Sri Manguesh temple at Mangueshi in Ponda
Taluka, the most prominent among temples, is situated along the National
Highway-4A about 23-km from Panaji. This
temple is famous for its pristine glory, which attracts thousands of
visitors every year and is gifted by the Welcome Gate, an elegant lamp
tower, a "Noubatkhana" overlooking the temple tank and the "Agrashalas"
on three sides.
Although the Sri Manguesh temple originally stood in a secret location in Cortalim, and was moved to its present site between Mardol and Priol during the 16th century, the structure visitors see today dates from the 1700s.
Within The Temple Enclosure
A gateway at the roadside leads to a paved path and courtyard that leads to a water tank, overlooked by the white temple building, raised on a plinth. Also in the courtyard is a seven-storey 'Deepmal', a tower for oil lamps. Inside, the floor is paved with marble, and bands of decorative tiles emblazon the white walls. Flanked by large 'Dvarpala' guardians, embossed silver doorways with florite designs lead to the sanctum, which houses a Shiva Lingam.
A golden "Shesha" besides the Linga and an image of Shiva constitute the main altar. Lore has it that Parvati, the heavenly consort of Lord Shiva came to Goa in search of her spouse who had disappeared from Kailasa following an altercation between them. The Lord tried to frighten her by appearing in the form of a tiger. Parvati beseeched Shiva to protect her in these terms. Trahi Mam Girisha (protect me the Lord of mountains). "Mam Girisha" subsequently became "Mangirisha" or "Manguesh".
The temple is small yet grand with all the component of a Hindu temple, like the Prakara, mini shrines, Garbha Griha, grand towers and spacious courtyards. The entire complex, due to outlandish impact looks like a Gurdwara or palatial mansion, but when entering the complex, one finds our Hindu traditional gods and their accommodation according to Shastric injunctions. Devout worship is offered to this deity by its citizens and tourists as well. Festivals and periodical devotional activities are conducted with great zeal commendable.