Goa isn’t just about fishes and liquor. Goa isn’t just about churches and beaches. Goa is about temples as well. I am a spiritual person. Personally I don’t like beaches. I am vegetarian and a teetotaler. So no wonders that when I visit Goa it is the temples of Goa which attract me the most. Built in typical coastal style Goan temples have had a great impact upon me. In this post I am going to introduce you to few of the temples in Goa which I have visited.
Kamakshi temple is dedicated to Kamakshi. She is also known as Kamakhya, yes the same goddess from Guwahati in Assam. She is also known by many other names. One of them is Parvati. But popularly she is known as Shantadurga, the one brings peace. The main tower of the temple is indeed marvellous. The slanting roofs of the temple is akin to the houses in the coastal area. Figures of hooded serpents and elephants dominate the temple architecture. Do not forget to see the spotlight thrown on the face of the goddess from the courtyard during the arti time. The temple complex also has a small canteen which serves tasty hygienic food.
At a walkable distance from Shantadurga’s shrine is Mangusehi temple. It is located at Priol. It was originally at Kushasthali also know as Cortalim. Manguesh is believed to the incarnation of Lord Shiva. The lingam of the God is flanked by two sturdy guards known as dwarpalas.
There are rock cut caves at Aravalem. They are also known as the Pandava caves. This is actually the oldest temple in Goa. It dates back to the first century. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Also the temple of Shiva at Tambdi Surla is an old temple in Goa. It dates back tot eh Kadamba period which is thirteenth century. Unfortunately it is the only temple of that era which survives even today. All other temples of Goa where destroyed by the Muslim and Portuguese rulers. The Portuguese Viceroy by the edict of 1540 gave authority to destroy all the Hindu temples within the Portuguese area. Not a single shrine should be left, is what the order said. He also ordered confiscation of temple estates for maintenances of churches which were to be built on the sites of demolished temples. Yet, these temples survived.
Trip to the temples of Goa left me spellbound. They were immaculately clean and spacious.. No where the priests tried to fleece money. I could sit in the temples until I felt like. They are situated in the rural Goa. In these villages I was able to see the real people. I had gained a lot of knowledge about my country and my people after visiting them. Such was the impact of visit to the temples of Goa.