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Shri Manguesh Temple

This temple is situated at Priol, on a hillock surrounded by green hills. It is dedicated to Lord Mangueshi an incarnation of Lord Siva, which is recognised only in Goa. Lord Mangesh is worshipped here in the shape of a Shiva linga.The Sri Mangesh linga is stated to have been consecrated on the mountain of Mangireesh (Mongir) on the banks of river Bhagirati by Lord Brahma himself, from where the Saraswat Brahmins brought it to Trihotrapura in Bihar. They carried the Linga on to Gomantaka and settled at Mathagrama, the present day Madgoa, establishing their most sacred and ancient temple of Mangesh on the banks of the river Gomati or Zuari as it is called today. This location is to the south of the Zuari River where the present day village of Cortalim stands.

However, when the Portuguese took over in 1560 AD, the Saraswats of Vatsa Gotra felt insecure fort heir deity and shifted the Mangesh linga from the original site at the Kushasthali to Priol in Atrunja Taluka, which at that time was ruled by the Hindu kings of Sonde. After remaining in the houses of a temple priest for sometime, the Sri Mangesh deity was finally installed in its present site at Priol. It has undergone many renovations and today its style is uniquely Goan. The oldest part of the temple complex is the water tank in front of the temple.

At the entrance to the temple is a majestic lamp tower, one of the special architectural features of many Goan temples. The Mahajans of the Temple are of Vatsa and Kaundinya Gotras. There is a story in mythology about the manifestation of Lor Mangesh. Lord Siva left Kailas after having lost everything in a game of dice against his wife, Parvati. When Parvati came looking for him, he disguised himself as a tiger and frightened her. In a state of shock, Parvati uttered the words, "Trahi Mam Grisha", which when translated means, "O Lord of the Mountains, save me". Siva then reverted into his normal form and returned with her. The words, "Mam Grisha" came to be associated with this story and Siva came to be known as 'Manguesh'. The place where this tale occurred came to be called Mangreesh mountain and the location was marked Lord Brahma by installing a Siva Linga.

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 Mangueshi 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. 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.

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