Located about 21 kilometers from the capital city of Panaji at Ponda Taluka, Shri Mangueshi Temple Goa is dedicated to Lord Mangueshi, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The place, where the temple is nestled, is known as Priol. The Mangueshi temple or the Mangeshi Devasthan is perhaps the most famous temple in Goa and Lord Shiva is known as Lord Mangueshi only in this region.
The mandir is associated with a significant history that dates back to the time of the Portuguese invasion. During that time this ancient temple was located in the village of Kushastali on the south bank of the River Zuari. After the Portuguese conquests, the village was named as Cortalim. In 1567, the Portuguese invaders destroyed a number of Hindu temples in Goa. To avoid this fate, the villagers shifted the deity in the middle of the night to the present location at Priol which was under the control of Adil Shah. Since then the temple is nestled in its present location.
Mangeshi Mandir Goa also has great mythological significance. It is said that Lord Shiva had once lost a game of dice to his wife Parvati. Being very upset he left Kailash and reached this place and also Goddess Parvati followed him to this place. Lord Shiva tried to prank Goddess Parvati in the disguise of a tiger and frighten her. Goddess Parvati got afraid at this and started praying with the words 'Trahi Mam Grisha', which means “O Lord of the Mountains, save me”. Upon hearing her plea Shiva came back to his usual look and returned to Kailash with Goddess Parvati.
The beautiful architecture of the temple is based on a combination of Hindu, Christian and Muslim styles. During the annual Yatra or parade that is conducted in January, the temple is illuminated by magnificent lights. The deity is placed in a palanquin and paraded in huge chariots during the festival which is attended by thousands of devotees.
The 450-year-old Shri Mangeshi temple in Goa is famous for its simple and yet superbly elegant structure. The main temple contains a number of domes and pilasters. You can see the statue of Nandi bull known as the vehicle of Lord Shiva inside the temple complex. Also, besides the deity, there is a vast lamp tower or Deepstambha. There is a magnificent water tank inside the temple which is believed to be the oldest part of the temple.
There is a spacious and decorated hall known as Sabha Griha where 500 people can sit at a time. Some 19th-century Chandeliers the increase the beauty of the hall. From the center of the hall, you can go to the Garbha Griha where the idol of Mangesh is placed.
Like most temples in India, at Mangueshi Temple Goa, various kinds ofpuja and aartiare offered to the deity every day. The morning starts with Shodshopchar pujas, like Abhisheka, Laghurudra, and Maharudra. This is followed by Maha-Aarti at noon and Panchopchar pooja is performed at night.
On every Monday, before the evening Aarti, the idol of Manguesh is placed on a Palakhi and taken out for a procession. The procession is accompanied by loud but melodic music.
The annual festivals celebrated in the temple include Diwali, Rama Navami, Dussera, Navaratri, Akshaya Tritiya, Magha Poornima Festival (Jatrotsav), Anant Vritotsava, and Mahashivratri. The cebration of Magha Poornima Festival begins on Magha Shukla Saptami and ends on Magha Poornima.
Mangeshi temple timings are very convenient and you can visit the temple anytime between 10 AM to 6 PM. People usually visit the temple at the time of Aarti to witness the auspicious event.