The Goddess Eternal.

The serene village of Keri in Goa serves as the seat of Goddess Vijayadurga, the Triumphant Mother, in whom are reified the attributes of valour and compassion.

Keri is the archetypal Goan village in the heartland: ringed by hills, fortified by forests, graced by temples, and soothed by birdsong. It is the birthplace and home of Kesarbai Kerkar, one of the greatest musicians of the 20th C. Kesarbai’s voice represents India on the Voyager Golden Record currently coasting in the vast emptiness of interstellar space.

The shrine of Vijayadurga has its origins in the 16th C. This photo essay and the accompanying video short are an attempt to convey a sense of the place. The temple celebrates its annual festival – zatra – next week.

Vijayadurga Temple, Keri, Goa

Dome over the sanctum
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Vijayadurga Temple, Keri, Goa

Vijayadurga Temple, Keri
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Vijayadurga Temple, Keri, Goa

Devi Vijayadurga
5DS, 100-400L IS II

 
Pandurang Jethar, Vijayadurga Temple in Keri, Goa

Head poojari Pandurang-bab Jethar
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Vijayadurga temple jatra in Keri, Goa

Seated in the palanquin
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Vijayadurga temple jatra in Keri, Goa

Music for the Goddess
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Vijayadurga temple jatra in Keri, Goa

Flower vendors at the zatra
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Vijayadurga Temple, Keri, Goa

Aerial view – Vijayadurga Devasthan
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Vijayadurga Temple in Keri, Goa

First rays of the sun
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  • Cibele Aldrovandi - December 19, 2017 - 5:51 pm

    Definitely one of the most peaceful and beautiful temples I’ve been last year while in Goa. The sides have wonderful Kaavi art. Thank you so much for sharing these lovely photos and video.ReplyCancel

  • Shantanoo Laghate - November 30, 2017 - 8:21 am

    Dear Mr. Rajan ji,
    It was a pleasant surprise to meet you with Jathar Guruji in Vijaya Durga Mandir , Keri when you had come to shoot the picturesque Locale around Vijaya Durga Mandir. You have done a marvellous work of filming the Vijaya Durga Mandir and the Virupaksha Mandir!!
    Needless to say I have been your fan for last 10 years or so. Vijaya Durga Devi blesses you for the service that you are doing Rajan ji!
    Regards
    Shantanoo Laghate
    laghatesk@yahoo.com
    Laghate@gmail.comReplyCancel

  • Roheet Hede - November 25, 2017 - 8:28 pm

    Wonderful blog. Love your work.ReplyCancel

  • Sajo Naik - November 25, 2017 - 12:37 pm

    Absolutely stunning–images and the video footage.ReplyCancel

  • Bob_B - November 25, 2017 - 5:47 am

    Beautiful photos Rajan. Your video panning was exceptional, especially the sequence around 2:20. Great work. – BobReplyCancel

  • Yogesh Naik - November 24, 2017 - 8:43 pm

    Lovely photography Rajan babReplyCancel

  • Hemant Naik - November 24, 2017 - 4:50 pm

    Absolutely loved the photography and the video. Well done, Mr. Parrikar. Ustad Bismillah Khan’s music is the perfect background music choice.

    Goan Villages, Temples and Churches are just so serene and peaceful. Blessed to be from Goa.ReplyCancel

Shadowy green.

A beautiful canyon near the Mýrdalsjökull glacier in south Iceland.

The two compositions were made from the same location. The open sky in the second provokes a different emotional reaction than the tighter view in the first.

Remundargil Canyon, Iceland

Shadowy green
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Remundargil Canyon, Iceland

Remundargil
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Goddess of fertility.

Gajalaxmi is one of the 8 aspects of the Hindu Goddess Laxmi. In Goa this manifestation of the Goddess is associated with fertility. Her presence is especially pronounced in the villages along the Mandovi River basin where she is also referred to as Kelbai and Bhauka.

The representation of Gajalaxmi in the ancient (10th-13th C) monolithic panels found in Goa shows her flanked by two elephants (Gaja is the Sanskrit word for elephant) and in the company of warriors, musicians and devotees. Many of these panels are found outdoors in forest groves or in temple compounds.

Gajalakshmi in Cudshem, Sattari, Goa

Gajalakshmi in Cudshem
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Gajalakshmi in Cudshem, Sattari, Goa

Wider view of the grove
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Gajalakshmi at Ganjeshwari temple at Ganjem, Sattari, Goaq

In Ganjem
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Gajantlakshmi Temple in Volvoi, Goa

Gajantalaxmi Temple in Volvoi
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Gajalakshmi at Kelbai Temple, Caranzol, Sattari, Goa

In Caranzol
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In 2007 I met Gajalaxmi in the flesh in Hampi, Karnataka.

Lakshmi the elephant at Virupaksha temple

Laxmi the elephant, at Virupaksha Temple in Hampi
5D, 24-105L

 

And finally, a charming recitation of the Ashtalaxmi stotram

 
 
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  • Nachiketa Yakkundi - November 22, 2017 - 6:34 am

    Beautiful, Rajan. What great hidden beauty and tales surrounding Gajalaxmi!ReplyCancel

  • Nandkumar M. Kamat - November 19, 2017 - 1:59 am

    The region of western ghats in Mahadayi river basin from Tilari to Ganjem represents the ancient cult of Gajalaxmi worship. She is manifestation of Shakambari-the goddess of fertility and vegetation, and in all the monoliths the depiction of elephants is symbolic of the SW monsoon clouds. The Gajalaxmi monsoon festivals promoted mainly by the extinct hilly tribal kingdom of Malavas (which Kadambas of Goa destroyed in 11th century and took the title Malavara-mari-the slayers of Malavas) were soon forgotten. Certain images also show erotic coupling scenes, because magico-fertility rituals were also performed to the accompaniment of music and dances. Maharashtrian scholar Ramachandra Chintamini Dhere in his monograph Lajjagauri has demystified this cult. The iconography and stylistics of the goddess is a tribute to human dependence on biosphere. The lotus buds in the hands of goddess indicate fertility. Gajantlaxmi? No, it was Lord Siva who is known as gajantaka, or Gajasur-slayer as depicted in the magnificent scene of Gajasursamhara at Hoysala temple at Belur, Karnataka. Laxmi never slayed Gajasura – in fact naming Gajalaxmi panel as Gajantlaxmi is incorrect. But one cant argue before the faith and traditions on basis of iconographic studies. This portfolio is good for students of iconography of the monsoon goddess in the age of global climate chage. Congratulations Dr. Rajanbab.ReplyCancel

Rhyolite gorge.

The slender waterfall nestled in the colourful slopes of Ljósárgil in East Iceland gives this scene its music.

Ljósárgil in Þórudalur, Iceland

‘Gorge’ous
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Ljósárgil in Þórudalur, Iceland

Fall colour at Ljósárgil
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A morning of mystique.

Magical moments at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount in Old Goa.

An earlier post on this chapel is here.

Chapel of the Mount Mary, Old Goa Chapel of the Mount Mary, Old Goa Chapel of the Mount Mary, Old Goa

Chapel of the Mount Mary, Old Goa

Chapel of the Mount Mary, Old Goa
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  • Premanand - November 13, 2017 - 7:20 am

    I just love that flying mosquito (DJI Phantom) of yours!!! 🙂ReplyCancel