Shri Mangeshi Temple, a Must Visit Goan Temple

There are not many old temples in Goa. All the popular ones are newly constructed ones, the reason being most of the temples were razed down by Portuguese rulers and churches have come up in their place. Pujaris (Hindu priests) carried away the idols worshiped in those temples to safety.  Later they built new temples for these idols. One such temple is the Shri Mangeshi Temple.

Shri Mangeshi Temple, History

Shri Mangeshi Temple of Priol, Ponda Taluk of Goa is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Wiki mentions in the history section of this temple that:

This temple had its origins in Kushasthali Cortalim, a village in Saxty (Salcette) which fell to the invading Portuguese in 1543. In the year 1560, when the Portuguese started Christian conversions in Salcete Taluka, the Saraswats of Vatsa Gotra moved the Mangesh Linga from the original site at the Kushasthali or Cortalim on the banks of river Aghanashini (Zuari) to its present location at Mangeshi in Priol village of Atrunja Taluka to be more secure. This village was then ruled by the Hindu kings of Sonde of Antruz Mahal (Ponda).

In 1739 this region too fell in the hands of Portuguese, but by then they had become more tolerant of other religions so they left this temple untouched. The temple was established in Jan-Feb 1561 AD by its Kulavi devotees. The temple was renovated by their descendants in 1744, 1890 and 1973.

The entrance to the temple.

Tour of Shri Mangeshi Temple

A modestly sized temple, the hall has seating for 500 devotees at a time. Various rituals are done through out the day. We were not allowed to take pics of interiors, but one purohit was kind to take us around the small shrines in the complex and recited mantras (prayers) for us. A huge courtyard surrounds the temple. There are rooms for weddings and pilgrims. The temple also has a magnificent water tank, which is believed to be the oldest part of the temple.

Best time to visit this temple would be during the main annual festival. The festival “Magh Pournima” is in February (it begins on Magha Shukla Saptami and ends of Magha Poornima). The three day zatra of Shri Mangesh takes place in the lavish temple in the Ponda district. Huge crowds gather to witness this.

This seven storey structure is deepstamba (a lamp tower). The tower isn’t tilted, some faulty settings there, sorry for that.

Shri Mangeshi Temple
Pic. of Mangeshi idol, from internet.

Legend of Shri Mungeshi Temple:

Once Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati were playing dice in their abode at Mount Kailas. Shiva kept losing, and in the last roll of the dice staked his heaven. Having lost that too, he had to leave the Himalayas. He wandered southwards and presently crossed the Sahyadri Mountains and came to Kushasthali, now Cortalim. Here Lopesh, his faithful devotee, entreated him to remain.

Forlorn Parvati, now heartbroken without Shiva, left heaven and went in search of him. In the midst of a dense forest she came face to face with a huge tiger. Shiva had taught her an incantation, “He Girisha mamtrahi” – O Lord of the Mountains protect me – but she was so frightened that she lost her coherence and uttered the jumbled incantation, “Trahi mam Girisha”. Shiva, who had assumed the form of a tiger, instantly returned to his normal form. And then at a much relieved Parvati’s behest, he added Mam-Girisha to the many appellations he is known by. This is also how the village where the temple is situated came to be eventually known as Mangeshi, an abbreviation of Mam-Girisha.

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48 Responses

  1. Viola says:

    Suca a very beautiful temple! It's sad that there were temples razed down by invaders long time ago! I'm happy taht you still have some of these beautiful temples!
    Lovely photos! 🙂

  2. TexWisGirl says:

    wow! amazing and beautiful!

  3. The lamp tower is most interesting 🙂

  4. Sylvia K says:

    Oh, yes!! Amazing and beautiful indeed!! Terrific captures as always, Indrani, and so much history!! Thanks as always for sharing your world!! Have a great week!

  5. Appears that with the latest renovation the temple has received a contemporary look.A very beautiful looking structure.

  6. Bibi says:

    Glad you said the tower wasn't really leaning–the Leaning Tower of Pisa came to mind. Looks like a beautiful place.

  7. Beautiful Temple , Great photos.
    Thanks for sharing.

  8. Sudhir R says:

    Lovely Pics! nice bot of research, When i post the pics allow me to link to this, Indrani

  9. Nice temple. Have been to this temple many times.

  10. Fun60 says:

    At first I thought the temple was the Indian version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. thanks for the explanation.

  11. Hilary says:

    Such stunning architecture in your world.. and a fine photographer to go with it.

  12. alicesg says:

    Very beautiful architecture designs of the temple. Hahaha I thought the tower was tilted.

  13. A truly vibrant temple and as usual you have done complete justice to the colors of the place.

  14. rigzin says:

    ..wow!!..awesome.. 🙂

  15. Jeevan says:

    The temple looks beautiful, and simply cool and colorfully painted! Nice learning its transformation.

  16. Lovely, the building and statues, and Goa.

  17. What a shame that so many treasures were lost because of the religious beliefs of the colonial rulers!

  18. have been to goa but not able to visit this temple. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Mridula says:

    It has such unusual colors for a temple! Looks so very pretty and quaint!

  20. The Most beautiful Temple I have seen during my Visit to Goa! Good Presentation!

  21. Nice photogenic temple. Like everything in Goa looks very spick and span.

  22. WOW …you really have an eye for the unique! A temple in Goa and that too with unusual color combination and architectural style. A great pick I must say, Indrani. And thanks for sharing.

  23. Beautiful pics. I had visited Goa in 1993 and seen this Temple. It was not so well maintained. But now in your photos it looks gorgeous and shining.

  24. Isn't the temple beautiful? When I was a kid, my grandpa was the Kamavisdar of the temple. I used spend my vacations frolicking around the temple.

  25. Anita says:

    In my last trip to Goa, I was happy to discover so many temples there… also sad to learn that many had been destroyed years ago…

  26. I have been here..Beautiful Clicks !

  27. The temple is gorgeous! Was there a few months ago, shorts or any dress that shows bare legs is not allowed. 🙂
    Plus the canteen there serves delicious food at subsidized rates.

  28. It looked like a library from outside !!So blue and so clean ! Such a different temple Indrani 🙂

  29. Nice place..
    must be a very attractive place in Goa.

  30. George says:

    This is a very beautiful temple.

  31. Beautiful pictures!!!

  32. Aseem says:

    Lovely pics there Indrani :).

  33. Didn't know that currently present Mungeshi temple is rebuilt one… Nice pictures 🙂

  34. I had visited Shri Mangeshi Temple last year. It is a one of the oldest temples from the region. It was a beautiful experience for us. We spent an hour at the temple and met some really interesting groups of people.

  35. anna says:

    Thanks for giving us a brief background of the place- so interesting!

  36. Nisha says:

    The lamp tower is most interesting. Did you see the bearded Shiva there? 🙂

  37. Love your tip of visiting the temple during the major festival. Though I am sure it would be great to visit any time.

  38. Leah says:

    Oh, India, especially Goa, is on my to-do list. I love the idea of exploring the beaches and temples. Shri Mangeshi Temple looks like one to see. I loved reading about the legend. It brings to life what you’re looking at.

  39. Beautiful. It is heartening to hear how countries have resisted aggressive Christian advances. I particularly like you established the significances of this temple as the oldest. Well written and enjoyable article.

  40. I’ve heard a lot about Goa but not so much about the temples. There’s such a rich history, even though the popular temples are reconstructed.

  41. Thanks for the introduction to Shri Mangeshi Temple – I find religious places of worship to be the most fascinating attractions to visit while abroad. They have so much history and rich culture embedded in them.

  42. Jenna says:

    Very interesting legend and history about the temple! It’s too bad that most of the temples in the area have been destroyed, but this looks like a great one to explore. The colors are very pretty and it’s always great to get a look into a culture through spots like this!

  43. Being a lover a fine architecture, I really love the design of this temple. The lamp tower is also beautiful. For a moment I thought it looked like a version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa until I read you information about the camera glitch.

  44. Johann says:

    It is quite welcoming to read about a temple in Goa. I’ve always wondered what life would have been before the Europeans had arrived in places like Goa. The temple does look quite interesting with the unusual designs and the tower does look like it’d leaning. 🙂 Shiva leaving the Himalayas was a nice fable.

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