Mallikarjun Temple

मल्लिकार्जुन देवूळ
Mallikarjun Temple
Shri Mallikarjuna Temple,
Canacona, Goa

The ancient temple of Shri Mallikarjun is located near the small village of Sristhal, in the southern most taluka of Canacona. Sristhal is about 5 km drive away from the taluka headquarters of Chaudi which is about 75 kilometers from Panaji.

The temple lies in an enchanting location in a valley, completely surrounded by blue mountains and greenery. The temple is at least 200 years old, as per the writing on a plaque near the temple dome.

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These are actually smaller deities called Avatar Purush located at three nearby places: Asali, Khalvade and Bhatpal where they are worshipped. But once a year, they are taken in a magnificent procession at night to the main temple at Sristhal.

This celebration is held once every two years at the time of the traditional Shigmo festival. This is alternated with the Shisharanni ritual described below. During this celebration which occurs close to midnight, selected local youth who are called Gade, rush from house to house with swords in their hands followed by people with drums and other musical instruments.

This ritual alternates every year with the Veeramel celebration held at the time of the traditional Shigmo festival. The word Shisharanni is supposed to mean a cooking place on top of a human head. This is an absolutely amazing ritual involving three persons who sleep on the ground with their heads touching each other. A vessel of rice is kept on their heads and fire is lit between the heads to cook the rice.