Whenever I visit a new city, apart from its natural beauty, it is always a temple, a church or a mosque seeped into history that catches my attention. A short trip to Laxmi Narasimha Temple in Goa was enough to remind me once again- why I love antique houses of worship so much.
My friend was keen to offer a little puja in Laxmi Narasimha Temple, so we headed there early in the morning. Located in Velinga, this temple was 3-KM south-west of Mandol. Our cab driver helped us to reach over there in time. It was 9.00 AM in the morning and much to our delight, the temple complex was almost empty barring only a handful of devotees. What made me fall in love with this 18-th century old temple was the squeaky cleanliness which was visible in the sprawling, well-maintained lawn and the smooth path made from rock.
There was no entry fee and a near-by signboard let us know that the temple remains open throughout the week. The timings are from 6.30 AM-12.45 PM and 4.30 PM-8.30 PM which seemed quite convenient to me. The deity of the temple was Lord Vishnu’s incarnated avatar Narasimha and his consort goddess Laxmi. The half-man, half-lion Lord Narasimha’s story captivated me since childhood, especially with the tale of Prahlad. What fueled my interest was the trivia that- this deity of Lord Narasimha was transferred here in Velinga in the year 1567 from Salcete, and that made this structure more than 500 years old!
The main hall of the temple was adorned with various images of Lord Vishnu’s avatars on its walls. The children checked them out with gripping interest, while I was hooked with the beautiful water tank that was laid there at the end of the court-yard. The sides of it were decorated with palm trees. I took some photos of the bathing tank’s awe-inducing ceremonial gateway.
Once we stepped out, we were informed that there was a famous musician’s gallery near-by but the time was short so we had to bid adieu to this picturesque temple, and returned with lots of nice memories.