Sri Soumyanatha Swamy Temple located in Nandalur is a famous temple in Cudappah district of Andhra Pradesh. The presiding deity is Lord Balaji in the divine form of Soumyanatha Swamy and is seen here with His consort Sri Maha Lakshmi Ammavaru.
The Soumyanatha Swamy Temple dates back to the period of 11th century. It is built on 108 sculpted pillars on a sprawling 10-acre land on the banks of Bahuda River in Nandalur. The temple is famous for its architectural marvel which is built in old Chola style by the Matli kings, the then rulers of Cuddapah district. This place nandalur is known as a famous Buddhist site. The temple has several inscriptions in Tamil on its walls. The entire temple is constructed using red-stone.
The temple itself an architectural wonder The temple has four Rajagopurams overlooking the four directions. Mahadwara Gopuram is on the eastern side while other gopurams are on the west, north and southern directions. There is a deepasthambham with four lion-heads sculpted on it. There is also a high dhwajasthambham, a balipeetham, and a water tank called koneru and a huge yagnashala. On the walls of the temple, there are images of fish, the Sun and the Moon. There is also a carving of a huge fish on the ceiling of the temple. Local devotees believe that someday the fish will come to life and disappear into the ocean. The pillars of the Mandapam have lion’s heads at the bottom of the pillar.
The Main Idol of the Lord The sanctum has a seven-foot-tall Idol of Sri Soumyanatha Swamy Salagramadhara with four hands one holding a Sudarshana Chakram and another a Paanchajanya Sankham. While Goddess Sri Maha Lakshmi Ammavaru holding two lotuses is seen on the chest of the presiding deity, Sri Soumyanatha Swamy. An Idol of Sri Anjaneya Swamy is also seen near the Lord’s feet in praying posture.
Lord Sri Soumyanatha Swamy is seen facing east, and incidentally, Tirupati is towards the east of Nandalur. The sacred Idol of Lord Soumyanatha Swamy resembles the idol of Sri Venkateswara Swamy in Tirupati. But the only difference is Lord Balaji is seen with Kati Hastham, in every temple including in Tirumala Hills; while in Nandalur the Lord is seen with Abhaya Hastham. The amazing fact is that on some special occasions the sun rays directly fall on the Lotus Feet of the presiding deity Lord Sri Soumyanatha Swamy.