Nageshi Temple, Ponda, Goa.
Shri Nagesh Temple is a "Swayambhu" shrine of Lord Shankar known for its miraculous myths. The history is not available at present, except a reference in the folk songs. The environs known as Nagzar had in the past a grove of Shami trees. As the legend goes a cow-boy noticed that a cow from his herd used to visit the place regularly and showered milk. This led to the discovery of Shivlinga. A distinctive feature of Devasthan is that it was unaffected by the religious persecution of Portuguese rulers in the 16th Century. This was because at that time Antruj of Ponda Mahal was not under the domain of the Portuguese power and this facilitated the transits of Saraswat deities Shri Nagesh, Shantadurga, Ganapati etc. to Antruz & Bhatagram (Dicholi). In the compound of the Devastan, there is an inscription, which is an undisputed document about the antiquity of this temple. It relates to a gift of Lands named after 'Vedakhandikechem Kulagar', 'Nagzri Mallo, paddy field & 'Ruvo Kulagar' in favour of the deities of Shri Nagesh & Shri Mahalaxmi for sevas on Kartik Poornima by Shri Mayeen Shenvi Wagle, an officer of the kingdom, in the year 1413 A.D. or 1335 Saka, during the rule of King Veer Pratap Devaraya of Vijay Nagar. At that time, Shri Nanjan Gosavi was the Governor of Goa. In those days the deity was known as Nagnath, as stated in a copper plate, bearing the year 1229 Saka, found in Savai Verem. One stone idol of Uma - Mahesh & one of Ganesh have been found in the compound of the temple. From the style of the sculpture the Archaeologists are of the opinion that they belong to the Seventh and Eighth century respectively. Therefore, it is beyond doubt that the temple existed here even before the Seventh Century.
This is an ancient Kuladevata temple of GSBs belonging to Kaushik Gotra (Surnames: Nayak, Shanbhag, Shenai, Rao, Kelkar etc), Vatsa Gotra (Surnames: Pai, Kamat, Kamath, Shenvi, Mallya, Kaikini, Asgekar etc.) and Bharadwaj Gotra (Prabhu). In addition the families of Dhempo and Gharse are also worshippers.
Shri Saunsthan Nagesh Maharudra, Bandivade - Ponda, Goa – 403401, India. Telephone: +91 832 2335039 Email: email@example.com