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Story behind Mahashivratri celebration in Madhei Wild life Sanctuary.

“Jadacho Mal” (JaaDacaao maL) is a village located in sattari taluka on the Goa-Karnataka border near bank of madhei river tributory. This village is at the distance of 6 kms from uste village, 16 kms from valpoi city of sattari and exist in Mhadhei Wildlife century. There is no access road to this village. The pathway which goes to this village is surrounded by rice farms & betel-nut kulaghars.
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As we know that Sattari is a taluka in the north-east of Goa known for its greenery and dense forest. Sattari is also kown for its beautiful temples like Tambdi Surla Temple of Lord Shiva  & Brahma Karmali of  Lord Brahma. Sattari is also known for Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary which covers 208 km2 of this area.

“Jadacho Mal” (JaaDacaao maL) is a village located in sattari taluka on the Goa-Karnataka border near bank of madhei river tributory. This village is at the distance of 6 kms from uste village, 16 kms from valpoi city of sattari and exist in Mhadhei Wildlife century. There is no access road to this village. The pathway which goes to this village is surrounded by rice farms & betel-nut kulaghars. People also have to cross three wooden bridges located on the tributory of river mhadei to reach this village. The site is very scenic, pleasant and soul refreshing with abode of mystical powers. The river Mhadei  tributary flows nearby and can be reached via a flight of stone steps.

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Although at present no one stays in this village. People used to live in this village 200 years ago. However a disease named “Plague” killed many people during that period, forcing families to migrate to other parts of Goa.

People from neighbouring villages recall that 15 years ago a farmer while trying to cross this village found “ Mahadev Shivling” & “Nandi” in this village. He immediately returned to his village and informed others. Without wasting much time a group of villagers went & saw ruins of the temple they felt that there may have been a temple at this place many years back. Some of them even found idols of Goddess “Sateri”, “Kelbai” , “Brahmani” & other “Rakhandaar” statues in surrounding areas.

The villagers then approached the local purohit and asked him whether it was possible to build a temple at that place. Purohit agreed on condition that only sarvodem people/family who is known to be niece of this “Jadache Mal” village would be allowed to do puja at this temple.

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The villagers then met sarvodem people & informed them about this incident. After this, people unanimously gathered & built small temple with asbestos ceiling at same place where “ Shivling was found”.

The people then decided to celebrate “Mahashivratri   Festival” in Jadache mal village. This God was named as “Basveshwar”.  Intially very few people use to come & celebrate shivratri festival at this place. But gradually number started increasing. Last year around 1500 devotees attended this festival in jadacho mal village.

Unique feature of this festival is that this temple is located in the thick forest of madhei wildlife Santuary & a night before mahashivratri 1500 people come & stay in this village. People from neighbouring villages start festival preparation two month in advance. Every weekend before mahashivratri they visit this place & try to clean area surrounding the temple. Visitors & villagers enjoy this night with delicious dinner & by watching “ Dashavtari drama” enacted by locals.

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On Mahashivratri day, people wake up early morning, have bath in madhei river & attend mahashivratri Puja. After doing Puja & abhishek, by afternoon people start returning to their houses.

Sitaram Naik from neighbouring village informed that it is very difficult to visit “Jadacho Mal” village because of improper access road.  He also feels that government should build a small access road which will enable visitors & villagers to visit this place.

TEXT & IMAGES : Kapil Korgaonkar

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