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About The Temple

‘Sri Chowdeshwari’ Temple at Nandavaram is stated to have been built with the Symbol of ‘Omkara Tatvam’. The syllables ‘Ah’, ‘Oh’, ‘Whu’ all the three combine in to ‘Aum’ and read as ‘Om’. A ‘Videeka Vignana Peetham’ was also said to have been established at the time. The temple is located right on the road-side on a large elevated mound and the ‘Mahadwaram’ is reached by steps rising to a height of about 10 feet from the road. There is no vegetation around or any habitat in the Vicinity. There is only one ‘Gopuram’ on the Eastern side and over the ‘Mahadwaram’ of the ‘Gopuram’ there are six ‘Dwarams’ (Architectural openings) of diminishing heights and dimensions. The Gopuram rises to a height of about 60 feet from its base and about 70 feet from the road-level. The ‘Gopuram’ is comparable to the ‘Gopurams’ we commonly see in some of the temples in Karnataka and elsewhere in Tamilnadu etc., It appears to be of ‘Dravidian’ architecture and style. The ‘Gopuram’ is likely to have been constructed towards the close of the 15 century and the beginning of the 16th century. As seen from a stone inscription, fixed in the temple in Saka 1458, ‘Manmatha-Margasira Sudha’ 15, corresponding to 1535 A.D. December 9th. Thursday that giriyappa the Stanapathi and Salakaraju Pedda Thimmaraju constructed the ‘Gopuram’ and also made a gift of a Palanquin to the Goddess. The ‘Gopuram’ is worn out owing to natural causes of decay and the decorative idols made of granite, lime etc., have lost their colour and some of them are partly out of position, damaged or broken. It deserves to be renovated, coloured and preserved for posterity. Despite its age and decay, it stands as a proud monument with all its grandeur. The wide passage canopied or covered with stone slabs over head leads on from the ‘Mahadwaram’ to the ‘Mukha Mantapam’ erected on stone pillars and there from to the Assembly Hall and on to the ‘Sanctum Sanctorum’. The temple is compounded with in with halls and rooms also built of stone. On the left abutting the compound is a flight of large well and an over-head tank from which water is drawn for use in the temple. There are some stone inscriptions in the temple which are mostly worn-out. They are in Telugu script. Two pillars of the ‘Mukha Mantapam, have inscriptions in Telugu engraved at different periods of time that throw some light on the history of ‘Nandavariks’ and ‘Thogata Veeras’. Unfortunately, the pillars with inscriptions in the ‘Mukha-Mantapa’ are at present deeply distempered thick with blue by an enthusiastic devotee, who was perhaps not aware of the epigraphically evidence and the importance of the inscriptions for posterity. The inscriptions are therefore not normally visible, except to a keen observer. He has to reach for them with a digital touch to find them. The inscriptions of the platforms and the floors of the temple are, however, spared of this ravage. It is seen from the inscription on the platform at the right entrance to the temple, put up in Saka 1707.

Visvavasu Sravan Sudha 10, corresponding to 1785 A.D. August 15th Monday, that the temple was renovated by Ramayya and Sitaramaiah, sons of Dhrani Subbarayappa. The Dharani family is one of distinguished families in kurnool district even to this day. This inscription is significant as it throws light on their philanthropic dispensation and the great contribution made by the family. The temple is electrified.

Off the road, on the other side at a distance right opposite the temple is a temple – tank with steps in stone on four sides and we find some jungle thorny shrubs and vegetation in its vicinity. The water in the tank is mossy and weedy. It is perhaps cleaned at the time of the Annual ‘Jatara’ and other festive occasions to enable the devotees to have their holy dip. It is believed by some devotees that the Presiding Deity has her bath in the tank. The water seen in the mornings is said to contain sheets of turmeric believed by some devotees that the Presiding Deity has her bath in the tank. The water seen in the mornings is said to contain sheets of turmeric believed to have been used by the Deity. The tank appears to be as old as the temple and contemporaneous. It seems to be deep enough to hold water throughout the year and survive even the worst drought. From the temple one can have a commanding view of the surroundings which are mostly barren and uninhabited. Serenity pervades all over and one is inclined to brood over the glorious past, The present village of Nandavaram is about one Kilometer away from the temple.

The foremost and principal shrine and temple of ‘Sri Chowdeswari Devi’ for all Nandavariks is the one at Nandavaram, Kurnool District described above. There are, however, other temples of HERS at several places like, Mysore, Bangalore, Hyderabad and at Donimadugu, Ekampalle, Imarakunta, Kalluru, Pathapalayam, Battarahalli etc.. In Kilar District and Kolluru, (Mookambika) in South Canara District and elsewhere. Almost every village in Kolar District has a grove in its vicinity known as ‘Chowdeswari Thopu’ and as ‘Garama Deveta’. She is prevailing in all the villages enshrined in small dwarf stone-slab shelters which are considered as mini-temples of worship.

Source: A Treatise on Nandavariks by Rayasam Viswanatha Rao


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