Shri Naguesh Temple
: Lord Ganesh.
The Naguesh temple with old scriptures on stone at Nagueshim, the Mahalakshmi at Nagueshim Bandora, the Ramnath temples at Ramnathi and Shantadurgta temple at Kavalem. The Ganesh temple has been bequeathed to posterity but the temple was subsequently renovated in the days of Chatrapati Shahu, the Maratha ruler of Satara.
The galleries of the Sabhamantapa contain exquisite specimen of intricate woodcarvings of famous episodes from Ramayana on one side and wooden images of "Astadikpal" and "Gandharva".
Location of the Temple
This Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is situated in Bandora village, about four kilometers to the east of Ponda. The presiding deity is Shri Nagesh Maharudra and other Deities are Shri Laxmi Narayan and Shri Ganapati. This place was known in the past as "Bandiwad". Shri Nagesh Maharudra temple is situated on Pharmagudi-Kavalem-Ponda road at about 800 meters from Pharmagudi, a point 26.2 kilometers away from Panaji on Panaji-Belgaum National highway. The temple of Shri Jagadamba Mahalaxmi lies about 300 meters from Shri Nagesh temple.
The Saraswats established Sri Nagesh Maharudra deity at Bhandiwade. Unlike the other deities, this one found a safe abode right from the start and did not have to be shifted from place to place. This temple was unaffected by the religious persecution of Portuguese rulers in the 16th Century. This was because at that time Antruj of Ponda Mahal was not under the domain of the Portuguese power and this facilitated the migration of Saraswat deities like Shantadurga, Ganapati etc. to Antruj. It is obvious that this deity was brought by Parshurama along with the saraswat brahmins who migrated south, this is mentioned in the Sayadhri Skand Purana in the 53rd line.
Description of the Temple
This temple, which faces west, has a beautiful tank in front, with a Nandi bull in black granite standing tall at its entrance. The tank water is ever flowing and crystal clear. The tank is considered to be very beautiful and therefore it is well known all over Gomantak and is considered to be a distinctive features among some of the other temples. At some distance are also visible the smaller temples of Poorvachari, Betal and Raval Nath. People visiting this temple get the divine feeling of fascination up on their entering the temple. In the "Garbhagara" the Linga is positioned with its pedestal, under the dome shaped roofing. Around the "Garbhagara" there is an area for "Pradakshana". There is a bedroom with bed stead. Facing it is the spacious square built of marble tiles. On the Southern and Northern sides the idols of Shri Laxminarayan and Shri Ganapati are installed (in seated position). The Palace of the Sunda King exsists in the neighborhood. The mandapa (an assembly hall, generally pillared, preceding the sanctum sanatorium) has a gallery on both sides that contains exquisite specimen of intricate wood carvings that narrate stories from the Hindu epics - Ramayana and Mahabharata on one side and wooden images of Astadikpal and Gandharva on the other.. The temple compound also houses a five-storeyed deepstambha.
Antiquity of the Temple
In ancient days this deity was known as Nagnath, as stated in a copper plate, bearing the year 1222 Saka (1300 A.D.). It unarguably proves the temple's antiquity since there is an inscription in the compound of the Devastan. It makes reference to a gift of Lands named after 'Veda khandikechem Kulgar', 'Nagzri Mallo, paddy field & 'Ruvi Kulgar' in favour of the deities of Shri Nagesh & Shri Mahalaxmi for sevas on Kartik Poornima by Shri Mayeen Shenvi Wagle, an officer of the kingdom, in the year 1413 A.D. or 1335 Saka, during the rule of King Veer Pratap Devaraya of Vijay Nagar. Idols of Shiva-Paravati and Ganesh have been found in the compound of the temple. The sculpture of these idols make the Archaeologists evident that they belong to the Seventh and Eighth century respectively. Therefore, it is distinct that the temple existed here even before the Seventh Century.
The Rich Place
The surroundings are engulfed by ranges of hills on the three sides, and the river Aghanashini flows on the fourth side. A stream of sweet water flows round the year through the heart of the village on its either side. It is encompassed with luscious green fields. One can see number of springs in several places in the surrounding hills with rich beetle nut plantations.
The saraswats of this ancient Kuladevata temple consider Mahalaxmi as their Pallavi or their supporting deity with the Gotras and their surnames