Monday, July 15, 2024

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Shantadurga Temple




North Goa District, Goa

Best Season


Whole year..



One of the most popular Hindu shrines in Goa

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The Shantadurga Temple is situated at a distance of approximately 33 kilometers from Panjim city at Kavlem, in Ponda Taluka, Goa. It is dedicated to Shantadurga the Goddess of peace who mediated to stop the quarrel between the two great gods, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.

The temple that can be seen standing today was built between 1713 and 1738 during the reign of Satara king, Shahu, the grandson of Shivaji. Since then, the temple has been totally remodelled in more recent times, as is obvious from the bold Neo - Classical wall pilasters and the rounded concrete hoods of the windows.

Also known as the Santeri temple, it is most revered by the Hindu community of Gaur Saraswat Brahmin (GSB). It is also the home of the Kaivalya Math. Situated in a delightful setting on the edge of lush paddy fields, the temple is comparatively vertical in proportions. At the entrance, one can see a large number of flower vendors selling hibiscus, white tuberosesm frangipani, marigold and conch shells. A steep entrance stairs, shaded by a spreading peepal tree leads to to Shri Shantadurga's courtyard. The courtyard is enclosed by office and blocks of modern pilgrim's hostels. Before the entrance courtyard a large water tank can be seen on the left side. On the left side of the courtyard is dominated by a octagonal six storeyed white Deepa Stambh. On festival days, the tower is decorated with hundreds of oil lamps. Behind this, is the temple office. The main temple is at the center.

The temple exhibits a fusion of Indo-Portuguese architecture with brick red and cream-colour. The entrance hall is decorated wood doors coated with silver. The interior is enriched by sparkling glass chandeliers and embossed silver screens containing guardian figures. Both the hall and porches have steeply pyramidal tiled roofs. The pillars and floorings of the temple are made of Kashmir stone.

In the Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum), there is a sitting white marble idol of Shree Shantadurga with four hands flanked by two small six-inch idols of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu reminding her origins as the peace maker. The original idol was stolen by Pathans in 1898 and the new idol was sculpted by Laxman Krishnaji Gaitonde on March 19, 1902. It remains there to date. Previously, it was installed at Keloshi and from there, it was shifted to Kavlem during the rule of portuguese government. The other interesting attraction is a huge ratha's (chariot) of the goddess in black and gold that used during the processions in the month of Pausha Shuddha Navami draws thousands of devotees from all over the Goa.

The unique feature of this temple is that harijans are allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum of this temple.