Mahalasa is the Mohini avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. She is also known as Mhalshi and Mahalasa. In Newasa, Goa and elsewhere, Mahalasa is considered as the Mohini form of Lord Vishnu and hence she is referred to as “Mahalasa Narayani”. The deity, it may particularly be noted, also wears the holy thread, which is its unique feature. This holy thread is only worn by Brahmin men and also the male gods.
No other goddess in the Hindu Pantheon wears this kind of thread except goddess Mahalasa and goddess Parvati. Mahalasa is the Kuldevi (family goddess) of some 96K Khatriyas(Dessai’s) and many Konkani Saraswat Brahmins, Karhade Brahmins, Daivajna Brahmins, (Arya Vaishyas-also known as Shetti) Bhandaris. Many families of different caste or communities
The temple of Goddess Mahalasa had been on the plateau of Verna village in Salcette taluka from ancient times long before the advent of the Portuguese rule in this part of Goa.
The entire habitation was historically known as VARENYAPUR or VARUNAPUR and the premises on the beautiful lush green plateau of this village where the remnants of that magnificent edifice of the temple are still seen, was later known as Mardol. There is no historical evidence or any record available to decide as to when this temple was founded at this place in Varenyapur.
Its mythological reference is found in Skand Purana. It is the largest of all Puranas and is believed to have been written between seventh and ninth century A. D. In this Purana, there are two Adhyayas (Chapters) entitled “Varunapur Mahatmya” in the section of Sahyadri Khand and the legend of Shree Mahalasa of Varunapur is narrated in these two Adhyayas. It runs as below :
Varunapur is a very beautiful, rich place abundant with precious gems. Once upon a time, the people of the place performed JYOTISTOM YADNYA to invoke Divine Blessings for the welfare of the people. During the performance, Parashuram made an appearance before the devotees who became ecstatic at his sight. Parashuram then instructed Varuna to construct a beautiful temple at the place for him. The instructions were scrupulously carried out and a beautiful temple was erected.
Shree Mahalsa Narayani Temple, Shrishetra Veranyapuri, Old Mardol, Verna, Salcete-Goa. 403-722
Phone Numbers 0832-2888994
More pictures of Shri Mahalasa temple verna goa;
Image Source: Anik Talaulikar for Golden Goa.
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