Shri Mangeshi TempleThe name Mangeshi belongs to none other than Lord Mangesh, referring to the great Lord Shiva! Lord Shiva had many names among which, Mangesh, Mangireesh and Manguesh are quite common along with Bhole Baba. The Temple of Shri Mangeshi Mandir, situated at Ponda is also dedicated to Lord Shiva by his millions of Hindu followers. He is the main deity for all the Hindus residing in and around Goa as well as several other provinces of the state of Maharashtra. Shri Mangesh is respected and considered to be the Kuladevata, meaning the family deity of most Hindu families across the whole of Ponda.
The temple is set in the midst of a beautiful and scenic background in a small village named Mangeshi, which has inspired the name of the temple and is located along the Panaji-Ponda road in Priol in the Ponda district of Goa. It is only 21 kilometers away from the capital of Goa, which is Panaji. This temple is one of the most famous and largest tourist attractions of Goa, which draws visitors from different parts of the country as well as abroad. There is also a website dedicated to the temple in order to inform the devotees about different religious events that take place in the temple and also to stay in touch with followers across the world.
There is quite an interesting and recent history associated with the Shri Mangeshi Temple as mentioned below.
History of Shri Mangeshi TempleThe temple was originally constructed in a village in Saxty, also known as Salcette, named Kushasthali Cortalim. This place was invaded by the Portuguese in the year 1543, who began converting the residents forced or lured into adopting the religion of Christianity. This is vehemently opposed by the Vatsa Gotra Saraswats, who transferred the Shiva Linga from its original location to its current location of Mangeshi in Priol, which at that time was ruled by the Sonde Hindu rulers.
From after the time, the idol of Lord Shiva was shifted to its current location; it has been renovated several times by the Maratha rulers. During its last renovation, till now, during the year 1973, a Golden Kalasha was fixed on top of the dome of the temple which is the highest peak of the temple.
The Structure of Shri Mangeshi TempleThe initial and original structure of the temple was very simple and small, it got its current large and lavish form after it was moved to the village of Mangeshi, about 150 years after it was originally constructed. The Peshwas of Maharashtra, who had contributed to building the temple, had donated the village of Mangeshi to the Lord Shiva in the year 1739, as a gesture of their devotion towards the deity. This gesture was made as a result of the orders of their head or Sardar, namely Shri Ramchandra Malhar Sukhtankar, who himself had devoted his life to the Lord Mangesh.
In the year 1763, the temple as well as the region fell under the control of the Portuguese invaders, who had by them become tolerant of other religions residing in different parts of Goa and decided not to destroy or touch the temple. Since then it has retained its position, zeal and popularity among the followers of Lord Shiva.
The temple is supposedly 400-years-old and looks simple yet exquisite due to its elegant structure. There are several domes, balustrades and pilasters within this beautiful temple with an idol of Nandi Bull. It has a seven-story ‘Deep stambha’ which translates to ‘lamp tower’ standing tall and beautiful inside the temple. There is also a massive water tank, which is supposedly the oldest section within the temple.
The temple has a Sabha Griha which refers to a massive and spacious hall with the capacity of accommodating more than 500 devotees or visitors. It is further decorated with chandeliers which were added during the nineteenth century. The central part of the temple has the Garbha Griha wherein the Shiva Linga is consecrated.
The Mythical Lore Associated with The TempleIt is said that there is a mythical history associated with the Shri Mangeshi Temple. If mythological lore is to be believed then, the temple was built at this location because an incident associated with Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, took place here.
As per legend, Lord Shiva had taken up the form of a tiger in order to scare his better-half, Goddess Parvati, who was obviously frightened at the sight of the tiger. She called out to Lord Shiva, asking him to save her, which was pronounced as “Trahi Mam Girisha” and the exact meaning of this was “Oh Lord of the Mountains, please save me!” Hearing this, Shiva, transformed back to his original form in front of Parvati. The term ‘Mam Girisha’ stayed attached to this place and was later corrupted in to Manguesh or Mangruirisha.
If you are a devout follower and lover of the powerful Lord Shiva, then you must visit this beautiful and lavish temple of Shri Mangeshi in Ponda, on your next visit to Goa.
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