The close association of Shiva and Nandi explains the presence of a statue of Nandi at the gate of many temples dedicated to Siva. There are some nice designs on its back.
According to Some Puranic traditions, Nandi was born out of the right side of Vishnu resembling Shiva exactly and he was later given as a son to the sage Salankayana.
It was Nandi who cursed the demon King of Lanka, Ravana, that his kingdom would be burnt by a monkey and later Hanuman burnt Lanka.
There is an interesting anecdote about Nandi in one Puranic tradition. Once Nandi officiated as an empire while Shiva and Parvati were playing a game of dice. Though Siva lost the game, Nandi declared his master as the winner. An indignant Parvati cursed him that he should die from an incurable disease. Following incessant appeal from Nandi Parvathi forgave him. She said: The Chaturdasi day in the month of Bhadrapada is the day when my son's birthday is celebrated. On that day you have to offer to my son what pleases you most (green grass). We may atone for our sins if we offer our favourite thing to the to the Lord. For Nandi the most enjoyable and relishing food is green grass. As directed by Parvathi Nandi worshipped Ganapathi by offering green grass. Nandi was then relieved of his dreaded disease.
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