A Sacred Abode in the Heart of Goa

Mangueshi Mandir

A Journey Through Time and Historical Significance

Introduction :

The Shri Manguesh Temple, nestled in the pristine village of Mangeshi, Priol, in the Ponda taluk of Goa, India, stands as a testament to faith, history, and architectural splendor. It is not just a place of worship but also a cultural treasure, drawing countless devotees and visitors from far and wide. This research article delves into the historical, architectural, and spiritual aspects of the Mangueshi Temple.

A Spiritual Beacon in Goa :

Mangueshi Temple, dedicated to Bhagavan Manguesh, is the revered Kuldeva (family deity) of the Goud Saraswat Brahmins. Under the spiritual leadership of Shrimad Swamiji of Shri Kavale Math, Shri Manguesh Saunsthan in Mangeshi has grown to become one of the largest and most frequently visited temples in Goa. The temple’s location, approximately 21 kilometers from the state capital, Panaji, and 26 kilometers from Margao, makes it a prominent religious and cultural landmark.

In 2011, the temple, in conjunction with other temples in the region, introduced a dress code for visitors, a measure aimed at preserving the sacred atmosphere of this venerable place of worship.

A Journey Through Time – Historical Significance :

The history of the Mangueshi Temple is a captivating saga that stretches back centuries. It has its origins in Kushasthali Cortalim, a village in Mormugão, which faced Portuguese invasion in 1543. As the Portuguese commenced Christian conversions in the region in 1560, the Saraswat Brahmins from Kaundinya Gotra and Vatsa Gotra wisely decided to relocate the sacred Mangesh Linga. They moved it from its original location near the banks of the Aghanashini River (Zuari), modern-day Sancoale, to its present abode in Mangeshi, Priol. This area was under the rule of the Hindu kings of Sonde of Antruz Mahal (Ponda) at the time, offering a more secure sanctuary for the deity.

Over the years, the temple underwent two major rebuildings during the reign of the Marathas and a final renovation in 1973, culminating with the placement of a golden kalasha (holy vessel) atop the temple’s tallest dome. The original site was a simple structure, with the current temple complex evolving under Maratha patronage, approximately 150 years after the Mangesh Linga was relocated. In 1739, the Peshwas bestowed the village of Mangeshi to the temple, a decision influenced by their loyal follower, Shri Ramchandra Malhar Sukhtankar. This transition to Maratha rule was marked by the Portuguese takeover of the area in 1763. Fortunately, by this time, the Portuguese had adopted a more tolerant approach to diverse religions, allowing the temple to stand unharmed.

A Pantheon of Deities :

Main Deity: Bhagavan Manguesh (Lord Shiva)

The principal deity of the Mangueshi Temple is Bhagavan Manguesh, an incarnation of Lord Shiva, worshipped in the form of a Shiva Linga. The legend surrounding this deity is deeply intriguing. It narrates how Shiva transformed into a tiger to test and subsequently reassure his consort, Parvati. Parvati, terrified by the sight of the tiger, implored, “Trahi Mam girisha!” (Oh Lord of Mountains, save me!). Responding to her plea, Shiva returned to his true form. Over time, this incident led to Shiva being associated with the words “mam girisha,” which eventually became Manguirisha or Manguesh. This deity holds a special place in the hearts of Goud Saraswat Brahmins.

Other Deities :

The temple complex is replete with shrines devoted to an array of deities, including Nandikeshvar, Gajanan, Bhagavati, and the Gramapurusha Deva Sharma of the Vatsa gotra. Subsidiary shrines at the rear of the main temple house Devtas like Mulakeshwar, Virabhadra, Saanteri, Lakshminarayana, Suryanarayana, Garuda, and Kala Bhairav.

An Ancient Architectural Marvel :

The Mangueshi Temple, dating back over four centuries, is an exquisite blend of architectural beauty and spiritual significance. The temple’s structure features domes, pilasters, and balustrades that exude an aura of simplicity and elegance. The premises also host a prominent Nandi Bull and a striking seven-story deepstambha (lamp tower), all of which enhance the temple’s grandeur.

A notable highlight is the magnificent water tank within the temple complex, believed to be the oldest part of the temple. This historical feature adds to the temple’s architectural appeal and serves as a serene backdrop for various rituals and ceremonies.

The Sabha Griha (prayer hall) stands as a spacious expanse capable of accommodating over 500 devotees. It is adorned with chandeliers from the 19th century, adding a touch of old-world charm. The Sabha Griha leads to the Garbha Griha, the inner sanctum housing the consecrated image of Bhagavan Manguesh.

Daily Rituals and Festivals :

The Mangueshi Temple is a hub of daily rituals and festivals, creating an atmosphere of devotion and spirituality.

Daily Rituals :

Each day commences with a series of pujas, including Abhisheka, Laghurudra, and Maharudra, held in the morning. A Maha-Aarti takes place at noon, followed by the Panchopchar pooja in the evening. Every Monday, the idol of Manguesh is taken out for a procession in a Palakhi accompanied by music, a tradition that enriches the spiritual fabric of the temple.

Festivals :

The temple celebrates a variety of festivals, including Rama Navami, Akshaya Tritiya, Anant Vritotsava, Navaratri, Dussera, Diwali, Magha Poornima Festival (Jatrotsav), and Mahashivratri. The Magha Poornima Festival, spanning from Magha Shukla Saptami to Magha Poornima, is a significant occasion marked by religious fervor.

Conclusion :

The Mangueshi Temple, standing resolute for over four centuries, is a manifestation of unwavering faith, architectural brilliance, and cultural heritage. It is a spiritual beacon that guides and nurtures the souls of devotees while also welcoming inquisitive visitors. Its rich history, devotion to deities, and architectural grandeur make it a remarkable place in the heart of Goa, where traditions are upheld and spirituality thrives. As the temple continues to open its doors to the faithful and curious alike, it remains a timeless testament to the enduring power of belief and culture.

Editor – Kaalchakra Team

[ Note – Before Concluding anything as a Finale, Please Go through Original Scriptures of Vaidik Literature Written in Sanskrit and Also with Meaning of That time of Language. Because English is a Limited language to Explaining the Deeper Knowledge of Vaidik Kaal. ]