TEMPLES [STOP 1-5]
Stop 1 MAHALASA, MARDOL
Shri Mahalasa Temple is a rare temple dedicated to mohini, the
female form of Vishnu, who unusually, wears the yadnyopavitra,
or the holy thread. The ancient deity was brought here in the
17th century from its original location at Verna in present
day salcete taluka.
The most exceptional feature of the temple is its 21 tiered
deepmal, perched atop kurma, the tortoise incarnation of lord
Vishnu. It is thought to be the largest lamp of its kind in
Goa and India. The elaborate carving on the ceiling of the
main hall has parakeet motifs, while that of the eaves depicts
the various incarnations or dashavataras, of lord Vishnu.
The woodwork on the shikara is also quite extraordinary. The
small ablution tank is located behind the temple.
Location: Turn right on NH4A from old Goa’s
Gandhi statue square and drive Banastarim and Boma to Mardol.
Timing: 6 am to 9 pm.
Stop 2 MANGUESHI ,PRIOL
Just 22 km from Christian Panjim is the first cluster of temples
built to house the deities persecuted Hindus fled with. Shri
Mangueshi Temple is located on a hillock surrounded by lush
green hills. The original deity in this temple dedicated to
lord Shiva was brought to the present location from Cortalim
in Salcete Taluka, in the 16th century. A brightly painted
elephant on wheels stands at the entrance to the temple. It
has undergone many renovations and today its style is uniquely
Goan. The large courtyard has an equally large ablution tank.
The graceful contemplative air of the temple’s courtyard
is exemplified by a stunning seven-storeyed deepmal. There
are about 12 " Agrashalas" or residences for pilgrims
around the temple. No other temple reflects the style used
for the Christian churches as much as this 18th century temple,
which is painted bright yellow and white. Its Latin cross
shape is raised on the plinth. The corridors have two rows
of pillars. A silver embossed door flanked by two dwarpalas,
leads to the sanctum, while houses the lingam.
Location: Priol is 1 km from Mardol, just off NH4A.
Timings: 6 am- 10 pm
Stop 3 SHANTADURGA, KAVALEM
Shantadurga temple, dedicated to Parvati, also known as the
goddess of peace is full of remarkable decorative effects,
such as usual pagoda like structure, with a roof of stone
slabs. Its is located in a breathe taking clearing in a forest.
The original temple at this site was built more than 400 years
ago and was erected by Shahu, grandson of the great Maratha
ruler, Chhatrapati Shivaji in 1738. Over the sanctum sanctorum,
is a four-storeyed, doomed tower, instead of the usual shikara.
Within the temple complex is a 5 storeyed deepmal. Chandeliers
are suspended from the elaborate ceiling hall and the raths
(chariots) are used during Vasant Panchami in February.
Location: Get back onto NH4A from Velinga, and drive
till Farmagudi where you turn right till you reach a T junction,
then left for Kavlem (Quela).
Timing: 7 am – 9 pm
Stop 4 RAMNATH, KAVALEM
A stones throw from this temple is the Shri Ramnath Temple.
The lingam, worshipped by devotees of Shiva and Vishnu alike,
was brought to this location from Loutolim in Salcete taluka.
A noteworthy feature is a silver screen in the inner sanctum
sanctorum embossed with animal and floral motifs. Apart from
Ramnath, the Lakshmi Narayan, Santeri, Kamxi, Siddhanath,
Betaland kal Bhairav deities are also worshipped at this temple.
Location: A short walk from the Shantadurga temple.
Timings:5.30 am – 10 pm
Stop 5 NAGUESHI, BANDORA
The Shri Nagueshi Temple, closely resembling the Shantadurga
Temple, with an ablution tank in the precincts. Its characteristic
feature is the five storeyed lamp tower, decorated with nagas.
The shrine is Latin cross-shaped in plan but the dome is not
at the intersection of the cross. The corridor in the wings
also boasts of a dome, making it appear very Islamic. The
mandapa has a delicately carved ceiling with colourful rendering
of the Ramayana and Mahabharata. A Hanuman Jayanthi Zatra
takes place here every October.
Location: From Farmagudi turn right till the T-point
for the left turn to Kavlem. The Right turn goes to bandore,
1 km away. Bandore is just 2 km from Kavlem.
Timing: 8.30 am – 12.30 pm, 3pm- 8.30 pm