The Flight of Gods 18. Nagesh Temple, Nagueshi

The Flight of Gods
by Mohan Pai
Shri Nagesh Temple


This is one of the few temples where the deity is not a ‘migrant’ deity since it was originally located at its present site in Bandode and unaffected since it was outside the Portugese territory.
The temple is located at Nagueshi (Bandode) 4 km east of Ponda. This is an ancient temple and which probably belongs to the 7th century AD and was later renovated by Sahu Maharaj, Grandson of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
This is a ‘Swayambhu’ shrine of Lord Shiva and according to Nagavya Mahatme of Sahyadri Khanda in Skanda Purana Shiva is closely associated with Nagas. The Naga cult in Goa happens to be an ancient cult and according to Bhoja inscription, the Hindus had worshipped Nagas in this region in c. 400.



The Deepasthama at this temple has brightly coloured painted deities on the lower half. The temple has a large and beautiful water tank surrounded by palm trees which is centuries old.

There is a Vijayanagar inscription dated1413 AD on a stone slab in the temple about the donations and grants given to the temples of Shri Naguesh and ShriMahalakshmi of Bandode by one Main Shenoy. There is also a mention of Naganath in the Savoi Verem copper plate dated c. 1,300. There is a Shiva-Parvati and a Ganesha stone idol which are believed to be 7th & 8th century pieces.


The Mantapa has a raised central portion with a carved and painted wooden panels depicting a number of deities in subdued colours. Below the ceiling are friezes of small carved wooden panels depicting scenes from Ramayana andMahabharata.

There are shrines to the affiliate deities – Lakshminarayana and Ganesh in the porch of the side entrance. In the court yard opposite the Ganesha’s porch are set four small shrines each with a linga.

Close by there the house built for the Raja of Sonda when he gave his territory into the hands of the Portugese and sought asylum here in 1764. The house has been now renovated and extended and is still occupied by the Raja’s descendants.


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