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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Coastal Odyssey:Laxmi Narayan Mahamaya Temple





After been mesmerized by the hidden beauty of some exotic and lonely beaches of Karwar, a small town in Uttara Kanadda it was time for me to move on and explore the unknown which was only waiting for me to unleash myself. The setting sun was only indicating the herald of new day tomorrow Hence I was looking forward to get into new journey of exploration, perhaps that is why the sleep seems to desert me and I was waiting longingly for the arrival of a new morning.




The setting sun was only telling me,
 that tomorrow will be more exciting

It's a new day:
  
The day today was amazing, the dark skies and the inviting breeze was only increasing my eagerness to hit the coastal road (Edapally -Panvel Highway).Now we had a choice either to go north i.e toward goa or go south and explore the unknown. We tossed the coin to decide our next destination,( Zindagi aasan karni ho toh jeb me coin rakh lo) So there was a deal with my daughter that if its heads we head to north side and if its tails we tail the southern route, TAILS it was , so it was final now that it was south of Karwar that we will be driving today.For me it was like Chalo aaj ka ek tension over, decision making was never my forte.( Ab samaj me aaya.... coin rakhna mere liye kitna important).



Road ahead, dark skies 
and lovely breeze to caress

Our host Vijayji took out his car  and we were soon heading down on NH17. being a coastal road NH17 offers some of the most amazingly beautiful views en route and add to that rains which were lashing out on the wind screen,pretty cool temperature,Soft Music of my school time era playing out on the car stereo  (Vijayji had some amazing collection) all this was adding to the romanticism and fun.(Bas ek beer and a babe in your arms ki kami thi, warna toh scene complete tha.) but before I could get carried away I felt the probing eyes of my wife, probably reading my mind thus bringing me back crashing to reality.



Caught you !! 

The ever inviting wet  winding road with the over hang of dark clouds brought about the mystique in the atmosphere. In-spite of all the distractions of nature and Music and of course the watchful eyes of my wife  I was all alert, looking out for each and every sign post,You must be wondering why looking out for sign post "Arre Jaani mere pass koi travel schedule toh tha nahi, sign post dekar kar hi decide karna tha ki agli manzil kya hogi"  During such watchout the first thing that attracted my eyes was the board with the name Sri Laxmi Narayan Mahamaya Mandir. Ab kya tha , ek ek raste chalne wale se rasta pooch pooch kar hum nikal pade. (We kept asking people for direction to the temple).


Sign board my pointer to the next destination

While driving on the highway one needs to bye pass the junction which takes you to the Ankola Bus stand,Drive  a little ahead on the highway and on your right side of the road you can see a huge Arch like entrance leading to Laxminarayan Mahamaya temple,entering through the entrance gate you move into a narrow lane which brings you to the entrance of the temple.(Approx.100 mtrs from Highway)



Entrance gate to the Temple
One look at this entrance gate may not set your pulse racing but don't be fooled by the simple entry gate of Laxminarayan mahamaya gate, a peek from this entrance could actually take your breath away, when you see the beauty it encompasses within the four walls.


A glimpse which took my breath away


One has to enter the Temple through this large gate which opens into a very large rectangular courtyard, flanked by rows of building on both the sides of temple.One look at the temple and you are transported to medieval times.The wet tiles due to rain only enhanced the beauty of this temple.



Large courtyard flanked by buildings


The main gate through which we entered had steps,on the   inner side,leading from both left and right side which culminates to a gallery on the top where the musicians sit and perform during the festival.It can be well understood by seeing the picture given below.



Stairs on left and right side leading to the gallery
 ( View from inside the temple)
Another view from inside the temple

The building running on the left side of the temple is quite long, almost reaching out to the back wall of the courtyard, This building consists of storeroom, administrative office block etc.



Building on the left side has
store room and canteen and Agarshala

Next to the administrative block is Agarshaala.This Agarshaala is a huge hall which can accommodate around 800 devotees at a time, who can be served prasad here.This Agarshaala also has main Kitchen and Canteen attached to it.


Agarshala

In this photo I tried my best to capture from top angle to give a better look and understanding of the complex. 



Another look of Agarshala on the left side
Time to do parikarma 

As we were circumventing the temple we couldn't help noticing the marvelously painted temple with ever beautiful domes and other structures.
Well painted temple
Beautiful Domes



Other interesting stuctures

Walking around the temple we reached the back side of the temple where we noticed another building . we were informed that the building was known as Vasanthigruha  and it is for the use of pilgrims who come to the Temple.


Back side of the temple
On the right side of the temple there is again a row of rooms which we were told are the residence of the Purohits and next to that are blocks for Dharam Gurus who visits the temple.It seems the temple has made provision for almost everything and everybody.


Residence of Purohits on the right side of the temple

I must admit that though the temple complex is huge, but still it's very very clean, The spic and span courtyard and the temple shows that how well the place is managed by the temple management committee.


Such cleanliness in hard to come by

Once I had explored the outer section of the Temple it was time to move into the temple.But first some history of the temple is necessary.



History & Legend :

Originally this Kuladevata temple was in 

Nagwe, Goa. Because of Portuguese atrocities, the devotees 

decided to move southwards with the deities. But they had a 

problem, as while Shri Lakshminaryan was worshipped in the form 

of an idol, Shri Mahamaya was virtually a sacred anthill called 

Rohini. Not knowing what to do, they sought guidance in the 

darshan seva and it was advised that the Mother Goddess would 

 be glad to accompany them in a coconut with her sanidhya (divine 

presence) in it. Accordingly they carried a coconut and also the 

idol of Shri Lakshminarayan. On the way when they were nearing 

Hanumatta near Ankola (the place was so-called because of a 

Hanuman temple) darkness fell and so the devotees with idol and 

the coconut thought of breaking the journey. The night over early 

next morning they thought of resuming the journey but a wonder 

awaited them. During the night around the coconut an anthill had 

miraculously grown and taking it to be command from the Mother 

Goddess to terminate their journey and halt there only they 

constructed a temple and installed the idol there.


After circumventing the temple from outside It was finally time to enter the temple and pay our homage to god.If one notice the temple, its a kind of 3 tiered structure. The temple rises in all its splendid glory  with this 3 tiered symmetrical copper plated roofs covering the "Ardha Mantap" the "Mukhya Mantap" and the "Vimana" the tallest of the 3 Mantaps 


The three copper plated Symmetrical Mantaps 

3 tier structure of Mahamaya temple



Entering from the marble steps of the temple we come to Ardha Mantap,Its a large hall where devotees sit and pray.It has marble flooring and is again very neat and clean.


Entering from main entrance to Ardha Mantap
View of Ardha Mantap

and from the Muardha Mantap one enters Mukhya Mantap which is nothing put a large prayer hall in front of "Gharbhagudi". The Vimana is an octagonal tower which tapers into a mild arch in the normal goan temple architectural style.


Goan architectural style

One look at the roof makes you realise how intricate glass work or "Sheesha" One is simply left amazed watching the ceiling. I went crazy shooting the roof with my camera.


Me busy capturing the beauty of the ceiling
Bedazzled 

The chandelier hanging in the center of the room with intricately designed wooden (ebony) ceiling embedded with a dazzling web of artistry depicting excellent carvings of thirty -two "kirtimukhas" covers this Mukhya Mantap.



Web of Artistry
Inspired by such beauty all around me I thought of adding a small beauty touch from my side , so here was my attempt to capture the ambience of the temple bells.


Beauty touch of temple bells
from here on  we moved to the Vimana Mantap where the main deities are enshrined viz. Shree Lakshminarayana in an idol form in the southern part and Shree Mahamaya in the form of an anthill(Rohini) in the northern part.The entrance to the main sanctum  passes through these silver doors which has the idol of Lord Vishnu on one side.


Silver door towards the main Deities
A closer look



Paying my respect to the gods ,it was time for me to bid adieu to such marvelous temple, which looks like some Chinese temple.( Aftermath of watching to many martial art movies).This exploration is over for the time being. 
Now time to move on to another journey of exploration.

"Hey did someone saw that Gokarna beach and Om beach sign board too na.....then chalo yaar what are we waiting for ?

                   So team ready to move on
Thanks from the Team and
my daughter


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