Sep 27, 2010

Sri Lakshminarayana Mahamaya Temple, Ankola

My plan for the day was to visit Mirjan Fort, Apsarakonda and if possible Basavaraju Durga. I had hired a taxi for the day, Shrikanth behind the wheel, we left Dharwad by 5 PM. Hardly any traffic, drive was relaxed... as we passed by Yellapur and Idagundi the skies opened up. After a while we were driving a full scale downpour. As we drove further down the ghat section the intensity seemed to increase. I thought there goes my day! How can I see any place in this kind of downpour?

We were supposed to turn left couple of kilometers before Mastikatti and take a short-cut to Gokarn Cross. We realized we missed that road when we entered Mastikatti. Shrikanth blamed it on a car driver who caused confusion while overtaking us. We decided to carry on... through Ankola.

Few kilometers before we hit the West Coast Road, rains had almost stopped... few drops here and there. We stopped for a moment to check out tourists spots. Mahamaya Temple caught my attention.

As we entered Ankola rains had stopped completely. I wished the weather held for the rest of the day. However we decided to pick up an umbrella. Ankola city created a good impression, I liked the town. We got directions and drove through the rain water drenched narrow green moss coated wall lined streets. It was easy to find.

That's the gateway to Mahamaya Temple.

Typical Konkan architecture.

Somehow I felt I was looking at a Japanese Shinto Temple.

Temple premises is clean, everything in its place. Inside the temple, columns, ceiling and floor were shiny. The deity was decorated elaborately with jewels. Tidiness showed how efficiently the temple was managed. Photographing the temple interiors is not allowed.

I was curious to know the temple's history. I got a booklet from the temple office. This is a private temple, owned and managed by few families with roots in Goa. Ancestors of these families migrated to Ankola in 1510 to escape Portuguese persecution. To know more read this scanned page of the temple booklet-

We went around the temple. The temple is surrounded by an administrative office, lodging for the Kulavis and priests' quarters.

Every aspect of the place is maintained well.

The place has a wonderful ambiance.

I was happy to have seen Mahamaya temple. Thanks to Shrikanth's momentary distraction... else we would be on our way to Mirjan Fort and missed this amazing temple.

On our way out of Hanumatta we stopped at another temple close by. Kulavis of that temple were busy preparing for Ganesha festival. In fact we saw some family members haul in a 3' Ganesha with kids preceding them noisily ringing bells and chimes. One of the kids was carrying an infant with a half scared-half worried look on it's sweet little face, wondering ...what ever are these guys up to? who's that colorful person with a funny nose being carried by four adults?

We drove out of Ankola towards bypass road, we stopped at Hotel Sapna for idli and tea. This little restaurant was clean and well maintained. I enjoyed my breakfast. Good way to start a day!

Soon we were on our way towards Kumta...



Ace said...

Its a magnificent temple to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Portuguese entered Goa in 1510. THE PORTUGUESE INQUISITION started 50 years later till 1774. Bansuri Maestro Late Pandith Devendra Murdeshwar's family are also 'KULAVIS' of this beautiful temple.