains the close association of a statue of Nandi at the gate of many Shiva Temples.

In Sanskrit, a bull is called ‘vrisha’, which also connotes righteousness or Dharma, thus making it important to seek the blessings of Nandi before proceeding to worship Lord Shiva.

In Siddhar traditions, Nandi is one of the primal Gurus and amongst others was the guru to Siddhars Thirumulanathar and Patanjalinathar.

The largest Nandi Statues in India can be found at:

Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh
Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu
Chamundi Hills, Mysore, Karnataka
Bull Temple, Bangalore, Karnataka
Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu,
Hoysaleswara Temple, Halebidu, Karnataka
Shanthaleswara, Halebidu, Karnataka

Nandi at Chamundi Hills, Mysore, Karnataka


Anonymous said...

The Nandi at Chamundi Hills is huge - amazing.

Malliga said...

I want to learn more about Nandi the Bull.

Grasshopper said...

What a lovely post. Thank you so much. What I love about Nandi is that he is always looking at Shiva, or the Mountain, and there is a duality here, a relationship with God.
He is always sitting in front of the temple. Somehow, I get the feeling that he is capable of movement, but he is sitting because he is mesmerized. Teaching us one-pointed devotion by example. :)
Thank you for this post. I did miss the Nandi on the mountain, though. The white nandi. If you could please add his picture too...