Thursday, 23 February 2012

Sri Ramnath Temple, Ponda

Located 22 km from the state capital Panaji, the origin of the temple of Lord Ramnath is steeped in mythology. Natives believe that after slaying King Ravana of Lanka, a remorse-filled Lord Rama installed a shivalinga on the shores in order to atone for his act. Since then the temple came to be known as Rameshwar or Ramnath.

The Ramnath temple was originally located at a settlement called Loutolim, set up by Gaud Saraswat Brahmins. As the Portuguese went about their task of reducing Hindu temples to ruins, the idol of Lord Ramnath, like many other deities in Goa, was removed from the original temple and shifted to its present day location at Bandode. The Bandode area was under the reign of Bijapur Sultan at that time.

Although the presiding deity is Lord Shiva, the Ramnath temple is the abode of other deities such as Shri LaxmiNarayan, Shri Kamakshi, Shri Santeri and Shri Sidhanath. Similar to the Mahalsa temple, the courtyard of Ramnath temple features a five-storied deepstambha or lamp pillar carved with images of Hindu on its base. The annual festival or Jatra of the temple is celebrated with fervor and devotion with the traditional palanquin parading around the temple carrying the idol of the deity............

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