The Shirali Maha Ganapathi Mahammaya Temple is the Kuladevata Temple (family temple) to the Prabhus, Joishys, Bhats, Kamaths, Puraniks, Mallyas, Kudvas, Nayaks of the Goud Saraswat community. The temple is situated at Shirali in the Uttar Kannada district of the state of Karnataka. H.H.Shrimat Bhuvanendra Tirth Swamiji of Shri Kashi Math Samsthan did the pratishtha of Utsava Murti in the year 1884.
About the temple
The Shirali Mahaganapathi Mahamaya Temple is one of the early temples located in the southern part of the Bhatkal taluk of North Kanara.The Temple is the Kuladevata Temple (family temple) to the Prabhus, Joishys, Bhats, Kamaths, Puraniks, Mallyas, Kudvas, Nayaks of the Goud Saraswat community. The temple is located at Shirali in the Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka state. It is about five-minute drive from Bhatkal. Temple. It is believed to be around 400 years old. It was renovated in 1904.
About the Deity
The temple was established by devotees who migrated from Goa about 400–500 years ago. The presiding deities are Shri Mahaganapati (Vinayaka) and Shri Mahamaya .
The deities were moved from Ella in Goa to nearby Golthi and Naveli. Golthi / Goltim and Naveli / Navelim are located in Divar Island, Tiswadi Taluka of Goa. On account of the hostile religious dogmas pursued by the Portuguese rulers around 1560, the devotees were forced to leave Goa. The devotees were not in a position to take the idols with them. They invoked the ‘saanidhya’ or the sacred presence of the deities in the silver trunk of Lord Ganesha and the mask of goddess Mahamaya. When they arrved at Bhatkal they were not able to build a temple straightaway, hence were forced to keep these two symbols in a shop belonging to a devotee. Later on they built a temple in Shirali, a few miles north of Bhatkal, where it stands to this day. The deities are also known as Pete Vinayaka and Shantadurga as they are located in a "pete", which means a town in Kannada. The temple has a unique darshan seva called, "mali".
Legend and stories
As per to the records with Archaeological Survey of Goa, the idol of Mahaganapati and Mahamaya (also referred as Durgadevi and Shantadurga) were earlier located in Ella - Tiswadi Goa along with Shri Gomanteshwar and the other deities. During the Muslim invasion in Goa (13th century) the shrine in Ella was destroyed and the idols were transferred to Navelim and Goltim. Till early 16th century, the deities were prayed to on the island, following which they were destroyed to by the Portuguese evangelists. The devotees had no choice but to relocate the idols to Khandepar and from there to its final destination Khandola. During the zealous Portuguese missionary acts, many devotees fled Goa and entered Karnataka. Indications of this can still be found today. Along the way towards Karnataka, families that settled in Karwar established a temple in Asnoti. For those who settled in Ankola, the sacred coconut of Shantadurga/ Durgadevi/ Mahamaya found no place at homes and was kept at the local temple to worship. Many years later, the local deity came to be known as Shantadurga. Some families went far ahead from northern Karnataka to the south coast of Bhatkal, where they felt secure and thus, established a temple of Ganesha and Mahamaya. Today, the original 13th-century idol of Ganesha of Ella/Navelim is still worshiped in Khandola. At a distance is the temple of Shantadurga brought from Goltim/Ella. The affiliates are Bhagavati and Ravalnath.
Today, the temple at Shirali conducts various pujas including Shasraganayaga, Rathotsav, Ganahoma and Sahasrachandikahavana. The Rathotsav or the Car Festival is celebrated by the temple on Margashira Shudda Navami (in November or December.) The important events during rathotsava include pete utsava of Mahaganapathi on Margashira Shudda Chauthi and Mahamaya on Margashira Shudda Ashtami, ratri utsava every night and okuli on Margashira Shudda Dashami.
It is roughly estimated that presently the Shirali Maha Ganapathi and Mahammaya temple has 125 Kulavis, with a total of 600 persons. Most Kulavis visit the temple annually, and many Kulavis living abroad visit the temple every time they visit India.
Maha Ganapathi Mahammaya Temple celebrates several festivals on a grand scale. Shasraganayaga, Ganahoma, Rathotsav and Sahasrachandikahavana are some of the important festivals celebrated with great enthusiasm and vigour. The Rathotsav also known as the Car Festival is observed on the Margashira Shudda Navami i.e during the months of November and December. The festival includes few significant events such as Mahamaya celebrated on Margashira Shudda Ashtami, pete utsava of Mahaganapathi observed on Margashira Shudda Chauthi, okuli on Margashira Shudda Dashami and ratri utsava commemorated on every night.
The temple has a large following and is also the 'family temple' of several Konkani families who come to pay their respects after every auspicious occasion in the family such as a wedding, birth of a child etc. or even in times of distress to make vows to the deity and ask for blessings.
By Road on NH 17.
By Train : Bhatkal Rly.Stn., By Konkan Railways.
Shri Mahaganapathi Mahamaya Temple
Shirali - 581 354
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Auspicious beginnings of work
- Removal of obstacles
- Renewal of energy
- Agricultural productivity
Vakratunda Mahakaaya Suryakoti Samaprabha Nirvighnam Kuru Mey Deva Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvada
Meaning -I pray to thee O Lord, who has a curved trunk and a strong body, the shine of a million suns, to remove all the hurdles that may block me from all the tasks I intend to perform.
Agajaanana Padmaarkam Gajaananam Aharnisham Anekadantham Bhaktaanaam Ekadantam Upaasmahey
Meaning -The sun to Mother Parvati's lotus face, I worship Lord Ganesh, with the elephant face, the one who grants a lot of wishes, the one with the single tusk, I salute thee to grant my wish.
Gajaananam Bhoota Ganaadhi Sevitam Kapitta Jamboophaala Saara Bhakshitam Umaasutam Shoka Vinaasha Kaaranam Namaami Vighneswara Paada Pankajam
Meaning -Oh elephant-faced Lord, who is served by all the Ganas, who consumes the essence of Kapitta and Jamboophala, His favourite fruits, who is Uma's son, who destroys the gloom of His devotees, who handles hurdles, we worship your lotus feet.
Tatpurushaaya Vidmahe Vakratundaaya Dheemahe Tanno Danthihi Prachodayaat
Meaning -We meditate on the great power, we call upon the single tusked Ganesh, who grants wishes.