Have you seen bearded Lord Shiva ??

Have you ever seen bearded Lord Shiva ?? Strain your brain to recollect if you have indeed seen a picture or idol of Shiva with a beard.
No ? Read on….

Despite the Portuguese influence that dominated Goa over the centuries, it is fascinating to see how such a large number of Hindu temples have survived here. Shoved away from place to place, the deities were preserved and worshipped till they were finally installed in their present day hearths.

We happened to visit a few of them; I’ll speak about only one where I saw bearded Shiva.

The Shri Mangueshi temple for one of the most revered patron deities of the Hindu Goud Saraswat Brahmin community is located at Mangueshi in Ponda Taluka. It is the most prominent and well known among temples and is situated along the National Highway-4A about 23-km from Panaji. It is also said to be the hometown of the famous singers Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle.
Lore has it that Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva, came to Goa in search of him who had disappeared from Kailasa following an altercation between them. Parvati beseeched Shiva to protect her in these terms: ‘Trahi Mam Girisha’ (protect me the Lord of mountains). Subsequently over the period ‘Mam Girisha’ became ‘Mangirisha’ or ‘Manguesh’.

Like other temples in the town, it also has a ‘Welcome Gate’, an elegant seven-storey ‘Deepmal’ tower for oil lamps, a ‘Noubatkhana’ overlooking the temple tank and the ‘Agrashalas’ (guest house).
This temple is white in colour with the floor paved with marble, and bands of decorative tiles adorning the white walls.

Not to mention, the temple is dedicated to the Lord Shiva. It houses a Shiva Lingam. Inside the temple almost everything is golden. The ‘Shesha’, the Linga and an image of Shiva, yes a bearded one !

The most unique and amazing thing about this temple is that this is the only place in India where Lord Shiva is depicted with a beard !!
And the reason for beard ?? Well, the legend has it that Shiva came down here to relax from his Himalayan abode – hence the beard. Isn’t that interesting ??

Photography was not allowed inside the temple, this one was on the lamp tower.


  • nandanjha says:

    Very interesting. I did see a bearded Rama in Jaisalmer but I dont remember a bearded Shiva anywhere.

  • backpakker says:

    i like the way the gods have been interpreted in different looks…very interesting post


  • Celine says:

    I have the same comment, very interesting. Thank you for sharing. :)

  • Ram Dhall says:

    I have seen “Jatadhari” Lord Shiva at many places – in the temples, in the books, on the calenders, in the movies, etc, but don’t recollect having seen the bearded Shiva. The fact is that we have been to the Mangueshi Temple four times, but somehow missed what you deftly noticed.

    Very interesting post.

  • Cuckoo says:

    Yes, I tried to recollect but to no avail. Strange but it is true. And I didn’t know about bearded Rama ! Now I want to see that !! :)

    Thank you. Yeah, I felt that for a change God has imitated man.

  • Cuckoo says:

    You are welcome. :)

    Ram Dhall,
    “Jatadhari” shiva is very common. In fact it is one of His names.

    The fact is that we have been to the Mangueshi Temple four times, but somehow missed what you deftly noticed…. There you go. Sometimes we are so used to see what we want to see. But there was something different in His looks and so went my observation. :)

  • i Share says:

    Hi first timer here… I was amazed reading this post. Lord Shiva’s idol definitely looks different. Thanks for this info. :)

  • Cuckoo says:

    i Share,
    Welcome to Ghumakkar. And thank you for liking the post.
    Even I was amazed… there are so many things around us which we don’t notice or take for granted. This was one of them.

    Have you read this ? Another amazing thing from Goa.

    Thanks for your visit, keep coming.

  • Bhooma says:

    Lord Shiva definitely looks different .Thankyou for presenting something new.

  • manish khamesra says:

    Hello Cuckoo,

    As everyone commented its indeed unique to see bearded Shiva.

    Did portugese also had done things in past like destroying temples and idols?

    The first picture looks like a leaning temple of Mangueshi :)

  • Cuckoo says:

    Bhooma ji,
    You are most welcome. :)

    Manish K,
    Yes it was unique.

    Did portugese also had done things in past like destroying temples and idols?.. Yes, I have written it in the second para here that idols had to be shifted places before they finally got a permanent one.

    The first picture looks like a leaning temple of Mangueshi.. Ha Ha… no, I pictured it like that. I thought to get a full view I’d have to shift further back. Ab kitna peeche jati main ?

  • I liked the article. This site is too good. There are sculptures of bearded Shiva elsewhere also. Please open this link and have a look.

  • Ronnie says:

    I’m sure Rama and Krishna had beards in real life. They were very holy men. Have you seen the holy men of today? The Sadhus? Yogis? They all have long hair and beard. You think Rama and Krishna would grown their hair long and shave their beards? I don’t think so. Artists want to make them look more ‘pretty’.

  • rudra says:

    Beard shiva is shankar also known as kaal but shiva is mahakaal u can’t pray beard shiva in form of image it’s another form is kal bhairav beard shiva is prayed in form of shivling only but can pray shiv in form of image or shivling
    Shiv nd shankar are different shankar is ansh of shiv in angered form

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