Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Loliem Vetal – Goa

Loliem Vetal – Goa
Loliem is a small village in south Goa‘s Canacona Taluka. On entering the village look out for a small gateway on your left as you head downhill on the road. From here there’s a path running through a farmhouse frontage and beyond into the jungle. Before long you’ll reach a small clearing where the Vetal stands.

This Vetal, or Betal, is known locally as the Nagdo Betal (Nagdo meaning “unclad”). It’s a Goan deity that seems to be specific only to this region. There are other Vetal statues in the region, but mostly housed inside temples.

Vetal is a tribal deity which was absorbed into the Hindu pantheon after 1200 AD and became a part of the Brahminical temple (as Parivar devata or Panchayatan) but his popularity as a village deity did not decrease.
The Austric tribes worshipped Vetal from early times even when they were still in the stage of building temporary shelters.

Hence the shrines of Vetal were not provided any roof. The tribes believed that roofing over Vetal would bring grave misfortune to the misguided devotees. This was the period when they had learnt cultivation and started the slash-burn method farming. According to tradition, Vetal should not have a roof over his head and for this reason there are no temples to Vetal with classical architectural traditions.

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