Shri Mahalasa Narayani Temple
Shri Mahalasa Narayani Temple finds its residence at Mardol which is in Ponda (Goa). It is the renowned shrine of the Goa. The temple is worshipped and visited in the honour of goddess Mahalasa (Lakshmi) who is the goddess of affluence and mammon. There exists another belief according to which Lord Vishnu’s female form (Mohini) is goddess Mahalasa. The environment provided by this temple is peaceful. Its visit provides eternal divine experience. Shri Mahalasa Narayani is taken as the mighty Kuldevta of many Hindus belonging to southern and western region of India. Another name of Goddess Mahalasa is Mhalshi. The idol of Devi is worshipped in three forms i.e. as a young girl (in the morning), as a maiden (in the afternoon) and woman (in the evening).
One can reach to this temple by mean of three modes i.e. road, rail and air. There is a good bus network which connects Goa to many other cities. The journey through rail is carried out by nearest railway station i.e. Karmali. After reaching there one can hire taxi or move to bus to reach Goa. The airport which is near to Goa is Dabolim.
Security And Some Tips
There are many security services at Goa which are provided to people for safety and protection. These security services are Dynamic Personnel Bureau (Mapusa), Guardian Facilities Mangement Nagpur Pvt. Ltd. (Porvorim), Dynamic Personnel Bureau (Mapusa) and Guardian Facilities Mangement Nagpur Pvt. Ltd., Porvorim etc. Yatris should not carry cash and ornaments with them. They should keep their luggage at safe and secure place.
When To visit
The best time to visit the temple is during the month of October to June. It is opened for five days of the week. Its timings are: 6:30 AM to 8:30 PM. The duration of visiting the temple is 30 minutes. The visit to this temple is restricted for non-hindus.
What To See And Do
An arty and seven storied tower lies at the entrance of the shrine named as deepstambh. The tower is made up of brass. The height of the temple is 12.5 metres. The door of the inner shrine is adorned by silver frame. The architecture of this temple is unique. The interior of the sanctum is decorated by craved columns. The struts are of lotus type or bending lions. The centre of the temple’s ceiling is covered by painted gods placed at suitable position. The top of the temple is covered by rounded dome which is enclosed with stones of metal. The floor of the shrine is made up of marble. The final mandapa is decorated with 10 figures of Lord Vishnu painted in a beautiful manner. The idol of Devi is made up of stone. Silk saree of red and yellow colour has swathed the idol. The idol is enclosed by a sacred thread. The offering like coconuts, flowers and sweet water are placed at the table lies near to the idol. The back of the temple is occupied by ancient water tank.
Where To Stay
There are many dharamshalas and youth hostels in Goa which provides stay at economical price. They are: Boys Hostel IHM, Safari Lodge, Matruchaya Lodge, Circuit House, Matruchaya Lodge and Udipi Boarding and Lodging etc.
Where Else to Stay
There are also hotels in Goa which provide luxury. They are: 360 Degree Beach Retreat, 3 Bedroom Luxury Villa, 1 double a/c bedroom with bath, lounge, kitchen and 1 Bedroom apartment in Resort in Arpora etc.
The festivals are celebrated here with great zeal of entertainment. These festivals are- Magha Jatra, Navaratri, Ramanavami, Akshaya Tritiya, Jaiyanchi Puja and Kojagiri Pornima.
There are many interesting places near this shrine to visit. These places are: Talpona Beach, Sadolxem Church, cotigao wildlife sanctuary, bhagwan sadguru temple, Galgibaga Beach, Mahadevi Temple and cotigao wildlife sanctuary etc.
Yatris should take video camera with them in order to trap each and every activity of the whole trip. They should also take a personal diary for having the written record of the whole trip along with the feelings and emotions at that period of time. They should also hire a tourist guide for having the complete knowledge of the shrine including its history. They should also take first aid for curing frequent injury.
Thus the combination of beauty and divinity is Shri Mahalasa Narayani Temple.