Temples in goa
Goa's many charming temples are built in a style that incorporates Hindu, Islamic and Christian architectural elements. Many are located in the vicinity of Ponda. These complexes have elaborate Deep Stambhas, domes in place of shikharas, which are crowned by Kalasas, saracenic arches, traditional Mandapas and temple tanks. Among the most revered temples in this area are the Sri Mangueshi Temple at Priol, the Sri Naugesh Temples, the temple of Sri mahalasa Narayan, a folk deity, the Sri Ramnathi Temple at Kavalem and the Sri shantadurga, a shrine to Durga worshipped unusually in a peaceful avatar. Do not forget to visit the sole surviving example of the Kadamba architecture at Tamdi Surla known as the Mahadeva temple.
SRI ANANTA TEMPLE
Location: Ponda Taluka, Sovol Verem, Near Marcela, Maharashtra
Presiding Deity: Anant Sheshashayi
This is one of the famous temples situated in Ponda Taluka at Sovoi Verem a few km from Marcela. This is the only temple of Ananata in Goa. Water and beautiful scenery surround it on all sides. Besides the main deity Anant Sheshashayi, the complex also has Shantadurga, Kamini, Narayan and Grampurush temples.
The idol of Ananta is carved in black stone. Though the structure of the temple is small it is quite inviting. The pillar decoration is very minute and full of intricate designs. The brass stand on the lamp the special illumination stands or "Deepmala" are sacred objects of worship.
SRI BHAGAVATI AND SRI SAPTESHWAR TEMPLES
Location: In Pernem Taluka, Near Morjim, Goa
Presiding Deity: Bhajnisaptah
Not far from Morjim are two temples namely, Bhagavati and Parshem and Sapteshwar Bhagamati at Mandrem in Pernem Taluka.
The principal festival observed are the 7 days "Bhajanisaptah" at Mandrem, which is celebrated in Kartika. The Zatra, Dussehra and "Shimgo" are other festivals, which are attended by large crowds. Surrounding the main temples can be seen some exquisitely sculptured ancillary deities.
SRI CHANDRESHWAR TEMPLE
Location: Chandranath Hill, Goa
Presiding Deity: Lord Chandreshwar
On way back from Zambaulim one can take a slight diversion at Paroda to proceed to the Chandranath hill and climb the huge granite steps to reach to the temple of Sri Chandreshwar. Though a major portion of the approach road to the temple is metalled, only a small portion before campus is provided with granite stone steps.
The side altar is that of Sri Bhutnath. Chandranath formed a part of the Bhoja capital Chandrapur. The South Goa Bhojas worshipped the deity years before the Christian era till the middle of the 8th century AD. The temple has the famous Shiva Linga, which was supposed to ooze water with the touch of moonlight.
The temple atop the hill has been designed in such a way, that moonlight directly falls on the Shiva Linga on the full moon night. One can have a birds' eye view of a long ending green valley of Salcete and Quepem Taluka from the Chandranath hill.
SRI DAMODAR TEMPLE
Location: 22-kms From Margao, Goa
SRI DEVAKI KRISHNA TEMPLE
Presiding Deity: Lord Damodar
Also known As: Damubab
Main Festivity: Gulal Festival
Situated in the idyllic surroundings of Zambaulim and on the banks of the river Kushavati is the temple of Sri Damodar. The deity was shifted to this place from Margao in the 16th century.
Located 22-km from Margao City, the headquarters of South Goa district, Sri Damodar or simply "Damubab" to the faithful, continues to be the patron deity of the people of Margao. The Gulal festival of colour in the month of Phalguna is the biggest attraction at the Zambaulim temple.
Location: 3-km From Banastri Bridge on Panaji-Ponda Road, Goa
Presiding Deity: Lord Krishna
3-km away from Banastari Bridge on Panaji -Ponda Road is situated the noteworthy temple dedicated to Devaki Krishna at Marcel. The deity is said to have been brought from Chorao in Tiswadi to Mayem in Bicholim and then shifted to its present place during the days of religious persecution by the alien rulers.
The Garbha Griha contains the beautiful idol of Devaki and Lord Krishna. The idol of Devaki is in standing posture with a child Krishna, sitting astride her hip. This particular pose is considered to be unique in Goa. The idols are beautifully carved in black stone. The major festival is Malni Purnima from Paush Vadya is celebrated over here with great fervour and excitement.
SRI KALIKA TEMPLE
Location: Gillage Kansarpal, Near Assonora, Mapusa, and North Goa
Presiding Deity: Goddess Kali (Rudra Form of Goddess Durga)
Main Devotees: Daivadnya Brahmans
One of the most important Hindu monuments in North Goa is the temple dedicated to Sri Kalika situated in the Gillage Kansarpal near Assonora, a few kilometers away from the Mapusa town. The Daivadnya Brahmans are the main devotes of this deity. A huge gold "Kalash" atop the dome of the temple beckons thousands of devotees and inquisitive visitors to this otherwise secluded place.
The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali, which is the Rudra form of Goddess Durga. The temple represents a fine blend of aesthetics and architectural designs.
SRI KAMAKSHI TEMPLE
Location: 12-km From Kavalem, Goa
Presiding Deity: Goddess Kamakshi (An Incarnation OF Goddess Kamakhya)
Main Attraction: A Temple Dedicated to Lord Rayeshwara.
About 12-km from Kavalem is situated another important religious monument which is dedicated to Sri Kamakashi. The deity is believed to have come from Kamakhya, Guwahati in Assam, which is her original abode.
In Goa, the original location of Sri Kamakshi temple was Raia in Salcete Taluka. But alien rulers subsequently shifted the deity to Shiroda village in Ponda Taluka due to religious persecution.
The place where temple is has an ancient name "Shivagram". Of the smaller temples present in the complex there is the one dedicated to Lord "Rayeshwara". People irrespective of religious faith and hailing originally from Raia, still venerate Sri Kamaksha.
Location: In Village Sal, 5-km From Kasarpal
Main Festivity: Gade Festival
Just 5-km from Kasarpal is another temple complex with beautiful natural surroundings at village Sal, which is soon going to be converted into a tourist village.
The Festivity: The temple is famous all over Goa and Sindhudurg district for its annual festival of "Gade", which is a three-day religious affair from Phalgun Vadya 1 to 3. Devotees believe that people can have Darshan of 'Devchar' at night during the festival and hence the Gade attracts huge crowds even from urban areas of Goa.
Presiding Deity: Goddess Lakshmi
Nearby Attraction: Sri Maruti Temple
The temple tour can be resumed by offering prostrations unto Goddess Mahalakshmi, the presiding deity of Panaji, the capital of Goa. The main temple has been reconstructed recently. The main festivals at this temple are Navaratri and Chaitra Purnima.
A kilometre away and perched on the Altinho hillock overlooking the Mandovi River is the temple of Sri Maruti, which is equally patronised by the city dwellers. The Maruti Zatra in the month of February draws large crowds of devotees from far and nears.
Location: Village Mardol, 1-km From Mangueshi, Goa
Presiding Deity: Manifestation of Lord Vishnu as Mohini.
Houses: A Huge Dipa Stambha
Hardly one kilometre away from Mangueshi is the village Mardol where nestles the temple of Sri Mahalasa. While it is commonly understood that Mahalasa is a form of "Shakti", "Madalasa" or "Narayani", the deity is also being worshipped as the manifestation of Lord Vishnu as "Mohini".
A huge 'Dipa Stambha' made of five metals greets the visitors at the entrance of the temple, which was built in the 17th century. It has exquisite wooden carvings of ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Huge round pillars held the 'Sabhamandapa' at the entrance, which is being reconstructed to recapture the glorious past of the original temple situated at Verna in "Salcete Taluka".
SRI MANGUESH TEMPLE
Location: Mangueshi, Ponda Taluka, 23-km From Panaji, Goa
Presiding Deity: Lord Shiva
Houses: A Lamp Tower, A Welcome Gate, And A Noubatkhana & Agarshalas.
Sri Manguesh temple at Mangueshi in Ponda Taluka, the most prominent among temples, is situated along the National Highway-4A about 23-km from Panaji. This temple is famous for its pristine glory, which attracts thousands of visitors every year and is gifted by the Welcome Gate, an elegant lamp tower, a "Noubatkhana" overlooking the temple tank and the "Agrashalas" on three sides.
Although the Sri Manguesh temple originally stood in a secret location in Cortalim, and was moved to its present site between Mardol and Priol during the 16th century, the structure visitors see today dates from the 1700s.
Within The Temple Enclosure: A gateway at the roadside leads to a paved path and courtyard that leads to a water tank, overlooked by the white temple building, raised on a plinth. Also in the courtyard is a seven-storey 'Deepmal', a tower for oil lamps. Inside, the floor is paved with marble, and bands of decorative tiles emblazon the white walls. Flanked by large 'Dvarpala' guardians, embossed silver doorways with florite designs lead to the sanctum, which houses a Shiva Lingam.
A golden "Shesha" besides the Linga and an image of Shiva constitute the main altar. Lore has it that Parvati; the heavenly consort of Lord Shiva came to Goa in search of her spouse who had disappeared from Kailasa following an altercation between them. The Lord tried to frighten her by appearing in the form of a tiger. Parvati beseeched Shiva to protect her in these terms. Trahi Mam Girisha (protect me the Lord of mountains). "Mam Girisha" subsequently became "Mangirisha" or "Manguesh".
The temple is small yet grand with all the component of a Hindu temple, like the Prakara, mini shrines, Garbha Griha, grand towers and spacious courtyards. The entire complex, due to outlandish impact looks like a Gurdwara or palatial mansion, but when entering the complex, one finds our Hindu traditional gods and their accommodation according to Shastric injunctions. Its citizens and tourists offer devout worship to this deity as well. Festivals and periodical devotional activities are conducted with great zeal commendable.
Location: Morjim, Prename Taluka, 15-km From Mapusa, Goa
Main Festivity: Kalash AutoSave
This is yet another temple situated at Morjim in Pernem Taluka, which is about 15-km from Mapusa. The temple complex is situated around sylvan surroundings.
The Festivities: The main festival is "Kalash AutoSave" which is celebrated every three, five, seven or nine years. Duration of the festival is nearly a month, beginning from "Phalgun Shush Panchami". The concluding 7 days is a big cultural and religious affair when people not only from Goa, but also from Sindhudurga in Maharashtra and Karwar in Karnataka assemble in large numbers. Other festivals that are celebrated at this temple site are Gudi Padva, Dussehra, Zatra, "Divjam" and "Ghode Mundim".
SRI NAGUESH TEMPLE
Presiding Deity: Lord Ganesh
Renovated: In Chtrapati Shahu Era
The Naguesh temple with old scriptures on stone at Nagueshim, the Mahalakshmi at Nagueshim Bandora, the Ramnath temples at Ramnathi and Shantadurgta temple at Kavalem. The Ganesh temple has been bequeathed to posterity but the temple was subsequently renovated in the days of Chatrapati Shahu, the Maratha ruler of Satara.
The galleries of the Sabhamantapa contain exquisite specimen of intricate woodcarvings of famous episodes from Ramayana on one side and wooden images of "Astadikpal" and "Gandharva".
SRI NAVDURGA AT MADKAI
Location: Village Marcaim, 9-km East Of Ponda, Goa
Presiding Deity: Navdurga
9-km to the east of Ponda in the village Marcaim amidst sylvan background is situated the temple of Navdurga. The temple is said to be about 500 years old and was renovated in 1603 AD.
In the center or Garbhagriha of the temple is a stone idol of the Goddess placed on a raised platform. The idol in standing position is four feet and her peculiarity lies in her pose; that is her neck, which is slightly bent to the left, and she is in the form of "Mahisasurmardini".
The annual fair from Kartika Vadya 4 to 10 is considered to be a religious gathering in which people participate in large number.
As one proceeds further, one comes across a string of beautiful temples nestling amidst swaying palms and abundant greenery. They include the Ganesh Temple at Farmagudi, which is known for the visit of Maratha warrior "Sambhaji
SRI RAMNATHI TEMPLE
Presiding Deity: Ramanathi (An Incarnation of Lord Shiva)
Worshipped By: Shaivites & Vaishnavites
Built In: 1566 AD
Situated close to the temple of Naugesh is the temple of Ramnathi. The deity is incarnation of Lord Shiva and is equally revered by both Shaivites and Vaishnavites.
Lord Ramnath is the form of Shiva worshipped by Lord Rama before embarking on the Sri Lanka campaign to free Goddess Sita from the clutches of Ravana. It is famous for its serene atmosphere. The temple was built around 1566 AD and was renovated in 1905. The "Sabhamantapa", however, is a recent addition.
NARVEN- BICHOLIM SRI SAPTAKOTEESWARA TEMPLE
Location: 37-km From Panaji, Goa
Presiding Deity: Lord Shiva
Architecture: Medieval Architecture Style
As one tries to return to Panaji from Harvalem, one can visit the famous temple of Sri Saptakoteshwar Naroa, Bicholim. Sri Saptakoteshwara was the patron deity of the Kadamb as who had built a beautiful temple dedicated to this deity at the Diwar Island.
The invading foreign rulers destroyed the temple and built a chapel dedicated to Candelaria in 1641 AD. The devotees shifted the image of Sri Saptakoteshwara to Naroa then. It was Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja who ordered renovation of the temple in 1668.
An Abode of Shavaite Worshippers: The Kadamba kings were staunch Shaivaites and patronised the arts to a commendable degree that deserves emulation more than appreciation. Their gigantic temples adorned with superb sculpture and architectural Excellencies, though built some seven centuries back, are still beckoning the attention of the theists and tourists.
Despite they’re external grandeur and magnificence being tested by the vagaries of time; their spiritual effulgence is still illumining the paths of the earnest seekers. The Shiva temples built at Tambdisurla and Naven-Bicholim are testifying to the rulers' devotional zeal and their care for public zeal.
An Example of Medieval Architecture: The famous Saptakoteshwara temple is a standing specimen of medieval architectural style and mirrors the rulers' refinement and artists, superior craftsmanship. It is elegantly beautified with sculptural adornments.
It is a big temple with imposing tower, vast courtyards and several mini-shrines for all the premier Shaivate gods. The Archamurti- Shivalinga is called "Dhara-Linga". Its majesty and glistening polish forces one to raise his hands and fills the souls with bliss. It was the favored deity of the kings.
SRI SHANTADURGA TEMPLE
Location: Kavalem, Goa
Presiding Deity: Goddess Shantadurga
Built In: 1728 AD
Built During: The Reign of Shahu Maharaja of Satara
There is the famous temple of Sri Shantadurga the goddess of peace who is said to have settled a quarrel between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu amicably. Sri Shantadurga is worshipped all over Goa and scores of temples have been devoted to this deity. At several places several names, “Thamai”, “Sateri”, “Bhumka”, “Adimaya” and others know it.
Situated at the foothill of Kavalem, the Shantadurga temple boasts of a huge tank, a Dipa Stambha and Agrashalas. The temple was built in 1728 AD during the reign of Shahu Maharaja of Satara at the request of one of his ministers, Naro Ram Mantri.
The original site of Sri Shantadurga temple is Kardelivana of Quelossim in Mormugao Taluka, where the great bard Krishnadas Shama penned the epic "Sri Krishna Charita" probably in the 14th century on the lines of Dnyaneshwari.
Location: Fatorpa in Quepem Taluka, Goa
Presiding Deity: Goddess Shantadurga
Worshipped By: Hindus & Christians
Main Festivity: Jajrotsva Festival
Situated at Fatorpa in Quepem Taluka, the temple dedicated to Shantadurga was originally from Cuncolim and hence, the deity is known as "Shantadurga Kukalienkarin". The idol is made of five metals and is one foot in height. The deity is known as "Jagrit Devta" and holds in its arms a shield and a Trishula.
Hindus and Christian’s alike worship Shantadurga, as the devotees believe that she asks in their dreams anything she likes and they offer the things demanded by Goddess with great veneration. Hence, the temple has much religious sanctity. The principal festival is "Jatrotsava", which attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over Goa.
SRI SHARVANI DEVASTHAN, ADVALPAL
Location: Advolpale, North Goa
Presiding Deity: Goddess Shravani
Main Festivities: Vardhpan Day, Divja Jatra Day & Annual Jatra Day
Complex comprises of temples of Jagrut Swayambhu, Goddess Sharvani, Mahadev and Vetal with his life image of stone and other deities. Situated in scenic surroundings at Advolpale in North Goa, 2½-km from Assonora on the Pirna main road. The temple was shifted from Salgaon, Bardez, first to Ajgaon, Sawantwadi at the end of the 16th century and then to this place during Portuguese regime.
Salgaonkars, both Brahmin and Non-Brahmin Petkar families are 'Mahajans'. Goddess is known for fulfilling vows of her devotees through 'Kaul Prasad'. Devotees also perform "Tulabhar" to propitiate her.
Thousands of devotees throng on "Vardhpan Day", "Divja Jatra Day" and annual Jatra Day on Margashirsh Shukla, 3 in November/ December when procession of Goddesses is taken out in decorated chariots.
SRI VITHAL TEMPLE
Location: Sanquelim, Goa
Re-Build In: 1942 AD
From Kansarpal one can proceed to Sanquelim, the hometown of the Ranes of Satari who played key role in Goa's freedom struggle. The ancestors of the present Rane family, who are believed to have migrated to Goa from Udaipur about 600 years ago, built the famous Sri Vithal temple situated on the bank of Valvanta River.
The temple was reconstructed in 1942 AD, incorporating the North India style of temple architecture though sanctum-sanctorium was left untouched. The main festivities at the temple are held during the nine days preceding "Chairtra Purnima".
An exquisitely carved wooden chariot symbolising the chariot of Arjuna of Mahabharata and driven by Lord Krishna is an important attraction of the temple complex.
Location: Tambdi Surla, 69-km From Panaji, Goa
Presiding Deity: Lord Shiva
Built In: 12th Century
Architecture: Yadava Style Architecture Style
During the reign of Kadambas, in the 13th century, the Goan territory thrived in all directions due to benign administration of the enlightened rulers. Several temples were built for all the gods of Hindu Pantheon, like Nageswar, Vithal, Santadurga, Mahalaxmi (also spelt as Mahalakshmi), Ramnath, etc. Unfortunately, most of them were razed to ground by the aliens, who are aliens to culture and refinement. After more than 400 years of darkness, some of the surviving shrines opened their doors to carry on activities for public benefit.
On account of foreign impact, many temples seem to be putting on a veneer of western civilization, but deep examination shows, that the core of Hindu culture remained untainted, immaculate and dynamic.
Keeping Intact The Hindu Cultural Heritage: In the temples renovated or built afresh, as in the past, "Agamic Puja", with all rituals, is being conducted demonstrating that the much-adorned Hinduism has not lost its vitality, nor has bartered away its glory during the foreign rule. The Mahadev temple at Tambdi Surla where ancient traditions are followed serves as an example to this.
Situated in West Goa, the Mahadeva Temple in Tambdi Surla is the state's only prominent reminder of the pre-Portuguese temple architecture. Maintained by the ASI (Archeological Survey of India), this 12th century temple boasts of some fine relief's on the 'Shikhara' (spire) depicting a plethora of gods and goddesses.
It was built in the Yadava style of architecture with all the necessary parts, like Garbha Griha, Mukhamandapa, Mini-shrines, etc. and presents an extremely grand look. Do not miss the impressive carved wall near the entrance, and the chiselled monolith pillars.
HOW TO GET THERE
Road: The temple site lies 69-km off Panaji, in the Sangham Taluk at the feet of the Western Ghats and is accessible by four wheelers.