In the village of Shirgaon in Goa‘s Bicholim taluka lies the old temple of Goddess Lairai, a form of the Mother Goddess. The annual jatra (festival) associated with this shrine features unusual customs & rituals drawn from the area’s tribal past. Lairai-devi and Milagres Saibinn (Virgin Mary) of nearby Mapusa are recognized as sisters by Goan Hindus and Catholics, an illustration of Goa‘s syncretic ethos.
In recent years, Shirgaon, alas, has been laid to waste by unchecked mining activity. To the environmental assassins on the loose in Goa, nothing is sacred. They have reduced this once-beautiful village to a dust bowl, destroyed its forest cover, and plotted to turn villager against villager.
If the photograph below does not betray the surrounding ugliness, it is only because I have framed the composition to exclude the devastation. In truth, the Lairai temple shot was taken from a vantage point located in the mine enveloping it.
Very beautiful temple and place to visit.
” wonderful scenery, feels cool”
Beautiful Picture of the temple ..I come from the same place..Shirgao! TY for the beautiful pic!
Excellent picture of godess lairai.hats off to you.
Egr bab Rajan
The festival of Shridevi Lairai is on. Tomo is the homkund.
We are finding our kuldaivat “Mauli Bhagavti devi temple” in shirgaon ,goa. We lost our daiwats information around 300 years back. One astrologer told us our daiwat is lacated in shirgaon goa. but we arent get succes yet to find our temple.
If you have any information about our temple please inform me on my mail id… thanks
The Picture is execllent.its a real goa what it denote in the picture. I hope people will understand the beauty and purity of this place.
What struck me about this image is that the colors as seen in this “spectra” may be experienced almost exclusively in India. The energy emanating from the scene as captured in the image is very impressive.
A thought: It may be worth considering images; something that you may already have photographed — to show the threat that mars the balance and serenity of spiritual sites. How these incursions via lack of focus and planning creates unenlightened resonances of mind and spirit. I am not suggesting that you sacrifice your central focus, and believe you have other images that reveal the mine. This is a broad thought and not meant to exhort you towards acting on it.
I believe this is another way that awareness builds up. Perhaps not exactly in our life time though.
Liked the dramatic effect of the Panjim Church
“…are bothers and sisters”.
May I never be a bother to anyone 🙂 And may the Mother of Jesus and Lairai Devi work jointly or separately to preserve Goa! I have never seen Goa, but Rajan’s photography shows its great beauty.
Notwithstanding Fr. Ivo’s narrow-minded objection, I think the Milagres Saibinn would be quite pleased to be recognized as the sister of Lairai Devi. Having a foster sister from another religion takes nothing away from HER exalted position as the Mother of Jesus. Such conceptual relationships is what made the camaraderie between Hindus and Christians so special and unique in Goa, until the fanatics, who think they have a special claim on “the truth”, come along to bollix it all up.
As a practising Roman Catholic, I a appalled by Fr. Ivo’s comments.I ask Fr Ivo on what basis he makes those comments. Is it also inaccurate for me to say that Hindu and Christian Goans are bothers and sisters.
Your choice of a vantage point in most of your photos is FANTASTIC!! Brings the best out of the object of the photos.
I liked the photos. This brings to our mind the diversity of representations of divine power. The only point that I must correct in the write-up is that the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, cannot be sister of godess Lairai. Catholics cannot maintain it. Anyway, we must work for the welfare of all. All religions should be for our integral human development.
What a beautiful sight. You must have photographed this sometime in the monsoon.
I remember landscapes like this. In my memeories.
Jatra season in Goa starts with Madkai Jatra in Oct/Nov and ends with Shirgao Jatra in May.
Shirgao jatra is also know for Homkund (Fire pile) where in Dhond (deciple of Goddess Lairai) after 10 days fasting run on fire.
Fantastic picture with full environmental consciousness. Excellent write-up too!. Could we have some more pictures and articles of other fabulous Goan places?. Sunny Nazareth,President Kuwait Goa Foundation,NGO based in Kuwait.
Excellent picture with write-up. Very informative indeed.
Moderator, Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter (since 1994)