Yaganti Temple or Sri Yaganti Uma Maheswara Temple is a temple of Shiva in Nandyal district in the India state of Andhra Pradesh.
The magnificent temple commands high reverence not only because of its religious significance but also because it has many striking and unusual features.
The main deities in the temple are that of Shiva, Goddess Parvati, and Nandi. The temple lies amidst lush greenery of the Yerramala hills that are of immense beauty and have a lot of natural caves.
- Address: Temple Gopuram, Yaganti Rd, Yaganti, Andhra Pradesh 518124
- District: Nandyal
- Affiliation: Hinduism
- Deity: Shiva
- Entry Fee: Free
- Timings: 6:00 AM – 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM
- Visit Duration: 1 to 2 hours
- Dress Code: decent outfit recommended
- Festivals: Shivratri
- Best Time to Visit: October to April
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History of Yaganti Temple
The history of Yaganti Temple is rich and spans several centuries, encompassing various dynasties and architectural influences.
Yaganti’s history can be traced back to the 5th and 6th centuries, during the Chola dynasty. Inscriptions on the temple walls suggest that it underwent multiple renovations and expansions under different rulers, showcasing the evolving architectural styles and cultural influences over the years.
The Chola rulers were known patrons of art and architecture, and their influence is evident in the early structures of Yaganti Temple. The temple’s original architecture bears the hallmarks of Chola craftsmanship, characterized by intricately carved sculptures and ornate details.
During the Vijayanagara Empire’s reign, Yaganti Temple witnessed significant additions and enhancements. The Vijayanagara rulers were known for their patronage of temples and cultural institutions, and this era marked the fusion of Dravidian and Vijayanagara architectural styles.
The result is the unique cave temple architecture that defines Yaganti, with the main shrine carved out of a single rock.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Yaganti’s history is the “Growing Nandi” legend. The large Nandi statue, positioned at the entrance of the temple, is said to be expanding over the years.
While geological explanations attribute this phenomenon to the type of rock from which it is carved, devotees consider it a divine miracle, symbolizing the eternal nature of Lord Shiva.
Yaganti Temple is also associated with the legendary sage Agastya. According to Hindu mythology, Sage Agastya performed intense penance at Yaganti to seek Lord Shiva’s blessings to subdue the demon Dhandakarnya.
The temple features sculptures and carvings depicting this mythological event, adding to the sacredness and historical significance of the site.
Importance of the Yaganti Temple
Yaganti Temple stands as a unique testament to divine craftsmanship, dedicated to the divine union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, both intricately carved on a singular stone.
The sacred site also houses a cave honoring the revered sage Agastya, who undertook a sacred ritual dedicated to Lord Shiva within its depths.
An intriguing discovery within the temple’s caves is the presence of a seemingly distorted idol of Lord Vishnu, known as the Venkateswara Cave.
The temple boasts the presence of Nandi, also known as Lord Nandeeswara, an embodiment of Lord Shiva, whose size is believed to burgeon gradually over the years.
Researchers attribute this phenomenon to a distinctive characteristic in the rock constituting the idol, causing it to expand at a rate of approximately 10mm every eight years, equating to an inch every two decades. The Archaeological Survey of India affirms that this growth is a consequence of geological processes.
A notable feature of the temple is its Pushkarini, a temple tank blessed with sacred water believed to flow from beneath the hill.
The uniqueness lies in the fact that crows are prohibited from flying in Yaganti—a curious prohibition rooted in the legend of sage Agastya, who cursed the crows for distracting him during meditation.
Legend has it that devotees once circumambulated the Nandi idol, but due to its growing size, a pillar had to be removed.
According to the prophecy of Potuluri Veera Brahman, the Basavanna (Nandi idol) will come to life and bellow when Kaliyuga, the current age according to Hindu cosmology, concludes.
The Yaganti Temple caves hold their own significance:
- Agastya Cave: This sacred cavern is believed to be where sage Agastya performed holy rites for Lord Shiva. Climbing 120 steps leads to the shrine of Goddess Parvati within.
- Sri Venkateswara Cave: Home to the distorted idol of Lord Vishnu, it is believed to predate the arrival of Lord Venkateswara Swamy on the Tirumala hills.
- Sri Potuluri Veera Brahman Cave: Named after the prophet Sri Potuluri Veera Brahman, who spent time in this cave.
- Yaganti Uma Maheswara Temple, Nandi: Unconventionally, the idol of Nandi is placed to the side of the main Mantap, not directly opposite Lord Shiva. A prophecy by Sri Potuluri Veera Brahmendra Swamy suggests that the Nandi idol will come to life and roar at the end of Kaliyuga.
Additionally, the Yaganti Uma Maheswara Temple Akasha Deepam ritual involves lighting a lamp daily using four liters of oil and a two-meter thick wick.
This ceremonial act occurs in the evening behind the Veerabhadra Swamy Temple, with the lamp burning from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm in the open air atop the hill.
How To Reach Yaganti Temple?
The nearest major airport to Yaganti is the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, approximately 330 kilometers away.
From the airport, visitors can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Yaganti. The journey takes about 5-6 hours, depending on traffic conditions.
The nearest railway station to Yaganti is the Nandyal Railway Station, which is well-connected to major cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Vijayawada.
From Nandyal, Yaganti is approximately 75 kilometers away. Visitors can hire a taxi or take a bus from the railway station to reach the temple.
Yaganti is well-connected by road, and there are several options for those traveling by bus or car.
Regular bus services operate from major cities and towns in Andhra Pradesh to Banaganapalli, the nearest town to Yaganti
Where To Stay?
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