Dattatreya temple in Sakhali, Goa.

The village of Sakhali is noted for its temple dedicated to Dattatreya, or Datta Maharaj, as He is known in Goa. It is the only major temple deity in Goa that I haven’t yet photographed.

When I was in the area on a monsoon morning in 2013, I stopped by the temple, tripod and camera in hand. However, the rakshashas inside wouldn’t allow me to photograph. I would need advance permission from the president of the temple’s governing body, they asserted. Turned out that the prez was someone I knew when he was a lad in shorts, and I wasn’t going to seek “permission” from the little shit. As I made my way out of the premises, out of nowhere appeared this man seeking money for food.

I like to think that it was Dattatreya Himself. Thanksgiving in America is celebrated on a Thursday, Dattatreya‘s day.

Anna Deshpande at Datta Maharaj temple in Sakhali

Giving thanks: Anna Deshpande
5D Mark III, Zeiss ZE 50 f/2 MP

  • SUHAS KOTHARI - March 31, 2016 - 6:50 am

    rajanbab u r doing a very fine jobReplyCancel

  • Nandkumar M. Kamat - December 8, 2014 - 7:48 am

    Advaita of devotion and devotee is well captured in the eyes which reflect the tragic truth of our ephemeral lifeReplyCancel

  • Premanand - November 27, 2014 - 12:40 pm

    Yes, that restriction of not allowing to photograph the deity is sometimes annoying. Nonetheless, very good post, reassures our belief that the Lord appears if the bhakt has sharddha.

    P.S. A gentle request: Will it be possible for you to do a post on Ramnathi? Or taking it a step ahead, will it be possible to do a series (like Panaji Promenade) on all the major devasthans in Goa? This is just a suggestion. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Rajan Parrikar - November 27, 2014 - 10:26 pm



      Certain restrictions are necessary and justifiable. For instance, during aarti, pooja and any special rituals, photographers can be a distraction to the ceremony. I can understand the prohibition on flash photography. But surely they can institute a time slot where non-flash photography is allowed. This kind of thinking is alien to the dummies who run many of our temples. Their sole goal is to pull rank and exercise power. That said, it is rare that I run into such resistance in Goa.


      As for Ramnathi – I think I may have something in my library. I will have to get to it sometime.ReplyCancel

  • Jackson Frishman - November 27, 2014 - 4:37 am

    Fantastic portrait, Rajan! Beautifully processed too.ReplyCancel

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