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Temples of Goa

Goa Holidays India > Goa Tourism > Religious Places > Temples


Despite the Portuguese influence that dominated Goa over the centuries, it is fascinating to see how such a large number of Hindu temples have survived here. Uprooted from place to place, the presiding deities were preserved and worshipped, at times, even in the houses of pujaris (priests), till they were ultimately ensconced in their present-day abodes. Some such old temples of Goa, which are noted for their natural beauty and simple architecture, have certain basic features, as in the days of yore, of being surrounded by betel nut trees, coconut groves and lakes of pure water. When you enter any of these temples you are welcomed by the sentinels-the great pillars of light.

SHRI GANPATI TEMPLE
Atrunja taluka in Goa is now called Ponda. It is a land of valleys and mountains. An ideal abode for the gods amidst coconut and areca nut groves, Ponda has many Hindu temples, the Sri Ganapati Temple at Khandole village being one of the most prominent and oldest. As in the case of all Ganapati temples, legends and lore are aplenty here. The idol of Ganapati, who rides on a mouse, was shifted during the inquisition from Elle to Naveli in Dewadi island; then to Khandepar in Ponda; from Ponda to Narve in Dichole; and finally to Khandole village near Mashel town in Ponda taluka.

Shri Anant Devasthan Goa, Temple tour GoaSHRI ANANT DEVASTHAN -- SAVOI-VEREM
This unique temple is situated at Savoi-Verem village in Ponda taluka. The deity carved in black stone is Lord Vishnu (the God of Preservation) who is in his Anantashayya (a sleeping position where the Lord rests on the multi-headed snake king Seshnaga, whose heads shelter the head of the Lord like an umbrella). Established in 1923 A.D., this temple is the only one containing this posture of the Lord in Goa. The sprawling temple complex consisting of temples of Shantadurga, Kamini, Narayan and Grampurush, and pillars with intricate wooden carvings and plated with silver are worth seeing.

SHRI BODGESHWAR TEMPLE - MAPUSA
Surrounded by greenery, it is a small shrine dedicated to Kanakeshwar Baba or Bodgeshwar, locally known as Bongini. The god is regarded as agngavani i.e. to whom vows are made and who fulfills desires of the devotees. On the fulfillment of desires, people offer presents to the God as promised by them earlier. A very big fair is held in the month of December/January when thousands of devotees flock to this temple.

SHRI BRAHMA TEMPLE - VALPOI
7 kms. from Valpoi, in the village of Brahma Carambolim, this shrine belongs to the 5th century A. D. It is one of the few temples dedicated to Lord Brahma found in India.

SHRI CHANDRANATH TEMPLE - PARODA
45 kms from Panaji, it is situated on the top of 350 metres high hill of Chandranath at Paroda, Quepem. Chandreshwar was the titular deity of the Bhoja kings who ruled South Goa till the middle of 8th century. They had named their capital Chandrapur after the deity. Shivalinga is carved out from the rock, which oozes whenever rays of full moon fall on it. The temple is so designed that the Linga receives moonlight on every full moon. The temple commands a panoramic view and its surroundings are enchanting. The temple's ancient chariot is well known for its wood carvings.

SHRI DAMODAR TEMPLE - ZAMBAULIM
22 kms. from Margao at Zambaulim, this temple is situated in picturesque surroundings on the banks of the river Kushavati, popularly known as Panti. Near the temple, the river is regarded particularly holy and is said to have medicinal properties. Hindus and Christians alike worship the deity. A week long celebration of Shigmo is packed with programmes, which include a colourful fair, exchange of gulal, collective meals and presentation of shows on popular legends and folk culture. The deity was originally in Margao.

SHRI DATTA MANDIR - DATTAWADI
Situated at a distance of 37 kms from Panaji at Dattawadi, Sanquelim, and 40 kms. from Margao, this century old temple of trimurty (Hindu) has a backdrop of a beautiful hillock covered with dense groves of areca palms. The most important festival, which is attended by devotees from all over Goa, is Datta Jayanti that falls in the month of December. The deity is believed to have cured many people of unsound mind. The entire interior consists of white marble.

SHRI DEVKI KRISHNA-RAVALNATH TEMPLE - MARCELA
Like many of Goa. s temples, the Devaki-Krishna Temple at Marchel was moved here from two previous locations, to be safe from oppression. The beautiful and unusual image in black stone is of the baby Krishna on his mother, Devaki. s hip. Could the Baby Jesus and his Mother, Mary, represented in so many of the neighbouring churches here have given this temple its inspiration, or is it simply an astonishing coincidence of the overlapping of Western and Eastern traditions?

SHRI ANANTA TEMPLE
Shri Ananta Temple at Sovei Veram is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the second god of the Hindu Trinity, whose role is that of preservation, just as Brahma. s is of creation and Shiva. s is of dissolution. This is the only Ananta Temple in Goa and therefore of special interest. Surrounded on all sides by water and beautiful countryside, the aspect of the temple site inspires tranquility and peace. For village folk, the pilgrimage could be undertaken for the purpose of exorcising spells as the belief is that the Lord has the power to do so.


 
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