Standing Nandi

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caption id=”attachment_661″ align=”alignnone” width=”1259″]Standing Nandi at Baijnath temple, Himachal Pradesh Standing Nandi at Baijnath temple, Himachal Pradesh[/caption]

Nandi, Shiva’s vaahana is invariably depicted in sitting posture in all South Indian Siva temples. e.g. see my blog on Lepakshi.

However, in the Baijnath Temple in the Kangra district of  Himachal Pradesh the Nandi is in standing posture. This temple is about 8 or 9 centuries old and houses a Swayambhu linga. It is situated on the banks of river Binwa with a breathtaking view of the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas.

Another curious feature was the image of man hanging from the Nandi’s tail. I searched the web to find the story behind this but could not find any lead.

Nandi's tail

Nandi’s tail

In this temple, you are required to leave outside all leather items, including bags, belts, etc. beside footwear.

2 thoughts on “Standing Nandi

  1. Good morning … i found this for you …

    Srinivas Kulkarni, Travel Blogger @

    Yes, there are a lot of statues of Nandi (The bull) in many temples especially in South India.

    Mostly Interesting and pretty significant answer provided by Balaji Viswanathan giving a detailed description of how Nandi is relevant from historical and of course mythological perspective. Many times people get confused and don’t know if it’s a bull or an ox. And why is it a bull and not an ox. I’d like to share a little bit of information more to do with gender and physiological significance of why it’s a

    So here’s some symbolical reference for you, courtesy Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik If you notice that the scrotum (the bag of skin containing testicles) of the gigantic Nandi bull could not be seen at the back. In any traditional Shiva temple, one is often shocked by the importance placed to Nandi’s scrotum. It hangs down prominently and some devotees, including the priest, make it a point to touch it before entering the shrine of Shiva. Modern images of Nandi, made using concrete and marble and plastic and plaster of Paris, shy away from doing so. People feel embarrassed by it. They find it very vulgar. So many craftsmen don’t show it anymore. Some even assume Nandi is a cow!”

    But it is imperative that showing the scrotum of Nandi is critical. The point is not to titillate. The point is to inform all devotees that Nandi is male (not a cow) and that he is not castrated (not an ox or steer or bullock). This means he is not domesticated. Nandi cannot be used to pull ploughs or carts. He is no beast of burden. To show Nandi without his scrotum is to take away his identity.


  2. Thanks. The significance of Nandi is well known. The curiosity was about the standing pose in the North Indian temple as against the sitting posture in other temples. There was also a man hanging on the tail which too was unique.
    Devdutt Pattnaik is a best selling author and commentator. But he is not to be taken too seriously as he tends to concentrate on titillation rather than on the spiritual aspects.


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