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The temples of Goa remain silent but forcefully witnesses to the intense religious history of the diverse people who lived here. Therefore, a pilgrimage to Goa can be a unique experience.
The architecture of Goan temples is a little unusual because of some historical reasons. The main pattern of any Hindu temple is directed around the central shrine that houses the main God. A tower or "Shikara" comes up from the main shrine and is conventionally shaped up like a pyramid. There are mostly two or more smaller shrines surrounding other deities also.

Shri Damodar Temple

Location

Damodar Temple, a beautiful Goan temple, is considered sacred by both the Hindus and the Christians. It is placed 22 Km from Margao at Zambaulim. The temple enjoys its picturesque location on the banks of river Kushavati, popularly known as Panti.

History

The history of the earliest known temples in Goa date back to over a thousand years.

Well Maintained

Commercialization has not yet overtaken the holiness of the temples in Goa, as in some other parts of India. Visiting this temples, makes one feel that, it has not been touched by anyone and it is as pure as ever. This temple has been well observed and is worthy of being visited.

Beauty of Shri Damodar

This temple is situated on the beautiful surroundings of the banks of the River Kaushavati. The water of the river, near the Shri Damodar temple grounds, is considered holy and pure and is believed to be a cure for all ailments. The idyllic surroundings of this temple make the visit quite memorable.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva

Shri Damodar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The deity was shifted from 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.

Celebrations Held

Shri Damodar TempleThe week long celebration of Shigmo at the Shri Damodar temple is piled with programmes. Both the Hindu and the Christian community participate enthusiastically in the celebrations. There is a colorful fair, interchange of gulal, amass meals and the presentment of shows on popular legends and folk culture. The devotees from all over Goa get together to be a part of this celebration.

Shri Chandreshwar Temple

Location

Shri Chandreshwar Temple is situated at Paroda, on top of a 359 m high hill in Quepem Taluka.

History

It dates from the pre-Christian era, when this region formed a part of the Boja capital of Chandrapur. However, it is named as Chandor today. Sri Chandreshwar or God of the Moon is placed in a manner that it displays the visitor a fascinating view of the green valleys below. The present building dates back from the 17th century, but according to the reports, there has been a temple for over 1500 yrs. From the base the temple is approached by a steep flight of stairs.

Beauty of the Shri Chandreshwar Temple

Shiva linga is cut out from the rock which mucks out, whenever rays of full moon fall on it. The temple, is designed in a very distinguished manner. The famous Shiva Linga is lit up by moonlight on the full moon night, and is said to be mystically bathed in water. The temple dominates a panoramic view with beautiful surroundings around it.

Beautiful Attraction

The temple's ancient chariot is well known for its wood carvings.

The Main Deity

The Shri Chandreshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Chandranath or Lord of the Moon; an incarnation of Lord Shiva. This was actually the deity of the Bhojas, a dynasty that ruled Goa earlier.

About Shri Chandreshwar Temple

There are many buses that ply to this pilgrimage spot frequently. During the festival days there is a lot of crowd from outside Goa as well as the locals of Goa. The festivals like Maha Shiva Ratri are celebrated with great elegance and splendour

Shri Shantadurga Temple

Location

Shri Shantadurga Temple, is positioned 18 kms from Margao, at Fatorpa (Quepem). Situated at the foothill of Kavalem, the Shantadurga temple owns a beautiful massive tank called as Dipa Stambha and Agrashalas.

The original place of Shree Shantadurga Devi

The original place of Shree Shantadurga devi was at Keloshi. From there devi was repositioned to Kavlem during the dominance of Portuguese government. The original site of Sri Shantadurga temple is Kardelivana of Quelossim in Mormugao Taluka, where the great poet Krishnadas Shama composed epic "Sri Krishna Charita" credibly in the 14th century on the lines of Dnyaneshwari.

History

The temple was built in 1728 AD during the rule of Shahu Maharaj of Satara at the request of Naro Ram Mantri, one of his very good ministers.

Current Structure This current structure of Shree Shantadurga devi was built during the period from 1713 A.D to 1738 A.D. Many redevelopments has been done over the years to the main templeas well as the temples of other deities besides the agarshala [guest house] which is built encircling the temple.

Other Names

At several places it is known by various names, "Thamai", "Sateri", "Bhumka", "Adimaya" and others.

Idol

Shri Shantadurga Temple Shree Shantadurga temple has an imposing idol of Goddess Shree Durga who speculated between Shree Vishnu and Shree Shiva and ceased the fearful war going on between the two Lords. She is encircled by Vishnu and Shiva on both the sides.

Three temples of Shri Shantadurga

There are three temples of Shri Shantadurga - one at Kavlem, Pemem and Fatorpa (Quepem). Given below are the details of the three Shri Shantadurga Temple in Goa.
Shri Shantadurga (Kavlem): An opulently built temple is located 33 kms from Panaji. The Shri Shantadurga temple has a rich and beautiful 'Garbhakuda' (the holy of holies) where, the deity is kept. The deity was shifted from Kelsi. This temple is dedicated to Shantadurga. Shantadurga is the Goddess who mediates between Vishnu and Shiva. The 'Agrashalas' provide accommodation facilities to the devotees like lodgings etc.
Shri Shantadurga (Pemem): This Shri Shantadurga Temple is positioned 14 kms from Mapusa at Dhargal, Pemem. The temple is set in the middle of extremely beautiful scenic environment. The Goddess of this Shri Shantaduega temple was moved out at Sanquelim, when all the temples in Barde were destroyed by the Portuguese. So, in 1550 A.D this Goddess was taken to Dhargal in Pemem Taluka which also formed a component of Sewantwadi territory. The 'Zatra' of this Goddess is held in the month of December.

Shri Shantadurga (Kunkolienkarin): This Shri Shantadurga temple is situated 18 kms from Margao, at Fatorpa (Quepem). Earlier it was from Cuncolim village in Salcete Taluka, the Goddess was removed to Fatorpa in 16th Century during religious persecution by the Portuguese. The annual 'Zatra' falls in the month of Pausha Shuddha Navami and is participated by thousands of devotees and tourists from all over the world.

Festival

The annual zatra, which falls in the month of Pausha Shuddha Navami draws thousands of devotees from all over the Goa.

Manguesh Temple

Location

Manguesh Temple is situated along the National Highway-4A about 23-km from Panaji. Positioned 22 kms from Panaji, this temple is set on a picturesque location, on a hillock surrounded by lush green hills.

History

Although the Sri Manguesh temple was hidden as a closed book in Cortalim, but then, it was moved to its present site between Mardol and Priol during the 16th century. The structure that tourists admire dates back to 1700's.

Deity

Lord Shiva is the main deity worshipped in this temple.

Attractions of Manguesh Temple

The massive welcome gate and an elegant lamp tower "Noubatkhana" dominating the temple tank makes the tourist feel bewildered at its first sight and the Agrashalas on three sides also give an enchanting look.

It has an airy atmosphere of a peculiar style. The grand white tower at the entrance is a landmark of the countryside.

Inside, the floor is surfaced with marble and decorative tiles which further highlight the white walls. The beautiful raised silver thresholds, with fluorite patterns, direct to the sanctum which houses a Shiva Lingam .

A golden "Shesha" next to the Linga and an image of Shiva compromises the main altar. Manguesh Temple

Legend

There is an interesting story or legend related to Lord Manguesh, who is an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The name Manguesh is not used for Lord Shiva anywhere else in India. You'll come to know why it is used in Goa only.according to legends once Lord Shiva lost everything he had in a game of dice with his wife Parvati. As decided, he went to go into self-imposed exile and visited Goa. But, Parvati could not live without her husband so she came to find out Lord Shiva in jungles. Lord planned to play a prank with her. He turned himself into a tiger to scare her. Parvati cried out for help and uttered the words 'Trahi Mam Girisha' (O Lord of Mountains Save Me!). Lord Shiva immediately turned himself back into his normal form and the two were united.But the cry for help, and the words 'mam girisha' got linked with Lord Shiva. In the course of time the words abbreviated to Manguirisha or Manguesh by which name he is known today also. A linga which was left to mark the place where the legend happened was noticed by a local shepherd and finally a temple was built to house Lord Manguesh.

Architecture

The temple architecture is a blend of Hindu, Christian and Muslim charms and is illuminated in glorious lights during the annual Jatra which is held in January. The deity is taken out in a palanquin and paraded in huge chariots during the festival which is attended by thousands of devotees. Festivals and many other religious activities are conducted at regular intervals.

Other Temples

Brahma Temple

The Brahma temple is located in the village of Brahma Carambolim and 7 km away from Valpoi. This shrine belongs to the 5th century A. D. It is one of the few temples dedicated to Lord Brahma found in India.

Bhagvati Temple

28 kms. from Panaji in Pernem Taluka, this ancient temple is situated by the side of the main road. It is said to be more than 500 years old. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Bhagwati, an embodiment of Goddess Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva. Two life-sized images of elephants in standing position, made of black stone on either side at the entrance, greet the visitors. The Goddess Bhagavati Asthbhuja in a standing position, on a high plinth, is a very distinguished one. Dussehra is celebrated with full merriment from Ashwin Shuddha Pratipada to Poornima, when approximately 25 thousand devotees forgather at this temple.

Brahma TempleSri Datta Mandir

This temple is located at Sanquelim and is dedicated to the Hindu Trinity of Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar. It is 37 kms from Dattawadi, Sanquelim, and 40 kms. from Margao. This temple is believed to magically cure all mental troubles. The most important festival, which is looked upon by devotees from all over Goa, is Datta Jayanti which falls in the month of December. The entire interior of the temple is beautifully made of pure white marble. This century old temple, has a back drop of a beautiful hillock, covered with dense grasslands of areca palms.

Devaki-Krishna Temple

Popularly known as Pisso Ravalnath, this temple is situated 17 kms at Marcela, Ponda. The most important festival celebrated here is "Maini Paumima" in the month of Pausa. (January). Like many of Goa's temples, the Devaki-Krishna Temple at Marchel was moved here to keep away from repression. It was moved from its two previous locations. It houses a strange beautiful image in black stone, of the baby Krishna on his mother, Devaki's hip.

Gomanteshwar Temple Gomanteshwar Temple is situated near Ela farm at Old Goa. Mahadev was worshipped during the days of Kadamba Kingdom in Goa. Madan Tirtha Goraksha Math, etc. still remind the radiance and aura of the place. This temple at Brahmapuri dates back to the Kadamba Kings who ruled Goa in the 5th century AD.

Bomeka Temple

Situated at a distance of 25 kms from Mapusa and 66km from Panaji, this temple complex possess beautiful natural surroundings. This temple is situated at Sal, near Bicholim. It is dedicated to Lord Mahadeva, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The three-day festival of 'Gades' which begins on Phalgun Purnima attracts big crowds. The devotees have a strong believe that people can have the darshan of 'Devchars' during the Gade festival. A motorable road links Sancordem to this temple complex.

Ganesha Temple

This temple is an excellent amalgamation of modern and ancient architecture. It is situated at Farmagudi, near the village of Bandivade, at Ponda. It idolizes the stone image of Lord Ganapathi, son of Lord Shiva.The stone image of Gopal Ganapati was discovered by herdsmen, while grazing cattle near the hill and later installed in a small shrine with a thatched roof. The first building of this temple immortalizes the celebration of the Portuguese, back out following the sudden coming, of the Marathas under King Sambhaji. The present Temple is a creation of The Late Dayanand Bandodkar, Goa's first chief minister and the new metallic alloy idol of "Gopal Ganapathi" was established on April 24, 1966.

Sharvani Devasthan

Vithal Maharudra Panchayatan the complex comprises of a number of temples of Jagrut Swayambhu Goddess Sharvani, Mahadev and Vetal with his life size image of stone and other deities. It is situated in beautiful panoramic surroundings at Advolpal in North Goa, located 2.5 kms. from Assonora on Pirna main road. The Goddess is well-liked for accomplishing the vows of her devotees through Kaul Prasad who also perform Tulbhar to appease her. Thousands of devotees pile up on Vardhapan day, Divja Zatra day and annual Zatra day in November/December, when procession of Goddess is taken out in an ornamented chariot.

 
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