by Mohan PaiDamodar Sal
MY BLOG LIBRARYFor some of my articles visit:
For some key chapters from my book "The Western Ghats", please log on to:http://westernghats-paimohan.blogspot.com/
For detailed blog (6 Chapters) on Mahadayi/Mandovi River Valley, please log on to:http://mohan-pai.blogspot.com/
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You can also access my blogs on Sulekha and Wordpress:For my book "The Flight of Gods - Hindu Temples & Shrines of Goa" please log on to:http://mohanpai.sulekha.com/blog/posts/pageno-1.htmhttp://flightofgods.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
The worship of Vitthala in Goa probably started during the latter part of the Goa Kadamba period. The stone inscription of 1284 AD from Vitthala temple at Pandharpur records the donation made by the Lad family of Goa. The ‘warkari’ tradition which was popular in Maharashtra was also practised in Goa.
Ranes of Sattari are the devotees of Vitthala.
The Mantap - photo by Mohan Pai
Reconstructed in 1942 A.D., the temple incorporated North Indian style of architecture. Though sanctum-sanctorium was left untouched and the main festivity at the temple was held during nine days preceding Chairtra Purnima.The Temple Complex - photo by Mohan Pai
Major attractions of Sri Vitthala Temple are an exquisitely carved wooden chariot symbolizing the chariot of Arjuna of Mahabharata which is driven by the Lord Krishna in the temple complex.Tulasi Vrindavan - photo by Mohan Pai
Shri Brahma Temple
Black basalt Brahma idol - photo by Mohan Pai
The temple is situated at a village called Brahma-Carambolim to distinguish it from CarambolimVillage near Old Goa, the original home of the deity. Brahma-Carambolim is located 7 km from Valpoi town in Sattari Taluk.
The stone sculpture of Brahma here is truly magnificent. Carved out of a single black basalt stone, it is one of the finest specimen of Kadamba art and is an ancient image still in worship. The sculpture has a beard on the central face. In his four hands he carries a ladle in his upper right hand, the book of Vedas in his upper left hand, Kamandalu in his lower left hand and chanting beads in his lower right hand which is in Varamudra posture.
Here again Brahma is a migrant deity, originally from the village with the same name - Carambolim that is located right next to Old Goa. The image was hurriedly carried away by its devotees. But where as most of the Gods saved in this way were installed nearby, just across the border, the Brahma image made a journey far to the east into the foothills of the Western Ghats.
There is no independent cult of Brahma, as according to Puranic version, Brahma was cursed by Shiva not to receive any worship and there are hardly any shrines to Brahma in India. Apart from Goa, there are two Brahma shrines in existence at Pushkar in Rajasthan and at Khajurao in Madhya Pradesh. In Goa, apart from Brahma-Carambolim where he is the main deity, he is also a Parivar Devata in Shri Bhagavati temple in Parse and Virnode temple in Pedne taluk and in Shri Shantadurga temple at Colomba in Sanguem taluk.
The Brahma worship in this region appears to have arrived during the period of early Chalukyas of Badami.The Shrine under renovation - photo by Mohan Pai
The temple at Brahma-Caramboli is a small plain building, hardly recognisable as a temple. The temple is under renovation and the sanctuary was in the midst of scaffolding when the author visited the temple in February, 2006. Regular pujas, however, are being conducted without interruption.
Vagheri Hills, Sahyadris - view from the Brahma Temple - photo Mohan Pai
Shri Chandreshwar-Bhutanath Temple
Shri Chandreshwar - Bhutanath temple is one of the oldest temple in Goa, its antiquity going back to nearly one thousand six hundred years during the reign of Bhoja rulers (4th & 5th century AD). Bhojas have made reference to the temple in their copper-plate inscriptions. According to the tradition, the Bhoja ruler, Chandravarma whose capital was in Chandrapur was a devotee of Chandreshwar.
The Temple Complex - photo by Mohan Pai
The temple is magnificently situated on the Chandranath Hill simply called as ‘Porvot’with wooded slopes. A rough , rock stairway leads upwards to reach the summit.
The Mantap - photo by Mohan Pai
While the earlier temple was constructed during the Bhoja period it was in dilapidated condition by 1100 AD and the Goa Kadambas once again rebuilt the main temple. The present structure of the temple of Chandreshwar was constructed in 1877 and that of Bhutanath in 1917 AD. Tulasi Vrindavan - photo by Mohan Pai
However, the architectural parts such as the ceiling, the lintel and the pillars of granite clearly indicate that the temple was built during the Kadamba period.Pillared Hall - photo Mohan Pai
Shri Chandreshwar is represented by Svayambhu Linga carved out of and part of the natural outcrop of rock, a mukhalinga with sculpted face. Water seeps from the Linga at the time of the full moon and the design of the temple allows the moon’s rays to fall on the sanctuary.‘Amrut Manthan’ mural on top of the main entrance to Chandreshwar temple - photo by Mohan Pai
The small shrine of Bhutanath is located on the left hand side adjacent to the main temple. There is no image of Bhutanath and he is represented by a meter high irregular, unsculpted natural stone. Bhutanath is one of the 64 Bhairavas. According to Sahyadri Khanda of Skanda Purana, Bhutanath didn’t want to be left on Kailas when Shiva changed his abode from Kailas to Chandranath Hill. So he prayed and requested Shiva to allow him to stay with him on Chandranath Hill.
Though this is a Shaivite Shrine, like Gokulashtami at Saptakoteshwar temple, Ramanavami (Shri Rama’s birthday) is celebrated at Chandreshwar-Bhutanath temple as an annual feast.