Sunday, December 22, 2013

Shiroda Shri Kamakshi Temple

Shri Kamakshi temple located at Shiroda was built in the late 16th century. The other shrines in the temple complex are that of Shree Shantadurga, Shree Laxmi Narayana and Shree Rayeshwar. Boarding and Lodging for the pilgrims are provided by the temple authorities. The temple has recently banned entry of foreigners into the temple citing objectionable dressing and conduct as the reason

This temple was originally located at Raia in Salcette and was moved to its present location in 1564-1568,because as a part of Goa Inquisition the Portuguese demolished almost all the Hindu shrines..The antiquity of the original temple is unknown. The new temple is located at Shiroda. There are other temples for Kamakshi in Goa is the one at Ramnathi.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tulsi Vrindavan | Goan Hindu Architecture

A visit to most Hindu houses in goa will lead you to see a Tulsi Vrindavan setup at the main entrance or in the rajangan of the house. In the early days Tulsi Vrindavan was made of terracotta and later of mud but today these are beign built of cement. Designs however have remained almost the same and traditional designs have been maintained including the use of bright colours.
Tulsi Vrindavan
Tulsi or tulas is the basil plant (ocimum sanctum) sacred to all Hindus and is grown in homes and temples. Tulsi is sacred to Vishnu or to his consort Lakshmi, and is worshiped as a deity. Many regard it as a metamorphosis of Sita, wife of Rama; others identify this plant with Rukmini, wife of Krishna, while still others hold it as an embodiment of all deities together. Tulsi Lagna or Tulshi Vivah marks the end of Diwali. Called “Vhadli Diwali” in Goa it is one of the most important festivals of the state. No marriage ceremony will be held among Goan Hindus before Tulsi Lagna as it does not enjoy religious sanction.

Most of the big houses have a courtyard called as Rajangan with a Tulasi Vrindavan in the middle. The Rajangan or just Angan was a large space with internal court open to the sky; roofs from all sides of the house drained into it.

This makes the installation of a Tulsi Vrindavan in a hindu house ever more important as this is where Tulsi Lagna is celebrated. Also most other sacred practices and relogious functions also require that the Tulsi leaves from the houses Tulsi Vrindavan are offered to the Goa


Friday, December 13, 2013

Aravalem Caves

Any Goa tour should not be complete without a visit to what we are going to cover next. Bicholim Taluka is a treasure trove of historical places and temples in goa , some of which are rarely visited by tourists as these are at a relative long distance from the regular tourist circuit.

One of the best examples are the Arvalem Caves or the “Pandava Caves”which are a set of 5 caves cut into the rock face dating back to the 6th century. As legend has it these caves were used to take refuge during their exile.The presence of 5 chambers and shivlingas provides relevance to this fact.

The caves are also claimed to be of Buddhist origin due to presence of a Buddha statue nearby. The caves are simple and cut by hand. Steel bars have been added much later to prevent dogs and other animals from taking refuge in these caves. The presence of the famous Rudreshwar temple and a waterfall in its vicinity, makes this place a must visit in Goa.

Description of the caves as per Archaeological Survey of India