Archive for the 'Goan Hindu Temples' Category



25
Apr
09

The Flight of Gods 14. Laxminarcinva Temple, Veling

 

The Flight of Gods
by Mohan Pai

Shri Laxminarcinva Temple

Veling

Shri Laxminarcinva temple of Veling, originally of Shankhavali Village that bordered Kushasthali (Cortalim) in Salcete, is one of the temples which during the 16th century faced the fanatic fury ofthe Portugese proselytization. The idol of ShriLaxminarcinva was shifted to its present locationat Veling in Antruz (Ponda) which was then under the rulers of Sonde kingdom. Shri Laxminarcinva Murti brought from Sancoale

The temple was first housed in a modest hutment and then rebuilt in its present rich scenic surroundings in the later part of the 18th century.
In this temple, a stambh was installed in the sanctum sanctorium and over the years a suitable silver and gold Kavach with attributes of Shri Laxminarcimha was added. However, in 1974, the vigraha idol was installed in place of the Kavach.

The Mantap – photo by Mohan Pai

Over the centuries, due to weathering the temple had deteriorated and required renovation which was undertaken in the year 2000 AD. And the entire temple including the sabha mantap, roofing and the garbhagraha were restored to their original glory.


THE LEGENDS

Shankhavali and Kushsthali, the two flourishing and adjustant villages were at loggerheads on the question of their boundaries and were equally fed up with their age-old problem. A godly man from Punjab came as a chance visitor (according to another version it was a Gaud Saraswat Brahmin by the name ‘Naik’ from Karnataka). By his saintly nature he soon won the affection and confidence of the residents of both the villages. He placed the Shaligrama which he always carried with him for his daily oblations at the foot of the pipal tree of the temple of Shri Shantadurga for his sacramental routine. The two villages requested him to bring about a settlement of their dispute.
The Temple – Photo by Mohan Pai

The pious man said “ I shall move with my “Lotta” full of water and its beak would go on trickling till it gets empty and this line of trickling will decide your boundary”. The villagers accepted this solution. But after it was done, some of the Kushasthali villagers felt cheated and in revenge, they quietly took away his Shaligrama and threw it into the temple lake. When the saintly man discovered the loss he went on a fast and refused even water.

Intricately carved wooden pillars – photo by Mohan Pai

 
Fortunately, one of the elderly villager had a dream which indicated that the Shaligrama lay at the bottom of the temple lake and the object of worship was retrieved. The legend says that the deity was interpreted as Narcimva. After this incident, the deity rose in popular esteem and flourished into an important temple. The holy man took permanent abode in Shankhavali and married a local bride.
Tirthasthana – photo by Mohan Pai

The other legend with some historical background is about the fisher folk of Carnalla. With the Portugese threat imminent, the kulavis of the temple secretly removed the idol and were anxious to transport it across the Zuari river. When they reached the bank of the river the brave Carnalla fishermen came to their rescue and carried them across the river to a safe haven. This incident took place during the middle of the 16th century.

 

 
In recognition of their service, their descendants are treated as guest of honour for two days at the temple of Shri Laxminarcinva during the Kartik festival. The deity is taken in a boat in the temple lake, probably to perpetuate the memory of the first river crossing. This ritual is called ‘Sangod’.
Sangod – photo by Mohan Pai
The affiliate deities of the temple are Purusha, Paik and Bhandari. The main festivals celebrated are Sri Ramanavami and Navaratri and the annual Jatra is held in Magha Masa.

MY BLOG LIBRARY

For some of my articles visit:
For some key chapters from my book “The Western Ghats”, please log on to:http://westernghats-paimohan.blogspot.com/
For detailed blog (6 Chapters) on Mahadayi/Mandovi River Valley, please log on to:http://mohan-pai.blogspot.com/
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You can also access my blogs on Sulekha and WordPress:
For my book “The Flight of Gods – Hindu Temples & Shrines of Goa” please log on to:
http://mohanpai.sulekha.com/blog/posts/pageno-1.htmhttp://flightofgods.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
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25
Apr
09

The Flight of Gods 13. Mahalasa Narayani Temple, Mardol

The Flight of Gods
by Mohan Pai

Shri Mahalasa Narayani Temple
Mardol


Shri Mahalasa Narayani temple is situated at Mardol about 1 km from Shri Manguesh temple. The temple was constructed in early 16th century. The deity was originally from Verna and was moved to Mardol during the Portugese onslaught on Hindu temples.
The Mantap – photo Mohan Pai

Shri Mahalasa is one of the important Shaktis worshipped in Goa and is a folk deity having her origin in the Karnataka region. From the architectural remnants lying at Verna, it is evident that the worship of the goddess goes back to the Kadamba period c. 1100 AD. Varunapur Mahatmya in the Sahyadri Khanda of the Skanda Purana refers to Goddess Mahalasa with her detailed description. She stands on a dead body and has the head of Chandrasur demon in her left hand.

Narayani suffix is an epithet which has been mentioned in Devibhagavat of Markandeyapurana. According to another source Mahalasa Narayani is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu portrayed in female form as Mohini.
The Temple – photo Mohan Pai
At the entrance of the temple there is an artistic seven storied lamp tower that stands 12.5 metres high with a figure of Garuda at the top. Made entirely of brass it is probably the largest lamp of its kind in India. The inner hall of the temple has carvings of the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu that have been resplendently painted.
Brass Lamp Tower – photo Mohan Pai
Shri Mahalasa is the family deity of Gaud Saraswats and Karhade Brahmins. Goddess Mahalasa was a much feared deity and justice was dispensed by taking an oath underthe “Justice Bell” which was recognised even by the Portugese courts.
The annual Zatra of the temple is held in the month of February and the festival of Navaratri is celebrated on a grand scale.

Deepasthamba – photo Mohan Pai
 

MY BLOG LIBRARY

For some of my articles visit:
For some key chapters from my book “The Western Ghats”, please log on to:http://westernghats-paimohan.blogspot.com/
For detailed blog (6 Chapters) on Mahadayi/Mandovi River Valley, please log on to:http://mohan-pai.blogspot.com/
For the book ‘The Elderly’ please log on to:http://oldagecare-paimohan.blogspot.com/
You can also access my blogs on Sulekha and WordPress:
For my book “The Flight of Gods – Hindu Temples & Shrines of Goa” please log on to:
http://mohanpai.sulekha.com/blog/posts/pageno-1.htmhttp://flightofgods.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
http://flightofgods.blogspot.com/

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25
Apr
09

The Flight of Gods 12. Sri Mangesh Temple, Mangueshi

The Flight of Gods

by Mohan Pai
 
SHREE MANGESH TEMPLE
MANGUESHI
 
 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.

PURANIC LEGEND
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 

MY BLOG LIBRARY
For some of my articles visit:
http://mohanpaiblogger.blogspot.com/
http://mohanpaisarticles.blogspot.com/
http://biodiversity-mohanpai.blogspot.com/
http://delhigreens.com/2008/03/10/whither-the-wilderness/

For some key chapters from my book “The Western Ghats”, please log on to:
http://westernghats-paimohan.blogspot.com/

For detailed blog (6 Chapters) on Mahadayi/Mandovi River Valley, please log on to:
http://mohan-pai.blogspot.com/

For the book ‘The Elderly’ please log on to:
http://oldagecare-paimohan.blogspot.com/

You can also access my blogs on Sulekha and WordPress:

For my book “The Flight of Gods – Hindu Temples & Shrines of Goa” please log on to:

http://mohanpai.sulekha.com/blog/posts/pageno-1.htm
http://flightofgods.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm

http://flightofgods.blogspot.com/

 

http://mohanpai.wordpress.com/

18
Apr
09

Flight of Gods 11. Shantadurga Temple, Kavalem

 

The Flight of Gods
by Mohan PaiShri Shantadrga Temple
Kavalem

 
Shri Shantadurga of Kavalem is a ‘migrant’ deity from Keloshi shifted here duringthe exodus of 1560s. Unlike the valley temples in this area, the temple of Shri Shantadurga stands on a slope of the hillside with a wide flight ofsteps leading up to the high gateway with the water tank on the left. The gleaming white dome is emphasised by the contrast with the terracota colours of the main structure.
The octagonal tower over the inner shrine has a higher drum with two stories, with its dome topped by an elegant lantern with a small dome and then a finial with spheres representing water pots.
In the first half of the 18th century, Naro Ram Mantri, himself a devotee of Shri Shantadurga and a Minister of Shahu Maharaj of Satara, funded the building of the temple and persuaded vassal King of Sonda to contribute the lands of the village of Kavalem to the temple estate. This temple has had frequent additions over the years.Deepasthamba – photo by Mohan Pai

The name of the goddess ‘Shantadurga’ is in itself a contradiction of terms. Shanta meaning peace and Durga being the very embodiment of violence. The legend says that there was a fierce quarrel between Shiva and Vishnu, which turned into a full-scale war so violent that the very existence of the Universe was threatened.
Mantap – photo by Mohan Pai
Brahma approached Durga to intervene. This she did, restoring peace and harmony amongst the Gods. From this time, she is also called Shantadurga, indicating peaceful aspects of Durga. The main shrine contains an image of the goddess Shantadurga flanked on one side by Lord Vishnu and on the other by Lord Shiva.
 
The main affiliate deity is Shri Lakshminarayana,whose shrine is an extension to the right of themandapa. There is also a small shrine to goddess Bhagavati under a aravali tree on its platform.Shri Bhagavati Shrine

Barring only two shrines outside Goa (in Karnataka), it is only in Goa that Goddess Durga is worshipped as Shantadurga. There is an interesting history about this new home of the goddess at Kavalem. The land chosen for the temple belonged to the Mahars, the untouchable community, and they were asked to give up the site for a temple where they would not be welcome. But they finally did agree and in recognition of their deed, a special day is reserved for members of Mahar community to worship during the annual celebrations of the temple when they are allowed inside the temple.
Tirthasthana – photo by Mohan Pai

Goddess Shantadurga is also called Santeri and is perhaps the most popular goddess of Goa. Apart from being an affiliate deity in many temples she has shrines all over Goa.The popularity could be attributed to her being associated with the cult of Santeri or Bhumica – the mother goddess or Earth mother which is worshipped in the form of an anthill.
The second chapter of Nagavya Mahatmyain Sahyadri Khanda of Skanda Puran is titled ‘Shantadurga Pradurbhavah’. One of the verses in this section mentions the disappearance of the goddess into an anthill.
Sacred Anthill
Santeri’s origins according to legend goes back to pre-Dravidian times; she was the Earth Goddess and her shrine was the anthill. There exist around 86 shrines in Goa in the form of the anthill and most of them are in open spaces, mostly in the vicinity of fields and forests. It is also believed that a serpent (Nag) always resides in the anthill. In several shrines of Santeri in Goa, a figure of serpent is displayed near the anthill. A metallic mask is also sometimes placed on the anthill to represent the goddess.
She is an ancient folk deity worshipped by the tribals (Gavadas) of Goa and with the advent of tantrism in South India many folk deities were absorbed into the Brahminical fold. In due course of time these Shaktis were associated with Shiva. Hence Santeri is associated with Ravalnath, a Shaivite deity of Goa and South Konkan.
18
Apr
09

The Flight of Gods 10. Shri Saptakoteshwar Temple, Narvem

 

The Flight of Gods
by Mohan Pai

Shri Saptakoteshwar Temple

Narvem
The idol – photo by Mohan Pai
 
This is one of the greatest Shaivite shrines of Goa which has a chequered and turbulent history of more than one thousand years. Saptakoteshwar was the family deity of the Kadambas of Goa. and they honoured it by featuring the legend and the Shikara on their gold coins. The gold coins of Jayakeshi I (1050-1080AD) and Jayakeshi II (1104-1147 AD) carry the inscription.
The temple was destroyed several times by the marauding Muslims and later by the Portugese. The Lingam itself is one of the most sacred relic which has been equated with that of the Kedarnath in the Puranas and its presence endowed on Goa the designation of Konkan Kashi. This sacred relief, however, had to be buried inthe paddy fields to avoid desecration and had to face the ignominy of being turned into the step of a well so that people drawing water could commit the sacrilege of stepping on it.
This same mukhalingam, however, had the privilege of being venerated by two very illustrious personalities in the Indian history. Madhav Mantri, the famous general of the Vijaynagar Empire and the great Maratha hero, Shivaji Maharaj. Both of them, rebuilt, the Saptakoteshwar Shrine after its destruction.
Adil Shah’s Gate located in the front yard of Cajetan’s Church at Old Goa where his palace once stood is a transplant from a brahminical temple of the Kadamba period. Adil Shah’s palace was built at the site of (and with building materials from) the Saptakoteshwar temple built by Shivachitta Permadideva (1147-1172 AD) and his wife Kamaladevi in 1155 AD when Govapuri was the capital of the Kadambas. The temple had become a major centre of religious worship and prilgrimage.
Adil Shah’s Gate, Old Goa – photo Mohan Pai

The temple was destroyed during the attacks by the Bahamanis between 1355 and 1366 AD which also ended the Kadamba rule in Goa. The main idol was buried in a nearby rice field for fear of desecretion in 1356.
Andre Corsali in a letter to Duke Giulianode Medicia dated 6th January,1515 refers to an ancient temple, “which was built with wonderful skill with ancient figures of a certain black stone worked with great perfection, of which some are standing, ruined and spoilt. Should I have in hand any (figure) thus ruined, I shall send it to Your Highness that your Highness may see how in ancient times sculpture was appreciated elsewhere” – This referred to none other than the Saptakoteshwar temple.
The next site was in the island of Divar across the river Gomati (Mandovi) where a new temple wasbuilt in local stone but this was also destroyed by the Bahamanis.
In 1378 AD Goa became a part of theVijayanagar Empire when MadhavMantri, the Vijayanagar General marched into Goa at the head of a large army and ousted the Muslim ruler.
A Kashmiri Saraswat Brahmin, a Vedic scholar, an ardent Shaivite and a patron of learning, Madhav Mantri who was the Governor of the region for 12 years restored the buried idol and rebuilt the Saptakoteshwar temple at Narve-Divar in 1391.
Deepasthambha – photo by Mohan Pai
The temple was once again razed to the ground by Muhammad Gawan in1471 during his plundering of Goa and then rebuilt by the local community until its final and complete destruction between 1540 and 1558. This time it was the Portugese – the infamous Miguel Vaz who took upon himself to destroy the famous shrine.
Narayan Surya Rao in his dream saw the Linga from the Saptakoteshwar temple being desecrated. The dream became a nightmare when he saw that the Portugese authorities had placed the linga at the foot of a well so that people drawing water would step on it. Another version suggests thatit was used as a makeshift pulley over which to draw water. The rope marks are still said to be visible. Narayan Surya Rao, who was a Sardesai, gathered a small group of men and crept towards the site of the well to save the sacred Linga.
They carried the Linga outside the Portugese territory. The Portugese in hot pursuit killed Narayan Rao’s brother. After two years the Linga was transferred to its present home called Narvem and placed in a sanctuary dug out in a rock and Narayan Rao built a small shrine there in 1549.
When Shivaji Maharaj camped in Bicholim, he provided funds and asked the temple to be rebuilt in the year 1668 at its present site. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj doing puja of Shri Saptakoteshwar (Painting at the temple) – Photo by Mohan Pai

PURANIC LEGEND
References to Saptakoteshwar are found in Sahyadri Khanda of Skanda Purana and also in Saura Purana. According tothe legend the Sapta Rishis (The Seven Sages) performed penance for seven crore (Saptakoti) years.
Due to the severe penance by the Sapta Rishis, Shiva was pleased and appeared before them and offered them a boon. The sages requested the Lord to make the island of Dipavati (Diwadi) his permanent abode. The Lingam is considered as important as that of Kedarnath and Goa is considered as Konkan-Kashi.

Mantap area – Photo by Mohan Pai

Though Saptakoteshwar is a Shaivite shrine, the Linga of Saptakoteshwar is considered not only the abode of Shiva but also of Vishnu, Brahma andBhairava. Both Hari and Hara are present in the Linga. Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated on a grand scale in this temple. Taking bath on this occasion in the river near the shrine is considered meritorius. The belief is that the river becomes Pancha Ganga on the Gokulashtami day. Even in the 16th century large crowd of devotees estimated to be over thirty thousand would assemble and bathe in the sacred waters.
Gauravas were probably associated with Saptakoteshwar temple during the Kadamba and Vijayanagara period. However, Saptakoteshwar also happens to be the family deity of Goud Sarsawats and Karhade Brahmins.

18
Apr
09

The Flight of Gods 9. Shri Ganapati Temple, Khandolem

The Flight of Gods

by Mohan Pai

 

Shri Ganapati Temple
Khandolem

 

Shri Ganapati of Khandolem is an ancient deity and like Shri Saptakoteshwara, had a turbulent and chequered history. The deity was worshipped during the Kadamba period and the temple was situated at Ela during the 13th century. The Muslim raid of the early 14th century saw its destruction and the idol was hidden. With the return of Hindu rule under Vijayanagar in 1378, the idol was installed in a new temple on a hilltop at Navelim on the island of Divar.

 

Shri Ganapati Temple – night view – Photo by Mohan Pai
But, a century later, the Muslims in the shape of Mahmud Gawan of the Bahamani kingdom, once again attacked Goa and Shri Ganapati temple at Navelim was certainly desecrated. The Portugese built a new church of Our Lady of Divar, at the site of the destroyed temple. This was one of the first churches to be built around1515 after the Portugese conquest of Goa.

 

Puja in progress – Photo by Mohan Pai

The deity went into hiding again and the idol was shifted to Khandepar and then to Narvem in Bicholim. This was long before the real wave of Portugese destruction began with the first law of 1541. Shri Ganapati was one of the fore-runners of the refugee deities and in fact it was to him, already established in Bicholim across the river, that the People of the island of Divar decided to appeal for guidance when in 1560, they were under tremendous pressure to convertto Christianity. The boatload of young men sent to Shri Ganapati for guidance were captured and imprisoned. As a result, parents and fellow villagers capitulated and agreed to become Christians, leading to one of the first mass baptism in Goa.
Around this time, the idol of Shri Ganapatiwas again shifted to Khandole in Ponda taluk which was in the Sonda king’s territory.

Palkhi at the temple – Photo by Mohan Pai

 

A new idol of black stone of Shri Ganapati was installed on January 31,1969 and the old idol has been preserved in the Garbhagraha itself. Puja in progress – Photo by Mohan Pai

 

The affiliate deities here are: Shri Shantadurga, Shri Gramapurush, Shri Purvachari, Shri Ravalnath, Shri Mahalaxmi, Shri Laxminarayan and Shri Suryanarayan. The main festivals celebrated at the temple are: Ramanavami, Anantvrata, Dussera and Tulasivivah.

Shantadurga Shrine – Photo by Mohan Pai

MY BLOG LIBRARY
For some of my articles visit:
http://mohanpaiblogger.blogspot.com/

http://mohanpaisarticles.blogspot.com/

http://biodiversity-mohanpai.blogspot.com/
http://delhigreens.com/2008/03/10/whither-the-wilderness/
For some key chapters from my book “The Western Ghats”, please log on to:
http://westernghats-paimohan.blogspot.com/
For detailed blog (6 Chapters) on Mahadayi/Mandovi River Valley, please log on to:
http://mohan-pai.blogspot.com/
For the book ‘The Elderly’ please log on to:
http://oldagecare-paimohan.blogspot.com/
You can also access my blogs on Sulekha:
http://mohanpai.sulekha.com/blog/posts/pageno-1.htm
http://mohanpai.wordpress.com/
17
Apr
09

The Flight of Gods 8. Kamakshi Temple, Shiroda, Goa

The Flight of Gods 
by Mohan Pai

Shri Kamakshi Temple
                            Shiroda

Away from the main concentration of temples, to the south of Ponda taluk in Shiroda is located the temple of Shri Kamakshi. She is a ‘migrant’ deity from Raia. Before the take-over of Salcete by the Jesuits, the temple at Raia was held in high esteem in the area. The idol was moved to Shiroda sometime between 1564 and 1568 AD.

At the time of the destruction of the temple in Raia by the Captain of Rachol, Diogo Rodrigues, it was a potter of the village who smuggled the idol of the deity across the river to safety. An event still acknowledged at Shiroda by a potter from Raia having the hereditary right to light the first lamp at the Kamakshi festival in Shiroda.


The potters of Raia also have the right to supply the clay lamps for the festival. The Linga of Shri Rayeshwar, the principal affiliate deity and the image of Shri Lakshminarayana also came from other temples in Raia.

Sahyadri Khand furnishes the description of the goddess Kamakshi of Goa. According to Kamakshi Mahatmya, the demon Mahishasura swallowed a Brahmin boy named Gunakar,the son of Agnimukha, while he was sent to
 collect the grass for the ritual puja. Though Agnimukha approached Hara and Hari, they advised him to approach Shri Kamakshi. Shri Kamakshi came to his aid and after a fierce battle killed Mahishasura. On Agnimukh’s plea the Goddeess took permanent abode in Raia.


There is another legend according to which a devotee of Ramnath from Lotulim went on a pilgrimage to Assam. He had a vision and found the idol of Kamakshi in a river there which he brought with him to Goa.

He had wrapped the idol in a piece of cloth and according to the belief the idol was supposed to be rested
on the ground only for final installation. On his return he first goes to his daughter’s house in Raia. He hangs the cloth bundle with the idol on a peg on the wall and goes for his bath with strict instructions to his daughter not to touch the parcel.

 The daughter could not contain her curiosity and brings down the heavy parcel and keeps it on the ground and opens it only to find the idol. The father returns after his bath and finds the idol on the ground and unable to shift it, in panic he rushes to the village elders of Raia and they decide to consecrate the deity at the same spot in Raia.

The Mantap – Photo by Mohan Pai

The image of Kamakshi which is actually worshipped at Shiroda is that of Mahishasuramardini. Hence, it is Mahushasuramardini who is worshipped as Kamakshi at Shiroda and is called Kamakshi because of her amorous eyes. Some scholars trace the origin of Kamakshi of Goa to Kamarupa. Sahyadri Khanda states that she came to Raia from Kavur located in Coimbatore district. 

Tirthasthan – Photograph by Mohan Pai

Jayakeshi I of the Goa Kadambas came into close contact with theTamil country and this probably resulted in his bringing the worshipof Kamakshi to Goa.


Shri Rayeshwar Shrine – Mantap – Photograph by Mohan Pai

The temple is situated in a picturesque locale amidst the hills. The temple has no domes but has a very unusual and distinctive main tower with a tiled roof and the concave profile of a Buddhist Pagoda, projecting beyond a two
storied octagonal tower. Low, decorative wrought-iron balconies run all around the tower on each floor and elephants kneel at the corners of the square on which the tower rests, while hooded Nagas rear from the projecting corners of the pagoda roof. Above all this soars a golden finial.


Vetal is Parivar or Panchayatan Devata at Shri Kamakshi Temple. There is a small shrine at the entrance of the mantap. Photo by Mohan Pai

Shri Rayeshwar -Photo by Mohan Pai

There is a separate small shrine to the main affiliate deities – Shri Rayeshwar, Shri Lakshminarayana and Shri
Shantadurga. Shri Vetal and Shri Kalbhairav, the other two affiliate deities are in the main shrine of Kamakshi at the entrance of the mantapa. The main festivals celebrated here are the Dussera, Gokulashtami, Mahashivaratri, the temple Zatra and Shigmo.




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