Nandi Monolith Bull
History of Monolith Bull
Nandi or monolithic bull is said to be the mount of Lord Shiva and it is symbolic because it faces the Lord Shiva shrine, Virupaksha Temple located opposite end of the street, about a kilometer from it. A little distance from the Nandi, one can spot a tall stone lamp post with metal spikes over it. According to Hindu mythology Nandi was born as a result of sheer devotion and penance shown by sage Shilada, towards Lord Indra. The sage wanted an immortal child, and only Lord Shiva could grant that wish. So as advised by Lord Indra, Shilada started his worship. The worship continued for centuries, but Shilada didn't moved an inch. His condition worsened to such an extent that termites began eating up his body. Seeing this, Lord Shiva appeared, and out of his bones created Nandi, the immortal child. The Lord also restored Shilada. The epic says that it was Nandi who cursed the demon Ravana that his kingdom will be burnt to ashes by the Vanara or monkey clan.
Things for tourists to see
In between the monolithic bull and Virupaksha temple, is the Hampi Bazaar which has been there since the Vijayanagara Empire. The steps beside the monolithic bull takes visitors to the Achyutaraya Temple which is on the other side of the hill. One can also go to the Vittala temple after reaching here. Another way towards the right from Nandi leads to the Matanga Hill. The boulders behind the Nandi gives a scenic beauty and is a real treat for tourists in Hampi.