Monday, March 4, 2024

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Shri Mangeshi Temple




North Goa District, Goa

Best Season


Whole year..



One of the largest, wealthies and most popular Hindu shrines in Goa

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Shri Mangeshi Temple, also known as Mangireesh, Manguesh or Mangueshi, is one of the largest, wealthiest and most popular Hindu shrines in Goa. Dedicated to Mangueshi - an incarnation of Lord Shiva, this temple on a hillock is located at Priol, 12 kn north of Ponda taluka. Situated on NH4A, 8 km south east of Old Goa, it stands beside the small settlement, that bears its name.

The Mangesh idol had its origins in Kushasthali (later renamed by the Portuguese as Cortalim in Salcete, now known as Kutthal). When Salcete was captured by the Portuguese in 1543, the devotees shifted the deity from Kushasthali to a nearby village that came to be known as Mangeshi. The temple which is believed to be built around 1744, has been rebuilt and has undergone several renovations. It was built with income from land donated by a local ruler under the Marathas.

The temple is a modern piece of architecture blended with a mix of Hindu, Christian and Muslim influences. It is approacehd from the east along a path lined with balustrades, passing by a large square tank which is believed to be the oldest part of the temple. The tank is surrounded by arcaded chambers and devotees can take a holy bath before commencement of a ritual. In the center of this tank, one can see a white coloured pyramid with sculptures of deities carved on all its sides.

The temple complex consists of a spacious courtyard surrounded by the temple itself and rooms for weddings and pilgrims, shops selling Goan delicasies and artefacts, temple office and a restaurant. Ahead, a seven storey white washed octagonal Deepa Stambha (lamp tower) stands in front of the main entrance where dance and dramas are staged in April and May. Considered as the tallest and most imposing column in Goa, it looks picturesque when illuminated at night with traditional oil lamps during festival nights. The tower is crowned with a small dome. The temple has a wooden chariot with an octagonal frame covered with carvings and yali brackets. This is used to take around the idols in religious processions.

The temple is entered through an octagonal pavilion topped with a combination vault and dome.The interior of the temple has a marble floor and tiled walls. The Sabha mandapa is a spacious hall with traditional pillars. It can accommodates over 500 people and has some antique chandeliers of the nineteenth century. From here one can enter the ‘antarala’. There is a image of Nandi, the bull, carved in black stone laced with brass and silver. The central part of the Sabha Griha leads to the Garbha Griha. It houses a beautiful idol of Lord Mangesh adorned with silver,gold and jewels donated by the devotees.

The annual festivals at this temple include - Ramanavami, Akshaya Tritiya, Anant Vritotsava, Dussera, and Diwali. 'Magh Pournima' is the main annual festival which is held in February.