Goa, a name that resonates with many Indian and foreign tourists. This place is synonymous with beautiful beaches, scenic surroundings and churches. Not many people know that Goa is home to some of the best temples in India, which are popular for their history, art and architecture. A temple in Goa is called Sansthan. Before the Portuguese invaded the state, these temples were centers of social and cultural activity. Mahajan is responsible for maintaining these temples. However, after the invasion, some of these ancient temples were completely demolished by the Portuguese and the main idols were moved to safer locations. The only ancient temple that has stood the test of time is Mahadev Tambdi Surla. This article highlights a list of some of the most famous temples in Goa that every Hindu must add to their itinerary.
Important temples in Goa:
Below is a list of the most famous temples in Goa.
1. Shri Saptakoteshwar Temple:
The Shri Saptakoteshwar temple in Narve is 35 km from Panji. In the Konkan area, it is considered to be one of the sixth largest sites of Shiva Temple. The main main deity is Saptakoteshwar, a type of Shiva and other deities, including the shrine of Kalbhairav and the padukas of Dattatraya carved in stone.
2. Maruti Temple:
The Maruti Temple in Panaji, New Goa is located at the top of the Artinho Hills overlooking the Fontaine Haas district. This temple is dedicated to Lord Hanumana, the monkey god, and worships Lord Hanumana as the main deity. The Fountain of Phoenix Spring is located near the Maruti Temple, from which it takes its name. There are three tanks in the spring. The temple is brightly lit at night so it can be seen even from a distance.
3. Shri Mahalakshmi Temple:
Shri Mahalakshmi Temple in Bandivade, 22 km from Panaji, dedicated to Mahalakshmi, Goddess of Wealth. The temple was built in 1413. There are two idols of Mahalakshmi in the temple, as well as idols of other gods such as Shri Ravinath, Shri Baleshwar, Shri Narayan Purush and two idols of devotees named Safto and Fato. During the festival of Maha Shivaratri, the main idol is carried in a chariot, and on the auspicious day of Ramnavami, the second idol is carried in a sedan chair.
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4. The Supreme Temple:
There are many Bhagavad temples in Goa namely in Pernem, Khandola, Marcela and Parse etc. The Goud Saraswat Brahmin, Daivadnya Brahmin and Bhandari communities worship the main deity of the temple in the form of Mahishasur Mardini, which is a form of Shakti. In most Goan temples, Bhagavati is worshipped as one of the Panchayatana deities.
5. Wat Phra Suloma:
The temple of Lord Pashurama is located in Painguinim, Karna Kona region of Goa. It is dedicated to Lord Pashurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple is situated in the peaceful setting of the forest. In the courtyard of the temple, there is also a representative of “Kshetrapala”. The temple has traditional carved wooden columns and traditional pyramid-shaped stone karaokes.
6. Ramnati Temple:
Ram Nathi Temple is located in Ram Nathi, in the Diwad district of Goa. Since this temple belongs to Saraswat Brahmins, it falls under the category of Goa Brahmin temples. So, it relates to the Panchayasthan system, which means that the temple has 5 gods, they are Shri Ramanath, who is also the main god of the temple, Shanteri, Kamakshi, Laxmi Narayan, Ganapati, Betal and Kalbhairav. The temple also houses other family purushas.
7. Shri Shantadurga Temple:
The large temple complex of Shri Shanta Temple is located near Panaji, at the foot of the mountain in the village of Kavalem in the Ponda Taluka area. A simple laterite mud shrine was built on this site in 1738 and later converted into a beautiful Hindu temple in Goa in 1966. This is a private temple dedicated to the goddess Shanta Durga who mediates between Shiva and Vishnu. The temple is a fusion of Indo-Portuguese architecture.
8. Shri Betal Temple:
Shri Betal temple is located in Amona village in Bicholim Taluka region. This temple is dedicated to Shree Betal in the form of Worrier Shiva, who is also the main deity. The temple also houses Shiva Pindi and his infantry. The god of the temple is considered to be the patron saint of the Goud Saraswat Brahmin community throughout India.
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9. Mahadev Temple Goa:
Mahadev Temple at Tambdi Surla is the oldest temple in South Goa, a 12th century Shaivite temple dedicated to Lord Mahadeva, another name for Lord Shiva. To this day, the temple remains an active place of worship for Hindus. The temple has a Shiva linga consisting of garbagriha, antarala and a Nandi mandapa with pillars. The temple also has idols of Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma and their consorts. There is also a headless Nandi bull in the center of the temple. Maha Shiva Ratri is very popular here. This is the most famous temple in Goa.
10. Mangesh Temple Goa:
Mangeshi Temple is one of the most popular and most visited temples in Goa. It is 21 kilometers away from Panaji, the capital of Goa. Before visiting this temple, it is important to follow the dress code. It is dedicated to Lord Mangesh or Shiva Temple. The temple was originally located in the village of Cortalim and was moved here in 1890 during the rule of the Marathas. It is one of the most beautiful temples, and a large number of pujas are performed every day.
11. Kamakshi Temple Goa:
The temple is a shrine to Goddess Kamakshi, the incarnation of Goddess Parvati. This impressive building is located in Shiroda and the original temple in Raia was completely destroyed by the Poturgese invasion. A fierce goddess named Mahishasura Mardini is enshrined in this temple. The roof of the temple resembles a stupa with hooded snakes sticking out from the corners of the roof. This is another of the most visited temples in Goa.
12. Mahalasa Narayani Temple Goa:
Mahalasa Narayani Temple is the residence of Goddess Mahalasa and is located in Mardol. Mahalasa is the female incarnation of Vishnu in the form of Mohini. She has four arms, each holding a sword, a head, a trident and a bowl. This temple is unique in that she wears a sacred thread around her waist, which is usually only found on men’s diets. The original temple was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1567 and rebuilt in the 17th century.
13. Balaji Temple Goa:
This temple is dedicated to Lord Balaji and is located in the village of Cuncoleim in Ponda. The temple has become part of Kanchikamakoti Peetam and has been blessed by Venerable Swami Jagadguru Sankaracharya. The idols of Lord Balaji and Padmavathi are given by the TTD Trust of Tirupati. The Balaji Temple in Goa is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places to visit. Devotees visit it for peace and tranquility.
14. Goa Jain Temple:
The temple is called Shri 1008. Adinath Digambar Jain Temple, the only Jain temple in Goa. It is located in Margao and it took 15 months to complete the construction of the temple. The temple has a Digambar head of a white stone Adinat. This temple is very popular among Jains and is a must-visit temple on their list. Jain temples are abodes of peace and harmony. One can keep peace and tranquility in this temple.
15. Nageshi Temple Goa:
The Nagash Temple is the shrine of Lord Shiva and is revered as Nagsh. The uniqueness of this temple is that it is on the exact same site where it was originally built. This didn’t move from its place. Temple authorities have recently banned foreigners from entering the temple due to their dress and behavior. There is also a stone carving in the temple, which was completed in 1413 AD.
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16. Brahma Temple, Goa:
Brahma Temple is one of the unique temples dedicated to Lord Brahma. Originally located in Carambolim, it moved to its current location after the Portuguese invasion in the 16th century. The surrounding area is known as Brahma-Karmali, or Brahma’s home. Carved in the 11th century, this statue is skillfully carved out of black stone. The central face of the Brahma statue has a beard, and the images of Savitri and Saraswati are standing on both sides of the statue.
Goa was once the center of Hindu temples until the Portuguese entered the area under the pretext of trade. Due to their religious intolerance, they completely destroyed Hindu temples and converted people to Christianity in large numbers. That’s why it’s hard to believe that Goa has such beautiful temples. The state has always been synonymous with Christian culture. However, the temples listed in the article are the embodiment of rich Hindu culture and traditions that have withstood multiple attempts to displace them from the face of India.