Rajan Parrikar Photo Blog

Pastoral Parsem

The quiet village of Parsem in north Goa remains frozen in time with its echt-Goan character and spirit intact. It is proud of its quirky heritage: the unusual façade of the ancient temple of Goddess Bhagwati, the nearby banyan tree said to be the largest in Goa, the magnificent old sculptures of Brahma, Vishnu, and so on.

For a place this obscure, Parsem has world-class achievements under its belt. The all-women’s professional theatre company formed here in 1917 was among the earliest of its kind. One of India’s finest musicians and the greatest Hindustani violinist of the 20th C, Sridhar Parsekar, was born in the shadow of the Bhagwati temple. He died tragically young but the villagers of Parsem haven’t forgotten him; an annual classical music festival is celebrated in his name. He also composed for Hindi and Marathi films. For more on Parsekar and his music, go here.

The title of this post is taken from an essay by Alister Miranda, and you are encouraged to read it for a better appreciation of the photographs that follow.

Note on pronunciation to non-Konkani speakers: The ‘m’ in the ‘sem’ syllable in Parsem denotes a nasalized ‘se’.

 

The deepastambha is characteristic of Goa’s Hindu temples but this paired arrangement at the Bhagwati temple is unique.

Bhagwati temple in Parsem

Temple of Bhagwati devi in Parsem, Goa
5D Mark II, TS-E 24L II

 
Bhagwati temple in Parsem

Bhagwati devi of Parsem
5D Mark II, 24-105L

 
 

Notice the kaavi art (sgraffito) on the temple walls.

Ravalnath temple in Parsem

Temple of Ravalnath, Parsem
5D Mark II, 24-105L

 
In Parsem

Pastoral Parsem
5D Mark II, 14L II

 
 

Subsidiary shrines adjacent to the Bhagwati temple host inestimable treasures such as these images of Vishnu and Brahma.

Vishnu at Parsem

Vishnu at Parsem
5D, 85L II

 
Brahma at Parsem

Brahma at Parsem
5D, 85L II

 
Ageless Parsem

Ageless Parsem
5D Mark II, 24-105L

 
 
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