The Hindu festival of Mahashivaratri will be celebrated on February 12 this year.

The 12th C temple of Mahadeva (another name for Shiva) set in a remote forest at Tambdi Surla is Goa‘s oldest surviving temple. It remains a place of active worship to this day.

This photograph was taken in 2007 in the thick of the monsoon season. When I got to Tambdi Surla that morning a heavy downpour had just subsided. The ambience was magical and this framing suggested itself quite naturally. The slight colour cast of green on the temple structure is not a processing artifact; it is a consequence of the wet temple reflecting the surrounding foliage.

Mahadeva Temple at Tambdi Surla, Goa

12th C Mahadeva Temple at Tambdi Surla, Goa
5D, 24-105L


See this earlier entry for another view of the temple.

  • Rani Thompson - February 13, 2010 - 2:55 pm


  • Xanno Moidecar - February 13, 2010 - 2:31 am

    Dear Rajan
    As always a spectacular presentation. Such a fitting abode for the Mahadev.
    Our ancestors certainly knew how to please heaven.
    Thank you for another beautiful glance at our Goem.

  • thaths - February 12, 2010 - 6:48 am

    You always get such lovely greens. Nice photo.ReplyCancel

  • JoeGoaUk - February 11, 2010 - 11:21 pm


    Pl give some tips on ‘how to get there?
    We love to go here.
    Heard but never been.

    Thanks againReplyCancel

  • Sanjeev - February 11, 2010 - 8:37 pm

    You have got it in its best glory !ReplyCancel

  • Pragya Mishra Thakur - February 11, 2010 - 8:31 pm

    I love how you mention that the greenish tinge is the result of the wet temple reflecting the foliage. Wonderful picture and words.


  • Arun - February 11, 2010 - 8:10 pm

    The Enchanted Forest!ReplyCancel

  • jc - February 11, 2010 - 8:07 pm

    Thanks Rajan for that really nice photograph. I saw this temple as a little child. It is good to see that the greenery is still there.ReplyCancel

Awhile back I posted photographs of the cemetery cross in the Goan village of Saligao framed against the setting sun. As mentioned there, I had to stake out the location for a number of days before I scored that shot. On one of the earlier ‘unsuccessful’ evenings, Nature flashed an unexpected spectacle. I call it The Flaming Cross, seen below.

Note: I have cloned out the intruding power lines in this image.

'The Flaming Cross' in Saligao, Goa

'The Flaming Cross' in Saligao, Goa
5D Mark II, 70-200L f/2.8 IS

  • Atanu Dey - February 12, 2010 - 7:22 pm

    Rajan, wow! Even though it took you a few days, I still think you were very lucky. Wonderful.ReplyCancel

  • Rani Thompson - February 11, 2010 - 9:21 am


  • Diana Braganza - February 9, 2010 - 12:04 am

    a truly pure moment of the earth and universe.ReplyCancel

  • Pamela Kenyon - February 8, 2010 - 5:44 am

    Thank you Rajan for a truly moving piece of photography…it sent my soul into gentle sublime rapture…ReplyCancel

  • JAMES FERNS - February 7, 2010 - 8:00 pm

    beautiful viewReplyCancel

The Deepastambha is a characteristic feature found in the courtyards of Goa‘s Hindu temples. The word is formed by conjoining the Sanskrit words Deepa (lamp) and Stambha (pillar), and thus means “Pillar of Lamps.”

This photograph of the Deepastambha at the Mahalsa temple in Mardol was taken at daybreak.

Deepastambha at Mahalsa temple in Mardol, Goa

Deepastambha at Mahalsa temple in Mardol, Goa
5D Mark II, TS-E 17L


A more modest Deepasthamba adorns the courtyard of the temple of Goddess Bhumika in the village of Chopdem.

Deepastambha at Bhumika temple in Chopdem, Goa

Deepastambha at Bhumika temple in Chopdem, Goa
5D Mark II, 85L II


An ancient Deepasthamba near the remains of Piso Ravlu temple in Mayem is embraced by a Peepal tree.

Deepastambha in Mayem, Goa

Deepastambha in Mayem, Goa
5D, 24-105L

  • Rani Thompson - February 11, 2010 - 9:24 am

    what is the significance of deepastambha. I have not seen them in north india….or may be I am just ignorant. They look beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Arun - February 1, 2010 - 6:09 pm

    Three very different deepasthambas! The ancient one with the pipal has an air of romance about it.ReplyCancel

I was loitering in Korgaon one evening, taking in the languid rhythms of this rural corner of Goa, when I first spotted Ganulo ambling along on the village street. I trailed him firing off several frames without his knowledge before striking up an acquaintance. Ganulo is the nickname of Ghanashyam Dhond, a lifelong denizen of Korgaon. This nonagenarian belongs to both a time and a type that are now on the way out.

Ganulo of Korgaon, Goa

Ganulo of Korgaon, Goa
5D Mark II, 85L II

Ganulo of Korgaon, Goa

Ganulo of Korgaon, Goa
5D Mark II, 85L II


A few weeks later I was again in Korgaon and there he was, hunched over in the temple verandah.


5D Mark II, 85L II

  • Abhaya Karangutkar - January 8, 2013 - 4:54 pm

    Hello Mr. Parrikar,

    Thank you for posting these awesome images !! I come from the village of Korgaon, Goa and was surprised to see Ghanulo, the tailor, the barber and Bali who I know from my childhood and part of my adulthood that I spent in Goa. Ghanulo’s family was very closely known to us as he, his wife and all his kids helped in my grandparents house, in our house or my aunt’s house. I asked my father about Ghanulo (I am now residing in California) and he mentioned to me that Ghanulo died about 2 years ago. His wife’s name was Myna and she passed away too.

    Thank you once again for the nostalgic memories of my native village which I am so fond of 🙂

    Abhaya Karangutkar (Korgaonkar)ReplyCancel

  • Rajan P. Parrikar - January 29, 2010 - 11:28 am

    Pradeep, yes, it was processed that way, to be more film-like.ReplyCancel

  • Pradeep - January 28, 2010 - 8:32 pm

    the last pic looks grainy, at least on my computer screen…ReplyCancel

  • venantius j pinto - January 26, 2010 - 7:47 pm

    Wide gamut of grays. He hair does not appear to be all gray. I heard that one reason our hair turns white is on account of poor liver functioning.ReplyCancel

  • JoeGoaUk - January 25, 2010 - 3:35 pm

    I too love to hear about this man, his family, grand chidren etc

    I guess he is in his mid or late 90’sReplyCancel

  • Harshad - January 24, 2010 - 9:14 pm

    I wonder what would be his age? 100+???ReplyCancel

  • Sanjeev - January 24, 2010 - 8:29 pm

    Would love to hear his stories !ReplyCancel

I spent an evening recently in the charming village of Moira, once celebrated throughout Goa for its delectable variety of bananas. The primary purpose of my visit was to photograph the imposing village church.

The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception serves as a focal point for the community’s spiritual and cultural life. Built around 1619, it is conceived in the Mannerist Neo-Roman style and features a cupoliform façade. (vide The Parish Churches of Goa by José Lourenço, Amazing Goa Publications, 2006.)

Before the arrival of the Portuguese a Shiva temple stood at this site. The German researcher Dr. Gritli Mitterwallner writes in her essay titled The Hindu Past – Structure and Architecture, published in Goa – Cultural Patterns (Marg Publications, 1983):

Remains of ancient Hindu temples, which had been partly or wholly built of basalt stone, can still be detected if one explores the three Old Conquests thoroughly. During a survey of the monuments of Goa from August 1964 to January 1967, I found many an image or architectural fragment of basalt stone from ancient Hindu temples either built into churches or lying discarded near them.

One of these finds was the tripartite linga of god Siva from the razed temple at Moira (Bardez). I discovered this in the church at Moira where it was being used as a stand for the holy water basin. I removed the linga and took it to the Museum of the Archaeological Survey of India in Old Goa, donating a sum of money for a new water basin for the church.


The following exquisite scene presented itself a little before sundown.

Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception at Moira, Goa

Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception at Moira, Goa
5D Mark II, 24-105L


I was hoping to frame the church façade against the cobalt blue sky – a tiny window available moments before the onset of complete darkness. But in Goa the best plans can go awry. As I waited in anticipation, a neon lamp operated by the Electricity dept came to life imprinting on one flank of the church the shadow of an intermediate tree, as seen below.

Moira church

Moira church after sunset
5D Mark II, TS-E 17L

Sign outside Moira church

Sign outside Moira church
5D Mark II, 24-105L

  • amanda - October 12, 2010 - 8:12 am

    I loved the picture you have taken and was hoping if i can have the picture as im getting married in this church a month from now and would like to put on my wedding websiteReplyCancel

  • Ana Maria Goswami - January 18, 2010 - 2:47 am

    Wonderful photograph of the Moira church especially in that light.ReplyCancel

  • X M - January 18, 2010 - 2:04 am

    Dear Rajan

    Thank you. My 14 year old says that you make it look even more beautiful than in real life.

    I remember climbing up to the belfry to help the sancristan ring the bell.

    GOD bless.ReplyCancel

  • VM - January 18, 2010 - 12:37 am

    lovely light, you’re particularly good at capturing the various hues of sunrise and sunset in Goa.

    note about Moira church: uniquely (I believe), it resembles Flemish churches of the immediately preceding period, and it was financed by a pair of Flemish brothers. Like almost all the houses and churches in the village, indeed in Goa, there is nothing remotely Portuguese about this building.ReplyCancel

  • Thaths - January 17, 2010 - 10:33 pm

    What weird architecture! The tower with the cross on it looks kind of like a gopuram. The domes give it an islamic look.ReplyCancel