Monday, June 14, 2010

Mahalasa Narayani temple- Goa

There are many kuladevata temples in Goa, set up by Saraswats who originally lived on the banks of river Saraswathi. Kuldevatas are family deities or deities belonging to each Gotra, among the same community . During the Portuguese rule many Saraswaths migrated from Goa. They were worshippers of Siva and Sakthi. When they fled they carried their family deities with them and set them up wherever they established their settlements but the main temples remained in Goa itself. Many travelled down South and were confused regarding the worship and rituals. The great Guru Madhwacharya guided them well and they started worshipping Vishnu and later the temples in Goa were forgotten or neglected.

But now they visit these kuldevata temples to seek the blessings of the deities which were worshipped for ages by their ancestors. This is a small introduction about the kuldevata temples.

I do not know the legend surrounding each temple. I enjoyed the beauty and architecture of each temple which was unique and cleanliness in each temple was beyond comparison. A common thing I found was, these temple do a have a huge structure - a deepa sthambha of a different kind compared to the ones we see in South Indian temples. They appear more like minarets which are illuminated in the evenings, a sight to behold. Each temple also has sparkling and dazzling chandeliers which give brilliant glow all round.The well lit temples, cleanliness and purity certainly refreshes and brings peace to mind.

The first temple I visited
Mahahlasa Narayani temple- This temple is in Mardol, Goa and the temple looked grand with beautifully carved wooden pillars with intricate patterns and silver doors. There is another shrine devoted to Lakshmi Narayana here and devotees offer worship to this deity first before entering the main temple of Mahalasanarayani. This goddess is the reincarnation of Vishnu and is feared by the devotees and people used to take oath here under the 'Justice bell'. Justice dispensed by taking oath under this bell was even recognised by Portuguese courts.

How to reach: Nearest railway station is Madagaon and the airport Dabolim which is about 35 kms.
Good hotels are available in Panaji, Vasco, Madgaon and Ponda.
Each temple also has accommodation facilities, however this is generally made available for the people of the Saraswath community.

Here are the pictures


  1. I have plans to visit Goa. Maybe this year And then all such locations/temples will be visited for sure to know what the History is.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Beautiful pictures. The architecture looks different.

  3. I have never been to Goa. Never heard of this temple. Very useful information.

  4. Well, If I truly say I didn't feel that attractiveness which were in you previous captured images (in older posts).... But architectural work is nicely don in this buildings...

  5. Whenever we read a travelogue about Goa, it is always the beach and/or portugese architecture. Nice to hear a different travelogue and that too on temples.

    Beautiful temples. I am used to many Tamilnadu temples and some Kerala temples. This one in Goa is different and pleasing to look at.

  6. nice one! i didnt visit this temple while in goa, but it fits my idea of goan temples - peaceful, serene, clean and beautiful!

  7. Thanks Hobo,for the comment. you would love Goa.

  8. Mridula
    he architecture is entirely different from what i have seen earlier though the buildings bear lot of similarity with kerala.

  9. Nithu
    Thanks for the visit and comment.

  10. SKM
    There is nothing to compare at all . all temples here look different but neat and clean unlike many temples I have seen earlier.

  11. SG
    Very happy to know that you liked my post. you will see some more.I am yet to display your award. Shall do it soon.

  12. Anu
    Thanks for the comment. I really loved visiting these temples. Really great experience.

  13. I can just see all those people fleeing, deities clutched to them.

    Good to have you back, as always I've enjoyed my visit.

  14. hi superb post ya...and was gr8 talking to u while in chennai....sad v all could not catch up..maybe next time..cheers and wishes alwys

  15. Thanks PW ,
    was waiting for you. I am sure you'll enjoy the rest of my pilgrimage too.

  16. beautiful pics
    thanks for sharing history

  17. Hi Chitra,
    I have been to Goa many times and have visited many places there - some of them off the usual tourist network, but never visited this temple.

    The Goa temples were mostly destroyed during Portuguese rule and were rebuilt. So we have few specimens of ancient Goan temple architecture left now. The rebuilt versions show a blend of Hindu, Muslim and Portuguese architecture. That's why Goan temples look different. This temple is a fine example of a blended Goan architecture. Your photographs show it is well maintained.

    Thanks for this post.

  18. Dear Chitra,
    Good Afternoon!
    Amchi Goa!:)
    Temples are really beautiful in Goa and people are so religious!Ponda is known as the town of TEMPLES-more than sixty temples!
    Many more temples yet to see!
    Your descriptions are beautiful!And pictures are amazing!
    Waiting for the forthcoming posts on Goan Temples,

  19. Its my first visit to your blog.. and I guess you are the first person I know who has written about temple in Goa. I really appreciate that. I have friends who are never tired of boasting of Goa's beaches, night life and many more things but hats off to you who shared information on temple in Goa. Quite liked it :)

  20. Chitra temple looks beautiful dear nice architecture,,never been to Goa dear sure will visit this temple in soon dear.

  21. Ramesh
    I also felt v.happy talking to you. Let our friendship grow...we'll nurture it and yes , one day we would meet.

  22. Archana
    When I write a post , i learn a lotfrom you may be you have done lot of research in these subjects. thanks for sharing the info.

  23. Anu
    I understand there are many temples in Ponda and we coulld spend only 4 days in Goa. But i am happy about what ever i have seen. may be if you find time you can visit each and every one.

  24. Vineetasdiary
    Welcome to my blog and happy you are appreciating my efforts .When you find time come and visit my blog.

  25. hi its a great post on Goan temple... hope u hav seen Mangeshi temple (Lata mangeshkar's family temple) and shantadurga temple dere.

    P.S One correction it is DaboliM

    Keep writting


  26. I had a different idea of Goa, although I have visited couple of times. The info you had given is quite interesting. May be i visit these temples next time i am in Goa!

  27. came back again to see the pics

  28. U brought back my memoriess priya, I absolutely adore to visiting all the temples in Goa.

  29. Sathya
    thanks for the comment,

  30. DuDo
    Welcome and thanks for the comment. I am happy you could give the correction also. Shall change it soon.
    I did visit the Mangeshi as well as Shanta durga temple and some more. We stayed very near to s.durga temple and could visit it many times. Do keep visiting . shall visit yours too.

  31. Gopalan
    thanks for the comment. I am sure you can capture it from new and different angles.

  32. Sushma
    Thanks for the comment.

  33. Okies..Glimpses from your Goa tour!!
    nice nice

    I loved all the pics..I meant..its the way to take pics of buildings..

  34. Chitra,

    Nice pics as usual. I didnt visit this temple while in Goa. For that matter, didnt visit any temples at were only churches

  35. Have been to this temple & loved the sthambhas. And yes, as you mentioned they were so well maintained !!! :-)There is another temple very close to this one that I'd been to. Don't remember the name or deity though:(

  36. Sorci,
    thanks for appreciation.

  37. Insignia,
    I remember your trip to Goa.We visited more temples and only 2 churches. Even 4 days is insufficient to cover all the important monuments

  38. lostworld
    Temples in Goa aredifferent is it no?neat and clean too.I have visited some temples,may be you would see the one you saw among them.

  39. I'm sorry that I have been away, my loyal friend. As always, I am in love with what I see. I love the brightly colored flowers around the ebony colored statue. The contrast makes it all the more striking.

  40. Thank you Traci
    happy that you are finding time to read my posts.

  41. Beautiful temple. Someone has to work extra hard with all the visitors to keep it so immaculate. I have missed my visits, I like you took a trip, not to anything so old an impressive as this but never the less, it was refreshing to get away.
    Thank you for explaining and sharing.

  42. Thanks hummer
    Like to see your comments. I really enjoyed my trip.

  43. Thanks Chitra for dropping by my blog :) I am your follower.. I guess you need to add me in your blogroll.. wordpress doesnt hv any feature like follower but i use google reader to follow blogs.. its very good tool :) hope to see u around :)

  44. Beautiful pictures..
    Hope to travel to more of these wonderful temples along with you!

  45. Arti
    Thanks Arti. We will travel together. I want to learn so much from your travels too.

  46. Hello, The photo you have posted with so many elephants is not authentic one of any Goan temples. This is purely a Kerala phenomenon and accounts for an attractive factual mis-represantation, to attarct tourists. I am sorry. The temple of Sri Mahalasa Narayani at Mardol is extemely sacred to us as our Kuladevata and I strongly object to its being commercialized in this fashion.

  47. Mr. Yeshwant Pai
    Please do understand there is no commercial intent on "My Pilgrimage". All posts under this blog are based on the temples I have visited, enjoyed and got blessed. I wanted to share this feeling with all my readers.
    I am from Kerala ,a GSB and Mahalasa Narayani is Kuladevata of my parents too. I also worship Mother Goddess right from my childhood.

    I was also surprised to see your comment mentioning elephants in the photos of the said temple and in fact I started searching for them. I think you are meaning about the banner of my template. That is a common one for every post which is like a heading to " My Pilgrimage'. You may click other posts and see the elephants would be still there. I hope you understand the picture now.

    If somebody reads my blog and happens to visit these temples which I write about I feel doubly happy as they would also get the same benefits which I enjoy. This world is an abundant world we should be willing to share with out any expectation which is what I do in my own small way. Keep visiting .God bless you.
    Check all the slide show Of the temple given separately under Mahalasa Narayanii post.

  48. chitra when you visit goa next do visit the MAHALASA temple at VERNA or as the place is known OLD MARDOL. you will love the place and its surroundings.

  49. Bakula,
    Thank you so much for the input. I would certainly do so.Haven't heard though.Is there another temple of Mahalasa Narayani there?. Do you have any further inputs to give me. would love to go there.

  50. The temple of Mahalsa Naryani was originally at Dicholim, and then Verna, From where it was demolished during the portuguese aquisition of Goa. The idol and temple was shifted to Mardol, after the local deity Kamakshi(santeri) gave permission. The place was Mahardhol and with time is called mardol. The idol is of shalagram shila and has no carving above the neck as desired by Our Mahalasa, The detailed story can be read in the Mahalasa Charitra available at the Temple. She is a Very jagrut deity with a combination of the Purusha and prakriti, narayan and narayani or shiva and shakti, and she has the 64 yoginis residing in her and all the kalas of the Moon.
    She is worshipped as a young girl in the morning, as a maiden in the afternoon and as a woman in the evenings.
    Shree Mahalasayai Namah. May her grace protect all.

  51. Anonymous,
    Thanks for the beautiful explanation.
    These information may help many. Many times when I visit temples I try to ask or get information about the temple or deity Sometimes I return with no information at all. Our trips also happen at lightening speed. But what ever I can I am bringing through my blogs. Additional inputs are alwaya welcoem.
    Jai Mahalasa Narayani.

  52. nice cool spiretual expireance to stay at tample shree Mahalsa kuldevi of our Talwalkar family we must visit yrly .

  53. nice cool spiretual expireance to stay at tample shree Mahalsa kuldevi of our Talwalkar family we must visit yrly .

  54. There are many specialties related to this Temple as mentioned in the comments n information provided on website. In our earlier visit, we had been at this temple on Lakshmi Poojan day in Diwali.

    I would like to add another rarely observed tradition in this temple. At the entrance, there is a multy storied DEEP_STAMBH i.e. Lamp Tower, with brass coating. On Laksmhi Poojan day, Deepstambha glows with the oil lamps from top to bottom of it!! Hats off to one who lights up all the lamps one by one in shortest possible time. This is certainly a special experience!!!

    Also try to visit SAPTA_KOTESHWAR TEMPLE, re-built by Chatrapti Shivaji Maharaj after conquering this area from Portuguese in 1664-68.

    Jitendra Joshi,Pune

  55. Thanks Jithendra
    That muti-tiered deepasthambha is their among the photos I have displayed. Happy that you could some information here.

    Mahalasa Narayani is Kuladevta from my father's side and we do have a shrine of same deity in my home town Kochi.

  56. This temple is very beautiful. I remember, as a child, I used to stay in our kuldaivat Mangeshi temple and go out for long walks till the Mahalasa temple in the evening. The benefits were lots of fresh air and a whetted appetite after these long walks. It was a wonderful experience. We used to buy 'khaje' (a sweet made of ginger, jaggery and besan) from the vendors outside the temple gate. The highlight of this temple is the huge metallic 'deepmaal'... towering lamps! Sometimes we used to eat the naivedyam dinner there too :)

  57. Hi Chitra,
    I really loved the way you have covered all these temples. As a kid, I always used to wonder why my parents come to Goa every year and still prefer to stay in the temple rather than enjoy the sun and sand of the beaches. Now that my kuldaivat has changed post marriage and I haven't visited Mangeshi for a long, long time, I yearn for that atmosphere... I know why they loved the temple so much.
    After browsing through your award-winning blog, I realised that you've concentrated mostly on temples down south — Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu to be precise. Except for Pandharpur, you haven't explored Maharashtra that much. I suggest that you take time out and concentrate on the Deccan and Konkan regions of this state. You'll fall in love all over again. I can suggest some temples to you, if you're interested. Right now, I can rattle off a few names like Shree Vyadeshwar in Guhagar, Ganpatipule in Ratnagiri, Kunkeshwar in Sindhudurg district, the Ashtavinayak yatra, Swami Samartha Mutt Akkalkot and Ganagapur, Shirdi, Jotiba and Ambabai in Kolhapur, Tulja Bhavani in Tuljapur, and many many more :)

  58. Thanks Durgs for the input. Shall get back to you once I plan my trip that side.


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