There are not many old temples in Goa. All the popular ones are newly constructed ones, the reason being most of the temples were razed down by Portuguese rulers and churches have come up in their place. The idols that were being worshiped in those temples have been carried away by the pujaris of the temple and new temples were constructed for them. One such temple is the Shri Mungeshi Temple.
Shri Mangeshi Temple of Pirol, Ponda Taluk of Goa is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Wiki mentions in the history section of this temple that: This temple had its origins in Kushasthali Cortalim, a village in Saxty (Salcette) which fell to the invading Portuguese in 1543. In the year 1560, when the Portuguese started Christian conversions in Salcete Taluka, the Saraswats of Vatsa Gotra moved the Mangesh Linga from the original site at the Kushasthali or Cortalim on the banks of river Aghanashini (Zuari) to its present location at Mangeshi in Priol village of Atrunja Taluka, which was then ruled by the Hindu kings of Sonde of Antruz Mahal (Ponda), to be more secure.
In 1739 this region too fell in the hands of Portuguese, but by then they had become more tolerant of other religions so they left this temple untouched.
The temple was established in Jan-Feb 1561 AD by its Kulavi devotees. The temple was renovated by their descendants in 1744, 1890 and 1973. A modestly sized temple, the hall has seating for 500 devotees at a time. Various rituals are done through out the day. We were not allowed to take pics of interiors, but one purohit was kind to take us around the small shrines in the complex and recited mantras (prayers) for us.
As we drove onwards towards Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu from Bangalore, I sighted this fort, fort Thirumayam, from a distance. Very majestically located on a hillock, Thirumayam Fort can easily lure a traveler/tourist to wander within its walls. From the feedback that I gathered on this fort I knew it was doable in two hours. So, on a sunny after noon we scheduled our trip to the fort. It was definitely worth the time and effort.
The local king of Ramanathapuram, Sethupati Vijaya Raghunatha Tevan built this fort on and around the rock at Thirumayam in the year 1687. Later the fort was handed over to his brother in law Raghunatha Raya Tondaiman. Originally it was constructed as “ring fort” with 7 concentric walls, of them only 4 stands strong today. There are several temples around the fort dedicated to different Gods and Goddesses, prayers had to be offered for victory in wars.
On the top of the hillock is a bastion with cannon of British origin. There are 6 more cannons mounted on north, south and east gates.
A legend associated with the fort is: after the defeat in Poligar War in 1799, Veerapandiya Kattabomman (mind blowing names) and his brother Oomadurai were imprisoned by the British. It is said Oomadurai after his escape from Palayamkottai prison hid himself at Tirumayam Fort. He fought the British from here. The fort is also called Umaiyan Fort.
To come back from Goa without a piece of Mario’s cartoon work is like coming back home empty handed. Mario’s art woks are not paintings or drawings; they fall under the category of illustrations. Using just black and white, Mario has churned out numerous illustrations that depict Goan life. He has very successfully placed this tiny little state of India firmly in every traveler’s and tourist’s dream.
Wiki mentions: right from the tender age of six he showed his inclinations towards drawing, the walls of his home were his first canvas. He pursued his passion more than his studies. His early works appeared in Illustrated Weekly of India, a weekly magazine of India. Soon he was offered work in several other reputed magazines of India. A scholarship for travel and a year’s stay in Portugal helped him broaden his horizon.
Later he traveled abroad to several countries and the memories he brought back were sketched accurately in a very humorous style. His works have been compiled into books like Goa with Love, A little World of Humor, Sketch book, Germany in Wintertime, Impression of Paris and Mario de Miranda. You can see more his work in this site: Mario Miranda.
His art work can be now brought back home in the form of a piece of cutlery or a framed wall hanging or a T-shirt and numerous other options. I have made five trips to Goa till date and each time I keep bringing back some souvenir or the other and still feel my collection isn’t enough.
He got a series of awards from not only Government of India but also from the heads of several other countries.
Padma Shri in 1988,
Padma Bhushan in 2002
Life Time Achievement Award from All India Cartoonists's Association, Bangalore
Highest civilian honor of "Cross of the Order of Isabel the Catholic" from the King of Spain, Juan Carlos, in 11 Nov. 2009
"Commander of the Order of Prince Henry", a Portuguese National Order of knighthood from Portugal, under the President of the Republic Aníbal António Cavaco Silva in Dec 2009.
He passed away on 11th Dec 2011. It will be his third death anniversary this Thursday!