Temples in Goa

Contrary to popular perception, Goa is home to some of the most famous temples of Hindus. During the Portuguese occupation, the temples in Goa were subject to rampant destruction and devotees had to clandestinely smuggle the deities for fear of persecution. The idols were kept in makeshift shrines until the Portuguese allowed the first temple to be built in 1818. Hence most of the Goa temples are of recent built in comparison to other Indian temples and the temple architectures display marked deviations from standard practices. Following are some of the prominent temples of Goa

Shri Shantadurga Temple, Kavlem

Built in 1738 by king Shahu of Satara, this temple is the largest and most famous in hotels in Goa. This temple hotels in goa is dedicated to Goddess Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva. Being the most powerful of all goddesses, she also takes on a violent form and is then referred to as Durga. Legend has it that once during a quarrel between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, she appeared in the form of Durga and helped to amiably resolve the fight.

In the Sanskrit language, Shanta means peace. Thus by combining the two names, emerged the name Shantadurga, who has now come to be the Goddess of Peace.

Shri Naguesh Temple, Bandora

This temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the most ancient temples in Goa.It was established in 1413, years before Alfonso de Albuquerque arrived in hotels in Goa. The assembly hall of the temple has pillars with intricate woodcarvings. These carvings, that have been colourfully painted, narrate stories from the Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. On either side of the sanctum are ancillary shrines of Lakshmi- Narayan and Lord Gasnesh. This temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the most ancient temples in Goa hotels. It was established in 1413, years before Alfonso de Albuquerque arrived in hotels in Goa. The assembly hall of the temple has pillars with intricate woodcarvings. These carvings, that have been colourfully painted, narrate stories from the Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Beside the temple is a five-storied deepstambh (lamp tower). Niched on the lower half of the tower is brightly painted deities. The centuries old water tank is also worth looking at.The most important festival that is commemorated here during the month of November is the Anguish Satrap.

Shri Manguesh Temple, Priol

This temple is 22 kms. from Panaji (26 kms. from Margao) at Priol in Ponda Taluka. The temple is dedicated to Lord Manguesh, a form of Shiva, which is recognised only in Goa hotels. Mythology says that Lord Shiva came to hotels in Goa after having lost everything in a game of dice against his wife, Parvati. When Parvati came looking for him, he disguised himself as a tiger and frightened her. In a state of shock, Parvati uttered the words, "Trahi Mam Grisha", which when translated means, "O Lord of the Mountains, save me".

Shiva then reverted into his normal form and returned with her. The words, "Mam Grisha" came to be associated with this story and Shiva came to be known as 'Manguesh'. The place where this tale occurred was marked by building a temple at the site. This location is to the south of the Zuari River where the present day village of Cortalim stands. However, when the Portuguese took over, the deity was shifted from its original location to Priol where it remains today.

Shri Damodar Temple, Zambaulim

This temple, dedicated to lord Shiva, is one of the most serene temples in Goa hotels. It is situated on the banks of the Kushavati River, which is said to have medicinal properties. The original temple of this deity was situated in Margao. The deity was transferred to its present location in the year 1567 when the Portuguese brought down the original temple and built the Church of the Holy Spirit in its place. However, the present day temple building is quite modern. It was built sometime in the 1950s. The main festival celebrated at this temple is Holi or Gulal. Loads of devotees from all over hotels in Goa join in the celebrations. This colourful event is revelled amidst pomp and gaiety for several days.

Shri Mahalsa Temple, Mardol

Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity is the presiding deity in this temple. This deity was originally located at a temple in the Salcete taluka. However, in the 16th century, the troops of Adil Shah attacked the temple and razed it to the ground. The deity though was rescued and moved to its present location. Hotels In Goa, the goddess Mahalsa is accepted as Vishnu's consort the temple

However there is another belief that proclaims that Mahalsa is the female form of Lord Vishnu. Once, Lord Vishnu took the form of Mohini, an extremely beautiful woman and lured the demons away from their evil intentions of destroying the world. 'Mohini' was eventually disrupted and came to be known as 'Mahalsa'. At the entrance to the temple is an artistic, seven storied lamp tower, which is known as a deepstambh. Made entirely from brass, this tower stands 12.5 metres high. It is indeed a sight to see the tower aglow with oil lamps during Goa Holiday resorts festivals. The inner hall of the temple has carvings of the 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu that have been resplendently goa resorts painted. An embellished silver frame adorns the doorway to the sanctum. Behind the temple is an ancient water tank. The ambience around this tank is serene. The main festival celebrated here is the annual fair of the temple that is held in February. It is also called the Mardol Zatra. The other festivals observed here are Mahashivratri and Kojagiri Purnima.

Shri Mahalaxmi Temple, Bandode

Shri Mahalaxmi Temple is 4 kms from Ponda in the village Bandora. Shri Nagesh Maharoudra Temple is destined approximately 300 meter apart. The presiding deity is Shri Mahalaxmi other deities in the temple are Shri Narayan, Shri Baleshwar, Shri Ravalnath and Shri Narayan Purush. This place was known in the past as "Bandiwad" or "Bandivadem

The temple is considered the abode of the original Goddess of the Shakti cult. The Sabhamandap has a gallery of 18 images, out of 24 images of emanatory aspects of Bhagvata sect, which is considered one of the few galleries of wooden images of Vishnu Goa Holiday resorts in India. The image of Mahalakshmi has a close resemblance to that of Mahalakshmi at Kolhapur, the main centre of worship. Her special feature is that she wears a Linga on her head and is considered a peaceful or Satvik form of the Devi. The Shilahara rulers (750-1030 A. D.) and the early Kadamba Kings of Goa hotels worshipped the Goddess Mahalakshmi.Navaratri is celebrated grandly here. The speciality of this temple is its beautiful chowka which is famous for its grandeur and beauty.

Shri Mahadev Temple at Tambdi Surla

Built in the 13th century, this is the only temple belonging to the Kadamba architecture that has stood the test of time. The reason as to why the Kadambas chose the remote forests of the Sanguem taluka to build this temple remains unknown but its location has surely helped in its preservation. The temple has been built with black basalt, which was probably brought from across the borders, as this rock is not found hotels in Goa.

The intricate carvings that have been made on the pillars and walls of the temple are noteworthy. The temple has a simple fa├žade with a tower or a shikhara right above the sanctum. This tower has the images of the gods of the Hindu trinity along with their respective Goa Holiday resorts consorts beautifully carved on it. Lord Shiva facing the north, Lord Vishnu facing the west and Lord Brahma, the south.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the entrance of the temple faces the east so that the sunrays at dawn fall directly on the deity. The temple consists hotels in goa of three parts, the porch at the entrance, also called the mandapa, the antechamber or the antralaya and the main sanctum where the deity is placed. This sanctuary is also referred to as the garbhagriha. At the centre of goa hotels the temple is a statue of the Nandi bull that is supposed to be Lord Shiva's vehicle. However, the head of the bull no longer exists, suggesting that there were attacks made on the temple at some point of time. The Surla River flows close to the temple. Devotees generally take a dip in this river before entering the temple premises.