The royal Mangueshi temple in Ponda Taluk, Goa
The location of Mangueshi temple is just 21 km from Panaji, the capital of Goa. It is on e of the famous temple in Goa which is frequented by large number of tourists every year. Situated in the village of Mangeshi in Ponda Taluk, it stands on a hillock of Priol. The main attraction of the temple is to follow a dress code if you wish to visit the temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Mangesh which is said to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
The main deity of the temple is a Shiva lingam named as Manguesh derived from the word ‘Mam girisha’. Once upon a time Lord Shiva manifested in the form of a tiger to scare Mother Parvati. Out of fear she cried to the lord by saying ‘trahi mam girisha’ which means ‘save me oh lord of the mountains’. Hearting this Shiva got into his original form. Since then the place is known as Manguesh and the temple is called Mangeshi temple.
About Mangueshi temple
There are many deities in the temple complex. The main deities are Lord Shiva, Parvati and Ganesha. Some of others are Nandikeshwar, Bhagwati and Gajana. Lord Mangesh is manily worshipped by the Saraswat Brahmins and is present in the temp0le in the form of a lingam. There are subsidiary shrines too apart from the main building that include virabhadra, suryanaryana, kal bhairav and many others. Previously the temple was in Cortalim, a small village in Salcette. During the rule of the Portuguese, when they started converting people into Christians, the saraswat Brahmins securely sifted Lord Mangesh Libnga to Pirol village where it is presently situated. It stands on the gomati river bank also known as Zuari River.
The temple is believed to be 450 years old and scatters its elegance even in simple decoration. Quite a number of pilasters, domes and balustrades are seen to complete its structure. Inside the complex of the temple, the shrine of Nandi and the 7 storied lamp tower adds up to the prominent beauty of the wealthy temple. The temple glows in colorful light and looks magical when the lamp is lighted at night. The lamp tower is known as ‘deepstambha’. There is also a water tank inside the temple complex and is regarded as the oldest part of the temple.
Rituals and festivals
Like every temple, this temple also performs many rituals on a daily basis. Every morning ‘avisekha’ of the lord is done followed by Laghu and Maha rudra. Daily in the evening ‘aarti’ is performed and the ritual ends at night with Panchopchur puja. Monday is believed to be the day of Lord Shiva and accordingly every week on this day a procession is taken out on ‘palakhi’ before the aarti is performed. Many festivals are celebrated annually like Ram Navami, Navaratri, Akshya Tritiya, Mahashivratri, Diwali and Dasherra.
When to visit
Festivals are celebrated in the temple all through the year on certain festive days. So it is better to go on those days to enjoy the celebrations. The most renowned festival celebrated in the temple is during the end of February month on the occasion of ‘Magha Purnima.’ The main attraction of the festival is the chariot that is beautifully decorated. This pulling of the chariot known as ‘ratha yatra’ attracts pilgrims from all over the country. On this special occasion the deity is decorated in a royal look and is taken in the chariot all around the village.
The Kadamba Bus Terminus is the prominent route to reach the temple that will take two to three hours. Buses ply frequently to the temple. Apart from this, you can reach there on your private car, auto rickshaw or cabs. You can also avail rental bikes to ride yourself to the spot.
There is no entry fee required to enter the Mangueshi temple premise. Visiting hour starts from 6 in the morning till 10 at night. A maximum of 2 hours is enough to completely visit the temple. So for the time you are in Goa, try to manage your time to visit this magnificent temple in the whole state.