Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mangueshi temple dedicated to Lord Shiva

Prologue :  My wife was apprehensive of visiting the Mangueshi temple in Ponda which was just a small detour from the highway to Ponda because of stereotype image of the community.  Luckily the power of Lord Shiva drew me to take a deviation by convincing her that it was enroute to Ponda towards Safa Masjid.  Being born on a Shivaratri day naturally i was attracted towards the destination.  Surprisingly i found foreigners too visiting the temple whereas Wikipedia mentions they are banned from visiting the temple because of indecent clothing.  However i found that these guys were dressed decently enough to enter the premises. 

Mangueshi temple is dedicated to incarnation of Lord Shiva, ironically Manga in kannada means Monkey.   He is revered as bhagwan of goa.  The lord is worshipped in the form of Linga.  A myth states that goddess Parvathi was frightened by a chasing tiger ( avatar of Lord Shiva ).  In her cry for help she uttered Trahi Mangesh instead of Trahi maam Ganesh. 

Mangueshi happens to be family deity of many Goan Hindus particularly Saraswath Brahmins.  They generally consume Fish particularly river fish which is considered to be vegetarian.  These GSB’s ( Goan Saraswath Brahmins ) are generally Konkani speaking and primarily a trading community.  One can find them throughout the konkan coast, who fleed from the Goan Inquistion from 1560-1812.

The temple had its roots in Bhagirathi river, the Brahmins bought the idol from the river bed to Gomantak, to establish the famous temple of Mangueshi on the banks of river Gomati or Zuari it is called currently.

Since the Portuguese persecution of 1560 during Inquistion, the Idol was shifted to the present location which was relatively safer at Ponda from Salcette.  The idol was housed in Ponda to prevent destruction of Idolaters.  The original structure was a simple hut, but later it was rebuilt into current edifice under the patronage of the Peshwas, who donated the village of Mangueshi in 1739.  Ironically once the superstructure was built and decline of Marathas took place, in 1764  Portuguese once again occupied the region.  However this time around the impact or zeal for conversion got reduced and it was disbanded due to intervention of the British in 1812.  Magueshi temple thus survived the occupation just like the Safa Masjid.  One common feature is that both the temple and masjid had lovely tanks, which prevented them from being demolished for their valuable source of potable water.

The Mangueshi temple seems to have been constructed around 1740’s with 7 storeyed lamp tower and main temple complex.  Later on guest houses were added on for devotees to spend some time during their visit to this place for lack of clean lodging in the area.  The complex contains a marriage hall which could accommodate 500 guests.

There are number of annual festive celebrations which is of significance they are Ram Navami, Akshya trithya, Navaratri, Dusherra, Diwali, Magha Poornima and finally Maha Shivaratri.  A temple guide is being sold in the premises for the GSB’s particularly spelling out all the rituals, timings and scriptures.   There is a vegetarian canteen in the basement of the Marriage hall serving good vegetarian dishes at reasonable prices.  I picked up home made goan masala to add to my kitty of shopping in Goa for preparing fish curry.

A meaningful life is not about being rich nor being popular, or being highly educated or being political perfect.....It is about being grounded to earth, being humble and able to to share,touch lives of others, it is only than we can have have contented and blissful life.
Ack : Wikipedia, Outlook Traveller Guide & Original surmise, Quote Unknown.

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Basically i am down to earth, take friendship to its logical end. It is my endeavour to create a wealth of co-operative ventures. Basically being a marketing man i have the acumen to spot winners. I am privileged to travel the length and breadth of the country, courtsey my father, who was with Indianoil, my employers such as Nutrine, Kurl-on, Hindustan Pencils, Prestige, Crystal, Bell Ceramics, Pentel, Sezal, Commander. Currently i am involved in Tourism, Booking Air Tickets, Agent for Jungle Lodges and Resorts Limited and Taj Group of Hotels and a numerous hotels across India. Depending on the needs of a traveller i would recommend the destination and accommodation best suited to their budget. Humour takes me on. Let us have a win win situation for all. I love travelling for sake of adventure, photography and discovering the heritage. Life is a journey and let us enjoy our drive. Come share your travel experience on indiabackpacker.