The Nagesh temple is a small but tidy structure. A visitor feels delighted on his entering the temple. In the "Garbhagara" the Linga is standing with its pedestal, under the dome shaped roofing. Around the "Garbhagara" there is the space for "Pradakshana". Then comes the bedroom with bed-stead. Facing it is the spacious square built to marble tiles. On the Southern and Northern sides the idols (in seated position) of Shri Laxminarayan and Shri Ganapati are installed. The temple is facing to the west and in front of it is the tank. The tank water is ever flowing and is very clean. The tank is so beautiful that it is considered to be the best among the tanks of all the temples. It is, therefore, well known all over Gomantaka and is considered to be a distinctive feature of this temple. There is a proverb in Gomantak giving the distinctive features of some of the temples which are : "Pillar of Shri Mangesh", Dome of Shri Shantadurga", "Tank of Shri Nagesh", "Suqare of shri Mahalaxmi", "Sthal (spot) of shri Mahalasa" and "Gana of shri kamakshi". This proverb has thus become popular.n Fonde
This temple was rebuilt in 1702 Saka (1780 A.D.) by one Shri Wadiye from Kumbarjuvem, on behalf of the two widows (mother-in-law and daughter-in-law) hailing from the family of shri narayan Fonde Kamat Kumbarjuvemkar. A mention of this work is found as follows : "Shri Nagesh temple was a small one in the past. It was rebuilt by Shrimati Savitri Kamatin, widow of Shri Naraya Fonde Kamat Kumbarjuvemkar, at her own cost. Then opening ceremony of the new construction took place of "Falgun Shudha Tritiya, Shri Shake 1702, Sharvari Sanvatsare".
Period of Shri Nagesh temple
Some Saraswat families belonging to koushik, vatsa and
bharadwaj gotras are the devotees of this shivling which is
considered as their family deity. A distinctive feature of this
devasthan is that it was unaffected by the religious persecution
of the portuguese rulers in the sixteenth century. As such its
sanctity remained unaffected. This was because at that time
Antruj or ponda mahal was not under the domain of Portuguese
power and this facilitated the transit of Saraswat deities -
Shri Mangesh, Shantadurga, Ramnath, Mahalasa, Saptakotiswar,
Ganpati, etc to Antruj and Bhatagram (Dicholi).
In the compound of the Devasthan, there is an inscription which is a undisputed document about the antiquity of this temple. It relates to a gift of lands named after 'Vedakhandikechem Kulagar', Nagzari Mallo, paddy-field and 'Ruvo Kulagar' in favour of the deities of Shri Mayeen Shenvi Wagle, an officer of the kingdom, in the year 1413 A.D. or 1335 Saka, during the rule of the king Veer Pratap Devaraya, of Vijayanagar Empire, At that time, Shri Nanjan Gosavi was the governor of Goa. The purpose of this gift was to perform certain cults and offer certain goods to the deities concerned every year, on the auspicious day of Kartik Pournima, out of the rent of those lands. (vide Appendix I).
In those times, this deity was being known as 'Nag-nath'. It was a custom of XII century or even before, to add the suffix 'Nath' to the names of deities. Here are some of the example : Manganath (Manguesh), Kapilnath (Kapileshwar), Gananath (Ganapati), Saptanath (Saptakotishwar), Govenath (Goveshwar), etc. In a copper plate found at Savai-verem, similar names have been mentioned. This plate relates to Timma Mantri and is concerned with a dispute between the goldsmiths and the vaishyas (vanis), in the year of 1221 saka. At the end of this plate, the oath of the following deities have been taken: Shri Govenath of Goa, Shri Spatanath of Narvem, Shri Kapileshwar of Kavlem, Shri Naganath of Bandiwadgram (Bandivadem) and shri Gananath of katigram (Khandepar). This is an evidence of the prominence which this deity was enjoying in the XIII century. (Vide Goenkaranchi Goembhaili Vasnuk by Shri Wamanrao Warde Walaulikar, Pg. 84). Moreover, this copper plate is a clear proof of the existence of this temple even before the Vijayanagar period. It goes back to Kadamba rule.
Go to the Top of this Page.