The Flight of Gods 12. Sri Mangesh Temple, Mangueshi

The Flight of Gods

by Mohan Pai
 Shree Manguesh temple was originally located in Kushasthali (Cortalam) and was a popular centre of pilgrimage till the Portugese destroyed it and on the original site of the temple now stands a church.
In 1560 AD anticipating the onslaught of thePortugese, the devotees moved Shri Manguesh Shivalinga to a safer place in the Hindu territory of Sonde kingdom across the Zuari river. The Shivalinga was kept in a scenic surroundingson a hillock covered by forest, probably in a small hutment at a place now known as Mangueshi.

Shri Mangesh Temple – photo by Mohan Pai

In the year 1739 AD, the Peshwas donated the village of Mangueshi to the temple. Mangueshi is still a small hamlet about 1,000 families. Subsequently, a proper temple was built around 1744 AD which was supported by wooden pillars which have been preserved even today. A new temple was built in 1890 AD which was again renovated in the year 1973.

According to Manguesh Mahatmya which forms a part of the SkandaPurana, Devasharma, one of the three later Gauda Saraswat emigrants, found the Linga near the river Agashi at Kushsthali. The discovery is attributed to a servant who appears to have seen Dev Sharma’s cow pouring milk from her udder everyday at the same spot and this happened to be a Linga.
The word Manguesh is derived from another episode according to which Ishwara and Parvati were playing a game and the former lost the game and left Kailasa in a huff and wandered from place to place until he reached Gomant. Parvati went in search of him till she reached Gomant. Ishwara then assumed the form of tiger to frighten Parvati. On seeing the tiger she cried out “Trahi Mam Girish” (Protect me oh lord of the mountain). Thus the word Manguesh is derived fromMangirish. The same story is also repeated in Konkanakhyana.
Within the temple complex there are shrines to Dev Sharma, Moolkeshwar who was the caretaker of the cow belonging toDev Sharma and Shiv Sharma who identified the Shivalinga.
The other ‘Parivar’ devata shrines are that of Virabhadra, Kalbhairav, Lakshminarayana and Santeri.
The annual festivals include the birthday of Sri Ram, AkshayaTritiya, Sri Anant Vritotsava, Navaratri (Dussera), Diwali, Mahashivaratri and Magha festival.

Deepasthambha – photo by Mohan Pai 

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