Temple Run at Goa’s Preserved Shrines

Temples?? And Goa??? Sounds quite contradictory …. Doesn’t it? But Goa is not just about Portuguese architecture, beaches, parties and churches. The colourful temples of Goa has its own charm and the different architecture provides you a glimpse of Goa’s old Indian traditional life.

I rode on for the temple run across the Ponda region of Goa and was really amazed by its beauty and serenity.

The common feature of most of the temples is colourful interiors, kund (water tank) and Deepa Stambha ( Lamp Tower)

Here are some beautiful temples you must visit

Kapileshwar Temple

Location: Ponda Village(reachable from Margao)

Located at the entrance of Ponda(Phonde) village, this temple of Shiva marks the beginning of the Sarswat Brahmin’s territory.

Shanta Durga Vijayate

Temples of goa

Location: Ponda Village (reachable from Margao)

This temple might be only one of its kinds in India. Goddess Durga, who is supposed to be a fierce incarnation of Shakti is worshiped here in her tranquil form which is definitely unusual.

As per the mythological story, once, during a rare fight between Lord Shiva and Vishnu, Goddess Durga played a pacifier and succeeded in calming down the angry Gods. Since then, she is worshiped as ‘Shanta (peaceful) Durga Vijayate (the victorious one).

The temple is a bright red coloured building with intricate carvings on silver plates on interior walls. The interior sanctum has immense flow of positive enrgy that will bless you with peace and positivity. The white Deepa Stambha right in front of the temple entrances stands out among the red bildings. You can also visit the Silk Saari exhibition on the right side in the complex premise that displays the Saaris donated to the Goddess’ idol.  Prasadam can also be taken at the Bhojanalay in the complex. Don’t miss out the kund (water tank) while entering the temple, and of course fresh colorful flowers would attract you with the most delicious fragrance.

The original temple is supposed to be in the older village. During the Portuguese rule the Brahmins are said to have escaped out of fear of conversion along with the idol of the Goddess and settled in Ponda, and built a new temple in their current settlement.

Mahalakshmi Temple

temples of goa
Mahalakshmi Temple, Ponda, Goa

Location: Ponda Village (reachable from Margao)

At a distance of a few kilometers from Shanta Durga temple, is the temple of the goddess of wealth. This bright orange building with white carving gives it a totally unique look. The huge idol of Goddess Lakshmi on the right hand side of the entrance is an another unique feature, as in Indian temples the idols are placed inside the temple under a mandap The interior is brightly illuminated and decorated with golden chandeliers. The the temple premise is very peaceful and there is not much rush unless it is any day of religious importance. The temple is quite well-maintained by the temple trust. The bhojanalay does cheap but not so good food. The food served to us was quite stale and tasteless. Thus, it is advisable to avoid.

Nageshi Temple

temples of Goa

Location: Nageshi Village (reachable from Margao)

Driving straight and then taking a right turn will take you to Nageshi Temple where Lord Shiva is worshiped as the Lord of Snake. The water Kund in front of the main temple is accessible for the public for auspicious bath and swim. The arecanut and coconut plantation at the backdrop of the water tank adds to its picturesque beauty. The interior is quite colourful with bright blue ceiling and colourful mythological stories carved on its walls.

temples of Goa

Gopal-Ganesha Temple

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Location: Nageshi Village (reachable from Margao)

Just a few metres away from Nagueshi temple lies this small yet beautiful temple in front of the preserved archeological site of a fort like structure marking the victory of Shivaji over this region. The temple conducts ‘Havans’ and other rituals in a Mandap outside the temple. If you are a foreigner and wish to witness the rituals then you can take a stop at this temple. The moment you enter the temple you will be welcomed by a floor mural of dancing Radha and Krishna. As the name of the temple suggests, the main idol in the garbh-griha (inner sanctum) is of child form of Lord Ganesha.

Malasa Temple

temples of Goa

Location: Malasa Village (reachable from Margao)

The temple belongs to Malya Family as per one of the locals and has the power to provide the power of justice to the person inside its sanctum. The temple complex also has a Lakshmi-Narayan temple located on its right, which also has few beautifully carves wooden planks to carry the deity’s idol.

The main temple’s interior has wooden mandap and white marble carvings on its walls. Lord Vishnu is worshiped here and the visitors are strictly instructed to adhere to the rules of the temple. Even on a normal day, the temple remains crowded and the devotees sit under the mandap and worship the lord. The brass mandap, which can be seen from outside is a unique feature of this temple.

Note: Foreigner Visitors are not allowed inside the temples. Indians are supposed to dress properly for entering the temples.

Mangueshi Temple

Location: Nageshi Village (reachable from Margao)

Mangesh, a form of Lord Shiva is a  venerated deity of Sarswat Brahmins. The foreigners as well as non-saraswat Indians are not allowed entry into the temple. They can just worship and have a view of the idol from outside the temple. Like Malasa temple , Mangueshi also has the sky blue colour resembling the skin colour/ throat colour of Lord Shiva.

Maruti Temple

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Location: Mala Area, Panjim

It is a beautiful temple of Lord Hanuman coloured all in His symbolic colour Saffron (Kesari). You need to climb a plight of steps to reach the main temple from where you can have a mesmerising view of the green cover of Panjim city. The temple is not much frequented by the devotees. So, you can have a peaceful time worshipping the diety at this temple. Right beside Fontein Has, an old Portuguese Colony, Mala area is a Hindu area and the people were successful in preserving an old small temple of Lord Hanuman on this hill. The current building is a new construction and a beautified version.

Note: Foreigner/ Indians should be careful with the attire before entering any of these temple. Though Goa has been quite free and broadminded state, it does have its preserved culture and the tourists are requested to preserve the same.

If you are keen to have a temple run in God do not forget on the way off beat stops given below:

Bigfoot Museum– Ancestral Goa

Sahakari Spice Plantation

Butterfly Conservatory

Safa Masjid

Barefoot – Cross Museum

Reis Magos Fort

 

 

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