Once upon a time in a forest, the demon Malla was fighting Arjun (one of the Pandava brothers from the Hindu epic Mahabharata). At the time, Lord Shiva assumed the form of a hunter and saved Arjun’s life by killing the demon. This incident rechristened Lord Shiva as Mallikarjun, and around this story, rose one of the most significant temples for Konkan Marathas–the Mallikarjun Temple.
Constructed in the 16th century, Mallikarjun Temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples in the Indian state of Goa. Surrounded by lush green mountains, with soft floating clouds overhead, the quaint structure is situated near Shristhal village in Canacona district, Goa.
Lord Mallikarjun, also known as Adavat Sinhasanadhishwar Mahapati Canacona among the locals, is represented by a Shivaling covered with a metallic human face mask. The face is said to be the face of the hunter he was disguised as.
What really sets this temple apart from other Hindu temples in the state is the Shisharanni ritual.