Mahanandi Temple 0r Mahanandeshwara Temple is the main attraction of Mahanandi. The temple has beautiful architecture and is marked by a huge gopuram at the entrance. The sight of gopuram can be seen the moment you reach the small village. As you enter the gopuram at the entrance, you can see two perennial pools with crystal clear water in it.
As you walk further, you ll enter the second prakara (temple compound) where you can see a huge Pushkarani (Holy water tank) that spreads over sixty square feet with a Mantapam (Pavilion like structure) in the centre. There is a small Shiva Linga in this mantapam. The crystal clear water in Mahanandi temple is one of the noteworthy features of the temple. The water here flows throughout the year from the perennial springs. This tank is one of the amazing examples of the then drainage system and architectural techniques, as the inlet and outlet of the tanks are so arranged that the depth of the water always remains at five feet. The source of supply of water to this tank is unknown till date. Don t miss a bath in this pushkarini which is believed to remove all the skin ailments. Once you get inside the water, even after hours together, you don t feel like coming out. There is a Nandi mouth at one side in the tank, from where the water pours in.
One amazing fact that you can see in Mahanandi Temple is the water source originates in Garbha Griha just below the Swayambhu Linga (natural formation). One can touch the water near the Siva Linga which is also given as thirtham (holy water) to the devotees. Every devotee, from all walks of life, can touch and pray the Linga, main idol or deity at the Garbha Griha which is in the form of a rough uncut rock with two sockets on it.
In the temple where Lord Shiva is worshipped it is obvious that even His consort (Parvati Devi) is worshipped. Once you come out of this temple, there is a interlink door that leads you to Sri Kaameshwari Devi temple (here Goddess Parvati takes this form). The deity of the goddess is so elegant to look at that it ignites a kind of spark in every devotee who worships whole-heartedly.
Behind this temple, there is a path that leads you to Sri Kodanda Ramalayam Temple in the temple premises of Mahanandishwara temple. There are some clay displays of few events from Ramayana and some status of great freedom fighters of India in the temple premises of Kodanda Rama.
Outside the second prakara (compound) there are few small temple having small Shiva Lingas. Just adjacent to it, there is a small goshala (stable) and just besides that there is a room where Homam is performed. After 12:00 in the noon, food is served in Anna Satram as prasadam to all the devotees. You ll have to purchase ticket that costs hardly INR 25 (check for the updated rates) per head. If you cannot wait until this time, don t miss the prasadam (Pulihora) given at the Prasad counter jus outside the second prakara. The Pulihora (tamarind rice) is very tasty and not to be missed.