Nami Nandi Adigal was born in Emaperur near Tiruvarur. He was a staunch devote of Lord Shiva and every day, he used to visit the Tiruvarur temple. One evening, he was overcome with the desire to light many lamps in the temple and he went to a house nearby to ask for ghee to light the lamps. The house belonged to a Samanar who did not appreciate this request and sarcastically told Nami Nandi Adigal to take water from the nearby tank for lighting the lamps.
Heartbroken, the Nayanar prayed to the Lord Araneriyappan to help him to fulfil his desire to light the lamps. Suddenly, he heard the voice of the compassionate Lord who advised him to use water to light the lamps. With great joy, Nandi Adigal used water and by the grace of the Lord, all the lamps burned brightly! The news of this miracle spread far and wide.
The Chola King who was impressed to hear about this miracle, appointed Nami Nandi Adigal as the head of the Thiagaraja temple in Tiruvarur. The King also started generously supplying essential items for the Araneriyappar Temple-worship ceremonies.
In those days, the Chola king used to celebrate the ‘Panguni Uttaram’ festival in a grand manner. The Lord would be taken to a place called Tirumanali where the residents of Tiruvarur would gather around and worship Him. On one such occasion, after finishing his duties, Nandi Adigal returned home. He did not enter his house believing that the touch of the people in the crowd would have polluted him. He thought that due to this pollution, he cannot do his usual worship before going to bed. He requested his wife to bring some water so that he could bathe to purify himself and enter the house. But, before she could get the water, he was overpowered by sleep and had a dream. In the dream, Lord Shiva said, “Oh Nandi! All those who are born in Tiruvarur are my Ganas (servants). They should not be regarded as impure. You will soon see this with your own eyes”. Nandi Adigal woke up with a start and shared his dream to his wife. He felt sorry and repented for his wrong notion. Without wasting a moment, he performed his worship.
Next day morning he went to Tiruvarur. To his astonishment, he saw all the people of Tiruvarur in the form of Ganas (just like in his dream). Nandi Adigal prostrated before them with respect. After few minutes, they went back to their original forms. Nandi Adigal understood that it was the miracle of the Lord to make him understand the truth.
After this incident, Nandi Adigal settled down in Tiruvarur. He served the Lord and His devotees with so much dedication and love that Appar praised him as ‘Anipon’ (pure gold). Ultimately he attained the lotus feet of the Lord.