29
Apr
09

The Flight of Gods 23. Chandreshwar-Bhutanath Temple, Paroda

The Flight of Gods

by Mohan Pai

Shri Chandreshwar-Bhutanath Temple

Porvot, Paroda

 

Shri Chandreshwar – Bhutanath temple is one of the oldest temple in Goa, its antiquity going back to nearly one thousand six hundred years during the reign of Bhoja rulers (4th & 5th century AD). Bhojas have made reference to the temple in their copper-plate inscriptions. According to the tradition, the Bhoja ruler, Chandravarma whose capital was in Chandrapur was a devotee of Chandreshwar.

The Temple Complex – photo by Mohan Pai

The temple is magnificently situated on the Chandranath Hill simply called as ‘Porvot’with wooded slopes. A rough , rock stairway leads upwards to reach the summit.
The Mantap – photo by Mohan Pai

While the earlier temple was constructed during the Bhoja period it was in dilapidated condition by 1100 AD and the Goa Kadambas once again rebuilt the main temple. The present structure of the temple of Chandreshwar was constructed in 1877 and that of Bhutanath in 1917 AD. Tulasi Vrindavan – photo by Mohan Pai

However, the architectural parts such as the ceiling, the lintel and the pillars of granite clearly indicate that the temple was built during the Kadamba period.

Pillared Hall – photo Mohan Pai

Shri Chandreshwar is represented by Svayambhu Linga carved out of and part of the natural outcrop of rock, a mukhalinga with sculpted face. Water seeps from the Linga at the time of the full moon and the design of the temple allows the moon’s rays to fall on the sanctuary.

‘Amrut Manthan’ mural on top of the main entrance to Chandreshwar temple – photo by Mohan Pai

 The small shrine of Bhutanath is located on the left hand side adjacent to the main temple. There is no image of Bhutanath and he is represented by a meter high irregular, unsculpted natural stone. Bhutanath is one of the 64 Bhairavas. According to Sahyadri Khanda of Skanda Purana, Bhutanath didn’t want to be left on Kailas when Shiva changed his abode from Kailas to Chandranath Hill. So he prayed and requested Shiva to allow him to stay with him on Chandranath Hill.

Though this is a Shaivite Shrine, like Gokulashtami at Saptakoteshwar temple, Ramanavami (Shri Rama’s birthday) is celebrated at Chandreshwar-Bhutanath temple as an annual feast.A view of the Sahyadris from ‘Porvot” – photo by Mohan Pai

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