Goa is a state that is known for its beaches, nightlife and cuisine, but it also has a rich and diverse religious heritage that reflects the syncretism of Hinduism and Christianity. One of the most prominent temples in Goa is the Shanta Durga Temple, located in the village of Kavalem in Ponda Taluka famous place in South Goa, Visit during South Goa Sightseeing tour. This temple is dedicated to Shanta Durga, the goddess who mediates between Vishnu and Shiva.
Location of Shanta Durga Temple
The Shanta Durga Temple is situated at the foothill of a mountain chain, surrounded by lush vegetation. It is about 30 kilometers away from Panaji, the capital city of Goa. It is easily accessible by road from any part of Goa. The nearest railway station is Karmali, about 10 kilometers away. The nearest airport is Dabolim, about 25 kilometers away.
Timing/Entry Fees Shanta Durga Temple
The temple is open to visitors every day from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM. There is no entry fee for visiting the temple. However, visitors are expected to follow the rules and regulations of the temple. Photography is allowed outside the temple, but not inside.
How to Reach Shanta Durga Temple
There are various modes of transport available to reach the temple from different parts of Goa. You can take a bus, taxi, auto-rickshaw or motorcycle taxi to reach the temple. You can also rent a car, bike or scooter to explore the area at your own pace.
Things to Do/Must See Shanta Durga Temple
The Shanta Durga Temple is a stunning example of Indo-Portuguese architecture. The white facade of the temple has a dome and a pyramid-shaped roof. The main entrance has a porch with pillars and arches. The temple complex has a main temple and three smaller temples of other deities on three sides.
The main attraction of the temple is the idol of Shanta Durga, the goddess who mediates between Vishnu and Shiva. The idol is made of panchaloha (five metals) and is adorned with gold ornaments and flowers. The idol is placed on a silver palanquin and is flanked by two serpents representing Vishnu and Shiva.
The temple also has idols of other deities such as Ganesha, Nandi, Garuda and Hanuman. The temple walls have paintings depicting scenes from Hindu mythology and history. The temple also has a library that has a collection of books and manuscripts on various subjects related to Goa.
The temple celebrates various festivals throughout the year. The most important one is the Jatra Utsav (festival) that takes place in December-January every year. On this occasion, thousands of devotees flock to the temple to attend the rituals and processions. The temple is also decorated with colorful lights and flowers.
Significance of Shanta Durga Temple
The Shanta Durga Temple is one of the most important temples in Goa that preserves and showcases its rich religious heritage. It is a symbol of peace and harmony between different sects and faiths. It is also a testimony to the faith and devotion of the Goud Saraswat Brahmin community who established it in 1566 CE.
The temple has a legend associated with it. According to the legend, there was a fierce battle between Vishnu and Shiva that threatened to destroy the world. Brahma prayed to Parvati to intervene and stop the fight. Parvati took the form of Shanta Durga and placed Vishnu on her right hand and Shiva on her left hand and settled the dispute.
The original temple was located at Quelossim (Keloshi) in Salcete district, but it was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1566 CE. The idol was shifted to Kavalem by some devotees who escaped from there. The current temple was built by Naroram Mantri (Rege), a minister in Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj’s court, between 1713 CE and 1738 CE.
Q: When was the Shanta Durga Temple built?
A: The Shanta Durga Temple was built between 1713 CE and 1738 CE by Naroram Mantri (Rege), replacing an earlier temple that was built in 1566 CE at Quelossim (Keloshi).
Q: What is the style of architecture of the Shanta Durga Temple?
A: The Shanta Durga Temple is built in Indo-Portuguese style with elements of Hindu and Christian styles.
Q: What are some other attractions near the Shanta Durga Temple?
A: Some other attractions near the Shanta Durga Temple are:
Mangueshi Temple: A temple dedicated to Lord Manguesh, an incarnation of Shiva
Mahalasa Narayani Temple: A temple dedicated to Goddess Mahalasa Narayani, an incarnation of Vishnu
Safa Masjid: A mosque built by Ibrahim Adil Shah II in 1560 CE
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary: A wildlife sanctuary that houses various animals and birds
Tropical Spice Plantation: A plantation that grows various spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla
The Shanta Durga Temple is a must-visit place for anyone who wants to experience the beauty and diversity of Goan religious heritage. It offers a glimpse into various aspects of Goan spirituality such as mythology, rituals, art, architecture, and festivals. Whether you visit it during day or night you will be mesmerized by its charm and grace.