Goa is so much more than just beach tourism it was only on the 5th visit that we were fortunate enough to have an opportunity to visit few of the more famous temples (have lately felt that no temple is more important than another, sum of faith that goes into each prayer in each temple and in each human heart reaches out to One God). Reach, view, enter, bow, pray and one can never leave a temple alone, there is so much that we get to take along and if really understand each such encounter, it brings one closer to the inner self.
Konkani temples are distinct in their architecture. Very different from the temples that one is used to seeing in the north, east, west or south of India. Beautifully crafted structures, with well laid grounds with wells and ponds. Not to forget the high lamp towers just outside the main temple. Simple yet creative buildings with such soothing colours delivering a refreshing sight for eyes and preparing one for meeting the deity inside – One who has made the visit possible by as they say ‘Calling the devout for the tryst’.
Most of the recent articles are full of stories around how the temples were ravaged by invaders and how few of the idols were heroically saved and hidden till they could be again established. Though it is sad to hear of such accounts it is also encouraging to find evidence that even hundreds of years of zealots have not been able to fully destroy the basic structures of faith around the world, it is faith and culture together that makes the world history a rich pot of knowledge and pride.
Religion could be just a flavour or path that leads us all to the same source of energy and happiness in life. From the priests in the temples to the shopkeepers outside and even the taxi drivers all have slightly different but equally interesting versions of numerous stories of how and when the temples were built, the miracles and might of the deities, current day relevance of prayers and of course how our future depends on God’s Will.
While one may try, it is almost impossible to get to a conclusive answer to religious matters or the questions around when, why, what, who etc. Though must admit it is always equally intriguing and thought provoking to try to raise questions or find answers! Visit temples in Goa and try to help the wanderer within to some answers or more questions!
And if you are on a temple trail in Goa looking and searching for your inner self and the divine I would suggest you also explore Divar Island and Chorao Island and you never know you could hail Goa as your spiritual sojourn.