Shri Chandreshwar-Bhootnath Temple is located on Parvat Hill, Paroda, which is around 26 kilometres from Margao, South Goa. From the main entrance (Mahadwar) of this temple, which is next to the main road, it takes almost 5-6 km to reach the main temple.
One of the oldest temples in Goa, Shri Chandreshwar-Bhootnath Temple is dedicated to Shiva, represented with a crescent moon on his forehead, hence the name Chandreshwar.
Some scholars opine that the kings of the Bhoja dynasty worshipped Shiva in the form of Chandreshwar or Chandranath in the Common Era. The sanctum of this temple is a rock-cut cave which has a Shivalinga. A popular belief is that the moon’s rays fall directly on the linga on every full-moon day.
The Bhootnath shrine is located in the same area adjacent to the Shri Chandreshwar Temple. It is interesting to note that both these constructions are situated in such a way that the idol of Chandreshwar faces that of Bhootnath, who is considered the chief commander of Chandreshwar.
There are beautiful carvings depicting ancient religious incidences from the Puranas in the main hall of the temple. The main linga of Chandreshwar is surrounded by other deities such as Ganesh, Navdurga, Vishnu, Mahalaxmi, etc.
On climbing down a little way, we find a parking place for vehicles and two smaller temples (ghumtis) of Kalabhairava and Siddha Bhairava. Here there is a Kamandalu Tirtha (water tank) which has water that is considered sacred and used for the abhishek (ritual cleansing or purification) of the deity Chandreshwar.
Apart from a few more temples on Parvat Hill, one encounters the remarkable scenic view of luxuriant greenery in the surrounding area.
If one wants to experience the divine through nature, this is a perfect stop. Aside from imbibing the tranquillity and serenity this area has to offer, one can appreciate the different species of animals and birds that are endemic to Goa.
The hill’s biodiversity is indeed rich and a multitude of medicinal herbs can be acquired here. There is tremendous scope for organising biodiversity trails, trekking, picnics and tourist sightseeing at Parvat.
Recently the road leading to the parking space has been closed to four-wheelers as it developed cracks during the heavy rainfall this year and is prone to landslides.
Once the road is repaired, and there is less of a likelihood of landslides, this place could be visited on Mahashivratri, Dussehra and Hanuman Jayanti where the chariots are taken out for the palakhi procession, to witness cultural celebrations in all their glory.