The Lakshmi Narasimha temple, also known as the Anant Narasimha temple is unique in that it is the only temple dedicated to Lord Anant in the state of Goa. It is also unlike the other temples in the state due to its simple exteriors with its tiled pyramid roof and lack of domes. However, the interior of the temple is adorned with intricate wooden carvings and colorful relief work
The Lakshmi Narasimha temple is located in the village of Veling in the Ponda Taluka of North Goa. It is about 45km from the state capital of Panaji.
The Anant Narasimha temple is open to the public from 9.30am to 1.30pm and again from 4.30pm to 7.30pm all the days of the week. However the temple authorities might not allow people in who are not appropriately dressed (heads covered) or those who they feel might disturb the worshippers and devotees.
The Lakshmi Narasimha temple is dedicated to Lord Narasimha who is the 4th avatar of Lord Vishnu. In this avatar he is anthropomorphic in that he has the head of a lion and the body of a man albeit with lion’s claws. Ananta refers to the Shesha-naga or celestial snake upon whose body Lord Vishnu reclines. Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth and the consort of Lord Vishnu.
This temple was originally located in the Salcette Taluka of South Goa. However the idols were relocated to their current location in 1567, during the time of the Portuguese rule of Goa. The current temple building can be dated back to 1923 although the interiors appear much older and display a number of artistic and intricate wooden carvings and inlays of precious metals characteristic of the 18th century work by Goan artisans.
Architecture and Interiors
The temple is deceptively simple on the outside. Having a pyramid shaped, tiled roof and no outer adornment or domes as are popular in temple architecture it conveys a sober and unassuming appearance. The interior of the temple, however, is richly decorated with wooden carvings and painted in all the colours of the rainbow. The carvings are inlaid with precious metals and the entire temple appears to glow.
The idol of Lord Vishnu in his Narasimha avatar is extremely unique. It depicts the god reclining upon the body of the Shesha-naga, or celestial serpants, while the thousand hooded heads of the serpant form an umbrella-like structure over the god’s head. Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and cleanliness, who is the consort of Vishnu is depicted washing her lord’s feet. The entire idol had been carved out of black stone.
The intervention of Lord Anant Narasimha is sought by his devotees in the following aspects of life :
- Freedom from diseases
- Relief from adverse effects of bad planetary aspects
- Relief from bondage
This temple is well worth a visit especially since it is located in the Shantadurga temple complex and a visit here can be combined with a visit to some of the other temples in the vicinity.
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