Mangeshi Temple of Goa - 450 year old Shiva temple that escaped ''Goa Inquisition''!!

Mangeshi temple, Goa

Mangueshi temple , priol, Goa

Mangeshi Temple, Priol, Goa.

Mangeshi Temple, Goa

Above image: Deepa stambh (lamp tower) of Mangeshi .Shiva temple is a tall one. Shiva is also an embodiment of Agni (fire). Here, the tall 7-story tower is symbolic of Agni, one of the 5 natural elements upon which we depend.  A polygonal (octagonal) structure, with niches for lamps.........

The Hindu temple dedicated to God Mangeshi -  a form of God Shiva, one of the trinity gods,  is  in a non-descript village Priol, Ponda  not far from the capital of Goa's an important  tourist place in India.  Here. God Shiva is in the form of linga - an abstract or aniconic representation, a formless reality - a  symbol of creative and destructive forces. Beloved to have been consecrated by God Brahma himself, yet another trinity  god, the this deity  is the Kula Devta of  Goud Saraswat Brahmin families. 

Mangeshi Temple, Goa, India  

This 450 - year old temple is a popular place of pilgrimage, here the traditional puja protocol includes  seven times a day,  including Abhishek, Laghurudra  and  Maharudra, and evening. Maha Aarti, as in other Hindu temples, is done at night.  An unusual feature here, as part of worship, the moorthi is taken out in a religious procession around the village once a week. I have never head of such a weekly tradition in all south Indian temples. In states like Kerala, it has been a deity ritual to take the processional deity around the prakara  inside the temple, often on the elephant with the priest accompanied by music.


Mangeshi Shiva temple, Goa.

Above image: A fine impressive  feature  with  twenty two levels of oil lamps lit on certain auspicious days.   


Mangeshi temple,

Above image: Mangeshi temple, Goa:  brass lamp pillar 


Mangeshi Temple Goa, India  

The complex has several domed buildings and the main temple has a big hall that can accommodate 400 to 500 devotees  adorned with  19th century   chandeliers  and sanctum. Visitors to this place can not miss the seven-story  tower, tall metal lamp  stand - Deepa Stampha, a common feature in  Kerala temples.  

Goa Inquisition

How did this Hindu temple survive the atrocities of  Portuguese Jesuits in the 16th centuries is a million dollar question. That time Goa Inquisition (introduced in 1561 and disbanded in 1812) was on in the Portuguese settlements in India, initiated by Fr. Francis Xavier.  Jesuit missionaries felt a threat to the purity of Catholic Christian belief and pressed for Inquisition with a view to punishing Crypto-Hindus, Crypto-Muslims and Crypto-Jews. King John III of Portugal issued an order, on 8 March 1546, to forbid other religions facilitating  - pagans converted to  orthodox Catholicism. and follow strict religious code of conduct. Very much affected  were  Hindus, Jews, Muslims and those Christians who never stuck to Portuguese way of life and strict adherence  to Christian worship.

Originally located in    Kushasthali or Cortalim in Salcette Taluka, under the repressive Portuguese  rule centuries ago  (16th century)misguided by Jesuits   as they were bent on destroying Hindu temples and  venerated idols, the  Hindu families there decided to  avoid  any confrontation with  Jesuits. The followers of  Shree Shantadurga and Shree Mangueshi, on an Ammavasia night (New Moon day), in the shadow of darkness,  left their homes and hearths and  moved over to the present  site in Ponda much safer place which was under the rule of the Muslim King Adilshah.

In this temple  many Hindu festival are observed annually. Particulary, fmous is Shivratri festival.