During our recent visit to Goa, we visited the ancient Mangueshi Temple which has a very interesting history. The Temple is very popular locally and among religious tourists. So I decided to write about what I have seen and learnt about this popular Temple.
First of all it is a very beautiful and a large Temple. It is a Temple of Bhagwan Manguesh, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Hence the Temple is called Mangueshi or Mangeshi Temple. It is situated 22 kms. from Panaji, at Priol in Ponda Taluk of Goa.
This Temple was originally at Kushasthali/Cortalim, a village in Saxtty/Salcette since a very long period. But in the year 1560 as the Portuguese invaded this place and began converting people to Christianity, the idol of Lord Shiva/Manguesh was shifted to the present location which was then ruled by a Hindu king. Since then the Temple has been rebuilt and renovated a few times. The most recent renovation took place in 1973.
The Temple is intricately designed and proportioned. The Temple architecture consists of several domes, ornamental walls, pillars and arches. There is a beautiful Nandi/bull and a beautiful seven-storey Lamp tower/Deepa Sthamba inside the Temple complex, which you can see in the attached photographs. Inside the Temple is a spacious hall called Sabha Griha which can accommodate over 500 persons. The décor here includes magnificent chandeliers. At the center of this hall is the Garbha Griha/Sanctum sanctorum, which houses the idol of Bhagwan Manguesh.
According to legend Lord Shiva played a game of dice with his wife, Goddess Parvati Devi and lost all that he possessed. Having lost everything he wandered and came to Kushasthali area in Goa. Goddess Parvati came looking for him here. Then Lord Shiva disguised himself as a tiger and frightened Parvati Devi. Startled, Parvati Devi shouted for help saying “Trahi Mam Grisha”, which means “O Lord of the mountains save me”. Lord Shiva then transformed into his original form and the divine couple returned to their abode happily.
The words “Mam Grisha” came to be associated with Lord Shiva and over time the words got transformed as Manguirisha and then Manguesh. And the place where this episode took place was marked by building a Temple there. And the Temple was called as Mangueshi or Mangeshi Temple. And as I explained above this Temple was shifted to its present location in 1560.