Lying on a hillock in a village of the same name, Mangeshi temple is one of the most popular, richest and largest Hindu temples in Goa. It is located on a hillock in Priol, Ponda district, around 37 km from Vasco da Gama railway station, 21 km from Panjim bus stand and 34 km from Mapusa. A major pilgrimage destination in the beach state, Mangeshi temple has an interesting story to tell. It is said that the Hindu god Shiva came to Goa after he lost to his wife Parvati in a game of dice. Parvati came searching Shiva, who took the form of a tiger and came to her. Frightened at the sight of a tiger, Parvati exclaimed, “Trahi Mam Grisha,” which translates to “Save me oh Lord.” On hearing this, Shiva shifted back to his human form, returning to her.
The place would then become associated with the words Mam Grisha, which would turn into Manguesh over the centuries. It is said that the temple was built on the site where Parvati faced the tiger, south of the Zuari River where Cortalim village stands today. When the Portuguese captured Salcete in 1543, devotees moved the deity of Mangeshi to a nearby village that took the name of the temple. The temple as you see today was built in 1744 originally, using donations of a local Maratha ruler. Over the years, the temple has seen several renovations and has been rebuilt too. CHECK OUT: 15 spectacular photos of Goa that will take your breath away!
The Mangeshi temple today is a beautiful temple built in the Goan Hindu style of architecture, with distinctive white towers. Elegant with a simple entrance, the temple has a prominent statue of the bull god Nandi that was ridden by Shiva. Within the temple is a spacious courtyard with rooms for pilgrims and space to conduct weddings. There is also a water tank that is supposedly the oldest part of the complex. You will also find a seven-story octagonal lamp tower called the Deepastambha, considered the tallest column in Goa. The temple is especially worth a visit during the annual Magha Poornima festival in February and the Ratha Yatra that takes place in this festival.
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