History of Shri Manguesh Temple
The Mangesh Linga is known to have been consecrated on the mountain of Mangireesh (Mongir) on the banks of river Bhagirathi by Lord Brahma, from where the Saraswat Brahmins brought it to Trihotrapuri in Bihar. They carried the linga to Gomantaka and settled in Mathagrama, the present-day Margao. Their most sacred and ancient temple of Mangesh was thus established on the banks of the river Zuari, as it is known today.
Shri Manguesh Temple was established in the year 1560. Kushasthali Cortalim, a village in Saxty (Salcette) on the banks of river, Aghanashini (Zuari) is known to be the original site of this temple. This village came under the control of Portuguese in 1543. In the year 1560, the Mangesh Linga was shifted by the Saraswats of Vatsa Gotra from the original site at Kushasthali or Cortalim to Mangeshi village in Priol. The Portuguese started Christian conversions in Salcete taluka and it thus became imperative to provide tighter security to this temple. This new site was then ruled by the Hindu rulers of Sonde of Antruz Mahal (Ponda).
Since the time of shifting, the temple has been rebuilt and renovated twice. More specifically, the temple was renovated during the reign of the Marathas and then in the year 1890. In the year 1973, a golden kalasha (also known as holy vessel in English) was added to the temple atop its tallest dome.
The village of Mangeshi Peshwas was donated to the temple in the year 1739, on the suggestion of their Sardar, Shri Ramchandra Malhar Sukhtankar. He is recognized as a staunch follower of Shri Mangesh. The present location of this temple was also captured by the Portuguese, just a few years after it was built here, that is, in 1763. But fortunately, the Portuguese had become tolerant of other religions and so this temple structure did not become a victim of their previous religious zeal.
Architectural Design of Shri Manguesh Temple
Shri Manguesh Temple is considered to be architecturally simple and an elegant structure. The architectural features of this temple are several domes, pilasters and balustrades. The interior of the temple complex comprises of a prominent Nandi Bull and a beautiful seven-story deep stambha (also knoen as lamp tower in English). The temple also consists of a magnificent water tank. It is believed to be the oldest part of the temple. Shri Manguesh has a Sabha Griha, which is a spacious hall. It can accommodate over 500 people. This griha is adorned with chandeliers of the nineteenth century. The central part of the Sabha Griha leads to the Garbha Griha. It is in the Garbha Griha that the image of Mangesh will be evident to the visitors.
Deities of Shri Manguesh Temple
The ruling deity of the main temple is Bhagavan Manguesh. In Hindu Mythology, Bhagavan Mangesh is recognized as an incarnation of Lord Shiva and is worshipped in the form of Shiva Linga. Lord Shiva is considered to be the kuldevta of many Goud Saraswat Brahmins. According to history, in order to scare His consort Parvati, Lord Shiva had converted Himself into a tiger. As a tiger, Lord Shiva was successful in scaring Devi Paravati. Consequently, Devi Paravati cried out for Lord Shiva uttering ‘Trahi Mam girisha!’ meaning ‘Oh Lord of Mountains, save me’. Hearing the cry of His consort Lord Shiva assumed His original form. Thus, the words ‘mam girisha’ became linked to Lord Shiva and over time the words got abbreviated to Manguirisha or Manguesh. Apart from the image of Lord Shiva, goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesha, Nandikeshvar, Gajana, Bhagavati and the Gramapurusha Deva Sharma of the Kaudanya gotra are also enshrined in the temple complex. At the back of the main building, there are subsidiary shrines, which serve as homes to devtas like Mulakeshwsar, Virabhadra, Saanteri, Lakshminarayana, Suryanarayan, Garuda and Kala Bhairav.
Daily Rituals Practiced in Shri Manguesh Temple
Like most of the temples in Goa, a number of pujas are performed daily in Shri Manguesh Temple. In the morning, Shodshopchar pujas comprising of Abhisheka, Laghurudra and Maharudra are performed. In the afternoon, Maha-Aarti is performed and at night the Panchopchar pooja is performed. Every Monday prior to the evening aarti, the idol of Manguesh is taken out for a precession in the Palakhi and is accompanied by music.
Festivals of Shri Manguesh Temple
Shri Manguesh Temple celebrates annual festivals like Rama Navami, Akshaya Tritiya, Anant Vritotsava, Navaratri, Dussera, Diwali, Magha Poornima Festival (Jatrotsav) and Mahashivratri. The Magha Poornima Festival commences on Magha Shukla Saptami and ends on Magha Poornima.
Shri Manguesh Temple is located at a distance of about 1 km from Mardol, close to Nagueshi, about 21 km from Panaji, the capital of Goa and about 26 km from Margao. The nearest airport to Shri Mangesh Temple is Dabolim Airport in Goa. This airport is located at a distance of about 15 km from the temple. The nearest railway station to this temple is Madgaon Railway Station. This railway station is located at a distance of about 19 km from the temple.
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