The third Tuesday of Shravan is marked in crimson in most households of Naroa.
Situated in Bicholim taluka, Naroa is house to an astonishing 22 temples, together with the traditional Saptakoteshwar, which obtain a gradual stream of holiday makers by way of the yr. However it’s on the third Tuesday of Shravan that this laidback village witnesses crowds like no different day.
It’s the day Masandevichi zatra is well known, with Masandevi actually coming from ‘masan’, the Konkani phrase for crematorium or graveyard.
For the zatra, the routine for many villagers is ready in stone. Go to the Masandevi temple, pay your respects, supply prayers, and, regardless of the circumstances, return house earlier than darkish.
“Nobody can take a chance and stay out around the temple after sunset on this day,” says Krishna Pundalik Bale, an area from Talewada the place the temple is situated. “It is believed that Masandevi serves special food to all the ghosts that night and the entire area remains haunted.”
Together with the remainder of the household, Bale, 69, has religiously stayed indoors on today. The 20-odd homes within the neighborhood by no means take a danger, and neither does anybody else from the opposite 4 wards of the village.
Masandevi is a folks deity, thought of protector of the spirits.
The spirits are of girls buried close to the temple. As per perception, Hindu ladies who die when they’re menstruating, throughout being pregnant or in the course of the interval of abstinence after being pregnant are usually not cremated. As a substitute, their our bodies are dropped at Naroa and buried within the neighborhood of the Masandevi temple.
Locals imagine that nailing a copper coin or pinning a bottle cap to the kazro tree standing throughout the temple premises retains the discontent spirit of the buried in test.
On the day of Masandevichi zatra, kin and others from locations so far as Sanguem, Quepem and Sanvordem assemble in Naroa to thank the goddess for shielding the spirits. Masandevi is worshipped within the type of an ant-hill.
“The devi is in trance during the night, so nobody steps out after dark. Lots of people set up stalls for the zatra, but everyone leaves the area before the sun sets. I can tell from experience that staying at night is not advisable. A newly-married woman once ignored warnings and went against the devi’s wishes and did not survive,” stated Bhagarathi Mandrekar, who sells flowers contained in the temple on Tuesdays.
The locals within the space also have a cricket workforce referred to as Masandevi Sports Membership.
“The belief in the devi is very strong,” says Santosh Tuyekar. “After winning a tournament, the boys generally come here to show Masandevi the trophy and everyone remains respectful once inside the temple premises. Nobody misbehaves.”
The world of the Masandevi temple is believed to be sacred as it’s located on the confluence of 5 rivers or Panchganga. Some memorials by the banks are over a century outdated.
The Masandevi temple – open to the general public solely on Tuesdays – obtained a full-fledged premises solely in July 1999 and temple authorities have information since 1918. However in line with these within the know, the custom has existed lengthy earlier than the Portuguese set foot on Goan soil.
A guide by Antonio Lopes Mendes revealed in 1860s makes a point out of Masandevi.
Two days after Masandevichi zatra, devotees from throughout Goa will go to Naroa once more, this time to have fun Ashtamichi zatra, a stone’s throw from the temple.
This zatra is totally different from the standard worship of Lord Sri Krishna on today.
In honour of their ancestors, kin will take a holy dip within the river the place they imagine the waters of 5 rivers—Khandepar, Zuari, Bicholim, Valvanti and Mhadei—converge.
The zatra known as ‘Bhootanchi Jatra’ (truthful of the ghosts) and no one stays right here after sundown on today as nicely.
The place is teeming with folks all by way of the day, however no sooner the solar units, everybody packs up.
It’s then time for the ghosts to take over the place.
Earlier than the devotees disperse, they go away grams behind for his or her close to and expensive ones. It’s believed that selecting the grams one after the other will hold the spirits and ghosts engaged, by which period it’s already dawn.