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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Shirgaon Lairai Devi And The Seven Sisters Of Goa

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Goa has extra temples per capita than most different elements of India, opposite to its in style notion. Other than the Goud Saraswat Temples which might be basically the Kul Devata temples of the Goud Saraswat Brahmin households of Goa, there are various different temple trails. Let me take you on the Lairai Temple Path which is on the coronary heart of Seven Sisters and a Brother story of Goa. These are seven historic Devi temples of Goa, principally north of the Mandovi river.

Story of the Seven Sisters and a Brother of Goa

As soon as upon a time seven sisters and a brother got here to the land of Goa driving an elephant. We solely know that they got here down the ghats, in all probability through Chorla ghat, however nobody is aware of the place they got here from.

Panorama view of the temple

Eight siblings reached Mayem village through Bicholim. The elephant that they got here on could be seen at Vydanar close to Mayem village, very near the temple of Maya-Kelbai or Kelambika. It’s carved in laterite stone on high of a hillock.

Kelbai, the eldest sister sends the brother to fetch fireplace to prepare dinner meals. He takes a very long time, so Kelbai sends Lairai, the opposite sister to search for him. She finds her brother Khetoba taking part in with the children. In anger, she kicks the brother along with her foot and he clearly felt harm and refuses to come back again along with her. He goes to Vainguinim village. When Kelbai finds this out, she feels chargeable for the brother’s departure. So, she decides to go to Mulgaon to do penance. She vows to stroll with fireplace on her head with 5 hundred followers referred to as Dhond’s.

Lairai heads to a pious place

Now, she additionally feels harm and she or he decides to go to a pious place. She chooses to remain at Shirgaon. As penance, she decides to stroll on fireplace with seven hundred Dhond’s.

Morjai Devi Temple at Morjim
Morjai Devi Temple at Morjim

Morjai decides to stroll into the water on the shore. Her Murti was later found by fishermen and put in on the Morjim village.

Ajidipa decides to go to an island referred to as Anjidipa near Karwar.

Shitalai decides to depart the earth and enters Pataal or the netherworld.

Seven sisters at the moment are positioned in seven totally different locations:

  • Lairai in Shirgaon
  • Kelbai in Mulgaon
  • Mahamayi in Mayem
  • Mirabai or Mirabalis in Mapusa
  • Morjai in Morjim
  • Ajidipa at Anjidipa Island close to Karwar – no temple stays
  • Shitlai went to Pataal or netherworld so has no temple

That is the place they proceed to reside and are worshipped.

Lairai Temple at Shirgaon

Shirgaon is a small village with solely about 300 households and perhaps round 3000 folks. It’s a distinctive village as there is no such thing as a violence that takes place anyplace on this village. No animals are killed, no wine or alcohol is extracted out of cashew or coconut. No eggs are bought. Folks of the village even when they eat Tamsik issues, do it outdoors the village, even immediately. No horses enter the village even immediately. There have been no canine until a Dattatreya temple got here up within the village.

Lairai Temple, Shirgao, Goa - inside view
Temple inside view

Temple in yellow with saffron hue stands tall in the midst of the village.

Lairai is worshipped within the type of a Kalash or a Pot. On the middle of the Garbhagriha is a Pot that’s embellished to appear to be Devi. It additionally represents the womb, the supply of all creation. Purohit Ji defined that it’s the Trigunatmaka Adishakti roop of Devi that’s worshipped right here. She is the unmanifest power from which the whole lot emerges.

Portray of Devi

On the aspect of the temple is a 240-year-old portray of Devi. On this, she is proven as a lady carrying a inexperienced Sari throughout the confines of a Kalash. The portray will instantly remind you of Raja Ravi Varma’s work. Nevertheless, that is a lot older and will have served as an inspiration for him. It additionally tells us that this fashion was in vogue a lot earlier.

Temple is easy. There’s a enormous Mandapam, however it’s clearly a a lot later addition.

Lairai Jatra in Shirgaon
Jatra in Shirgaon – photograph of an previous picture

On the Vaishakh Shukla Panchami, the annual pageant or Jatra of Lairai takes place. A hearth altar 15 ft by 15 ft in measurement and 21 ft excessive is ready up & folks stroll on this fireplace in reminiscence of the stroll that Devi as soon as did. Is that this a method of reliving a previous reminiscence? Was she an ancestor slightly than only a story?

Other than this, Navaratri is clearly a giant pageant within the temple. Purohit Ji advised me that day by day Chandi Path is recited throughout Sharad Navaratri.

Mogra or Jasmine flowers are supplied to Devi.

I noticed beautiful wood-carved doorways within the temple in addition to at properties across the temple.

A couple of kilometer away from this temple is the Mulsthan or the unique place the place the Devi first landed earlier than she was invited to Shirgaon. On this temple, additionally in vibrant yellow, the place an anthill is worshipped within the type of Devi. There’s additionally a Gram Purush temple shut by. It has fascinating stone Murtis that appear to be Shivalinga however will not be.

Kelbai at Mulgaon

Kelbai the eldest sister has a pretty big temple at Mulgaon, about 5 kilometers from Shirgaon. She is worshipped in her Murti type. She holds two banana flowers in her two fingers and is surrounded by two elephants. An attractive stone Murti sits contained in the Garbhgriha. She appears like Gajalakshmi. I bear in mind seeing the same Murti at Goa State Museum.

Kelbai Devi at Mulgaon
Kelbai Devi at Mulgaon

The day I visited, loads of girls have been visiting to have a good time Haldi-Kumkum. They promptly invited me to be part of it. It was like a blessing to obtain Haldi-Kumkum from so a lot of them.

Exterior there’s a small pavilion, the place the Paid or the hearth burning on the top is stored. The annual pageant is well known on the Chaitra Shukla Panchami.

Aboli flowers are supplied to Kelbai.

Mahamaya or Maya-Kelbai at Mayem

This can be a small temple with a stupendous stone Murti of Devi. The unique temple will need to have been very small and might nonetheless be seen contained in the temple. The temple is small with large round pillars and vaulted ceilings like church buildings. The surface verandah has wood pillars and a balcao like seating space. A brand new mandapa is being constructed which is method bigger than the temple.

Mahamaya at Mayem
Mahamaya at Mayem

Each Chaitra Shukla Ashtami is the annual pageant of this temple. Eldest sister Kelbai comes to fulfill Mahamaya annually at the moment within the type of a masks in a cane field for 2 days. I noticed the same story at Mahalakshmi Temple at Kolhapur who visits Triambuli Devi.

Of all of the temples of seven sisters, I discovered this to be essentially the most peaceable and pulsating with divine Shakti.

Morjai at Morjim

I visited this temple someday again, each for the seven sisters and for the Kaavi Artwork it has. Devi right here is within the type of Mahishasurmardini. Purohit Ji was sort to indicate me the Utsava Murti that’s an actual reproduction of the principle murti.

Morjai Devi as Mahishasurmardini
Morjai Devi as Mahishasurmardini

This temple has been just lately renovated with the native Kaavi artwork in white and pink. Outer partitions, interior partitions, ceilings, window frames, and even smaller temples surrounding this temple have Kaavi artwork on them.

Video: Kaavi Artwork of Goa at Morjai Temple in Morjim

Watch Kaavi artwork on this video we captured and posted on our YouTube channel IndiTales.

A small water tank/effectively could be seen near the temple. The village has two extra Devi temples shut by.

Annual Jatra of Morjai occurs on Shravan Krishna Trayodashi.

Mirabai or Mirabilis at Mapusa

Mirabai temple has been transformed right into a St Jerome Church and Mirabai is now referred to as Milagres. Nevertheless, as I point out in Lotus In The Stone, some strands of tradition proceed to reside. Mirabai was once supplied oil and devotees nonetheless provide oil to Milagres. Just like the folks of Goa, some deities additionally obtained transformed.

A pot of oil comes from the Lairai temple for Mirabai. Equally, a basket of Mogra or Jasmine is shipped from Mirabai to Lairai Temple.

Ajidipa at Anjidweepa Island

To the perfect of my information and the folks I spoke at these temples, nobody is aware of if there was ever a temple. Because the island is now with the Navy, you want permission to go to it. Latest chroniclers don’t point out any such temple there. Even when there was a temple, it’s in all probability misplaced over time. If devotees don’t bear in mind the deity, it’s misplaced ceaselessly.

Khetoba at Vanguinin Village

Khetoba at Vainguinin Village
Khetoba

The temple devoted to Khetoba, the brother is most colourful. Murti of Khetoba in stone appears historic. He stands on a lotus pedestal, embellished fantastically with dots of Chandan throughout. Simply as within the story, the Murti of Khetoba is barely bent as he was when kicked by his sister.

It’s a small temple approached by means of a slender street.

After we reached, night Aarti was being carried out.

Hearken to the Khetoba Arti

Elephant

Ancient Elephant stone sculpture
Historical Elephant stone sculpture

The elephant that the siblings arrived at is carved on a hillock a couple of hundred meters from the Mahamaya temple in Mayem. Beautiful laterite steps result in the elephant. After we visited it was fairly darkish, however we might nonetheless see a child elephant. It appears to be effectively worshipped.

So, this was the story of seven sisters and a brother of Goa. Does your home too have the same story?

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