Madhav Tirtha, a possible mikveh

This is the only heritage site in Goa, who is linked to general Madhav Mantri: The Brahmanpuri Madhav Tirtha. It is a possible mikveh, used for ritual baths according to the faith of Judaism.

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Prof. Gideon Avni and Mr. Ivar Fjeld examine the site.

The Brahmanpuri Madhav Tirtha next to Ella Farm, Old Goa, is believed to have been established by General Mantri in the 14th century. In the Pre-Portuguese age of Goa.

This is the recordings found on a few goan websites:

” Brahmapuri was established in the 14th century and probably became a great seat of learning and religious power under the patronage of Vijayanagar kings. It is believed that Madhav Mantri  restored the temple and reinstalled the idol of Shri Gomanteshwar and constructed a ritual bathing tank at Brahmapuri.  This is the only monument to Madhav Mantri, the Vijayanagar General, who restored peace and prosperity after conquering Goa from the Bahamanis in the 14th century”.

The source for this information seems to be the book “Village Goa” by Olivinho Gomes.

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Indian archaeologists and the Times of India visited the site together with a team from Israel, 24th of January 2017.

During an 2015 examination of the site, it was revealed that the tank has no ancient connection to the local temple trust. A team of researchers came across local citizens of this area who believe that the tank has a connection to “an ancient Church”. A local Catholic priest do occasionally visit this site and perform religious rituals.

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There are many simularities between this tank-system and a Mikveh.

The features of the Brahmanpuri Madhav Tirtha makes its possible that this is an ancient Jewish mikveh. This bath/pool/mikhve has seven steps into the water, and is a dual tank system. The highest elevated tank, seems to be the basin storage tank of the
water. There is an underground system of ancient water chanels, which brings fresh spring water from the hills.

The Cairo Geniza documents confirms the presence of Jewish merchants in “Sindabur”, belived to be the Gopakapattana basin. Brahmanpuri was for a brief period of time, the capital of an independent village republic of Goa. (1440 to 1465 A.D). It is likely that any Jewish community based in the Gopakapattana basin was shifted to Brahmanpuri, and a local synagogue established in this area, prior to the establishment of the Bahamni capital of Ela (City of Goa).

José Nicolau da Fonseca, in his book, “An historical and archeological sketch of the city of Goa”, page 155, claims there were synagogues in the city of Ela. There were also a Rua dos Judeus (The street of the Jews) in the city.

On March 19th 2015, in a letter to the ASI, Mr. Ivar Fjeld requested for a new examination of the site.

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About ivarfjeld

Born in Bergen, Norway in 1965
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