|Walkway leading to Mangueshi Temple|
The idols remained in Kushasthal (Kuthal in Goa) until the 16th Century where religious persecution from the Portuguese rulers led to the idols being shifted to Priol. In 1739 the Marathas captured what is now Ponda Taluka and helped setup a proper wooden structure there where the final temple was erected sometime in 1744.
|Gateway leading to Mangueshi|
One enters the temple thru a gateway on the old Ponda to Panjim Road. A by-bypass road was built some while back to reduce congestion on the older road hence visitors need to get off the new road and go towards Mardol. The main gateway is located on the right as you move towards Panjim.
This gateway leads via a paved path to a water tank. The water tank is believed to be one of the oldest in Goa. One needs to climb a flight of stairs or walk up twin ramps leading to an arch in a central gate tower in the front wall which has the Noubatkhana on the first floor, to reach the main temple and associated structures.
The Mangueshi Temple Courtyard
As soon as you enter you see the Noubatkhana which overlooks the temple tank. This is normally used by musicians to play different types of musical instruments during the different festivals. Beyond this stands the seven-storey, gleaming white Deepstambha ' where oil lamps are placed during festivals. Near the lamp tower is the tulsi vrindavan colourfully decorated with tiles. The main temple itself is located on a raised Plinth.
There are 'Agrashalas' on three sides of the main Mangueshi Temple. Agarshalas are buildings with rooms for pilgrims, administrative offices and halls for marriage or thread ceremonies. The annual Mangueshi Zatra and the Khojagiri Pornima held here bring together GSB devotees from different regions in India and these Agarshalas provide space for pilgrims to rest.
The Temple from Inside
The floor of the Shri Mangueshi Temple is paved with marble. The mandapa is divided by two rows of four huge round columns beyond the octagonal entrance hall. The ceiling is decorated in definite geometrical pattern clustered with impressive chandeliers and lamps of varied designs.The inner sanctum houses a Shiva Lingam, a golden 'Shesha' and an image of Shiva which constitute the main altar.
Around the main temple there are other shrines dedicated to different incarnations of Lord Shiva and other deities. The temples include
- Within the temple are two temples dedicated to Lord Ganesh and Goddess Parvati
- Temple dedicated to Lord Bhairava which is located just outside the main temple. The idol is made of black basalt. The idol incorporates the trident, sword, kettle drum and Bhramas head in each of the idols hands
- Temple dedicated to Lord Mulkeshwar (associated with Multo, the God of the Kundbis) who got the lords idol to Priol in the 16th Century
- A temple to Shanteri, the village Goddess of Peace is also found besides the ancient water tank outside the courtyard.
- Besides these, there are temples dedicated to Lord Ganesh and Devi Bhagwati, the most important members of the family deity.
|panoramic view of Mangeshi temple|