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Home     Goa Guide     Shri Chandranath Temple

Shri Chandranath Temple

It is situated on the top of 350 metres high hill of Chandranath,Paroda, Quepem. Chandreshwar was the titular deity of Bhoja kings who ruled South Goa before the Christian till the middle of 8th century. They had named their capital Chandrapur alter the deity.

Shivalinga is carved out from the rock which oozes whenever rays of full moon fall on it. The temple is so designed that Linga receives moonlight on every full moon. The temple commands a panoramic view and its surroundings are enchanting. The temple's ancient chariot is well known for its wood carvings.

In the southeastern corner of Salcete taluka, a semicircular ride of hills blister out of the coastal plain, cloaked with deep green forest and crowned by a solitary temple spire. The cream-and red-painted Shri Chandeshwar (or Bhutnath) temple at Parvath, 12 K.M southeast of Margao on the main Quepem road, sits on the top of Chandranath Hill with spellbinding views from its 370 metre summit. Increasingly grandiose glimpses of the Goan hinterland were revealed through the cashew trees, while the boulder-strewn clearing at the top affords a sweeping vista of sand-fringed toddi forest, sprinkled with all village. This panorama is at its most serene around dusk, when the sun sinks into the sea behind a haze of wood-smoke, produced by the cooking fires below on the plain.

According to an ancient Sanskrit inscription, a temple has stood on this magical spot for nearly 2500 years. However, the present building, dedicated to Shiva, is comparatively modern, dating from the late 1600s. The only part of the shrine that is definitely a vestige of the Vedic age is its cavernous inner sanctum, hollowed from a hug back bolder, around which the site's seventeenth-century custodians erected a typically Goan-style structure, capped with a red-tile room and domed sanctuary tower.

Chandranath Hill peters out at a small car park just below Parvath, from where a long flight of steps fashioned from discarded slabs of twelfth-century building leads steeply up to the temple. Pilgrims arrive the main entrance for darshan, or the ritual viewing of the God. A wild-eyed golden Chandreshwar deity, Shiva as "Lord of Moon", stares out from an ornately decorated sanctum, wrapped in brocaded silk.

His accessory deities, or pariwar devtas-medieval images of Shiva's consort and son, Parvathi and elephant-headed Ganesh respectively, sculpted in stone - are housed in small niches to rear of the shrine. This circumambulatory passage, which has to be walked around in clockwise direction, hugs the base of the boulder that forms the temple's heart A small Nandi Bull lies among the from which the view west out to sea and south across the Assolna estuary to the Cabo Da Rama headland.

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