The pilgrim place of NANDAVARAM with which the ‘Nandavariks’ are associated is presently located in Banaganapalle Sub-Taluk, of Nandyal Taluk, Kurnool Distict, Andhra Pradesh. It originally formed a part of the undivided Composite Madras State, then know as the Madras Presidency under the British Rule. In olden times, the Kurnool region was known as “Kandavolu” and Nandavaram, it is learnt, was once known as ‘Nandavarapuram’ and much earlier it was knows as ‘Anandavarapuram’. It was supposed to have been the capital of kind Nanda who was also known as Nandana Chakravarthi’ in the popular legend, Sri Chowdeshwari Mahatmyamu’ which has been most exquisitely rendered by Sri Gummaraju Rama Kavi of Gownipalle, under the situated at a distance of about 10kms-north of Banaganapalle. It is about 20 Kms from Panyam which has a large Cement Industry; and Panyam Railway Station on the Hubli-Guntur Section of the Present South Central Railway is the nearest to Nandavaram. All the buses to Banaganapalle from various places ply. Via Nandavaram and the bus road is fairly wide and good. According to 1981 census, the village had a population of about 3500. The climate is dry and warm for the most part of the year. The village has its importance from the temple of ‘Sri Chowdeshwairi Devi’ and is legendarly believed to have been associated with Nandana ‘Chakravarthi’ the kings of the Pandava Race. The shrine of Sri Chowdeswari Devi has large and imposing Temple tover or Gopuram. The deity is held in grate veneration not only by the local people but also by all Nandavarikas, ‘the Yadavas’, the ‘Gollas’, and the Kshatriyas’ all over the region and in the neighborhood. The annual festival or ‘Jatara’ celebrated in honour of the Deity, during March-April is attended by about 10 to 12 thousand Hindus. The various dynasties of Rulars that exercised their sway or authority over ‘Nandavaram’ from time to time appear to have consisted of the ‘Nandas’ the Chalukyas’ the Kakatiyas’ the “Rayas’ of Vijayanagar, the ‘Chiefs of Nandayala’ Mohammed Quli Kutub Shah of Golkanda, who founded the city of Hyderabad (1580 to 1612 A.D.), the Nawabs of Kurnool, the Nawabs of Banganapalle and the British upto the Indian Independence in 1947.
Large-scale high-grade deposits of Calcium or lime-stone are said to be found in the region around Nandavaram. The soil is party black cotton. There are no major irrigation sources, no rivers canals or large lakes close to Nandavaram. Irrigation is mostly dependent on wells and agriculture on rain fall which is scanty.
The region has normal rainfall once in 3 or 4 years and conditions of drought normally dominate the region.
Historically, Nandavaram is believed to have had in early times a fort, ‘Nandavara Kota’. It was said to have been subjected by Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah, the Nawab of Golkonda during his conquest of the region in the 17th century, He is aaid to have also brought under his control at the same time, the forts at Nandyal, Dhone, Kalguru and others to bring them all under the Mommamaden Rule. It is said that away in the vicinity of Nandavara, some remnants of an old fort and an old city can still be seen by any discerning observer. Only a systematic and scientific excavation would reveal their existence, the exact location and the extent of the ruins to determine their pristine glory. It would be worth-while to dig out some trail pits in the region, excavate and to explore them. The ‘City of Anandavarapuram’ In ancient times is said to have existed at two levels and at a time of unprecedented heavy rains, the people living in the lower region had to evacuate to the higher elevation of the City for safety.
The capital city of Nandavaram appears to have had according to the legend consisted of eight consisted of eight townships of ‘Appalapuram’, ‘Sankatapuram’, ‘Pandlapuram’, ‘Venkatapuram’ ‘Thatakapuram’, (Cheruvupalle), ‘Thimmapuram’, ‘Ammanagapuram’ and ‘Vittalapuram’ extending to about ten square miles, with three hundred and one temples and three hundred and one Brahmin families.
Source: A Treatise on Nandavariks by Rayasam Viswanatha Rao