The most pious time of the year is here. It is the time when people devote themselves to the goddess and wish for health, happiness and prosperity. It is a custom to visit the Durga temple during these nine days. If you are in Goa or Sindhudurg, we have compiled a list of temples that are a must-visit, especially during the Navratri.
Most people equate Goa to pristine beaches and exciting nightlife. While Goa is about that but it also has a rich history and culture. Temples in Goa have brilliant architecture and religious significance. These temples are one of the most influential aspects of Goan culture.
SHANTA DURGA TEMPLE
The famous Shanta Durga Temple in Goa is more than 450 years old. Goddess Durga is worshipped as a mediator between Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva at this temple. Therefore, the temple is named Shanta Durga which means peaceful Durga. The image of the deity depicts her as holding two serpents, one in each hand. It is believed that the serpents represent Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
The temple is built in the Indo-Portuguese architectural style. The temple comprises one main temple and three smaller temples having a pyramidal roof and a dome. The huge five-story deep stambha or lamp tower and the big lake are additional attractions here. On festive occasions, the goddess is carried out in a procession in a golden palanquin.
* Location: 30km from Panjim @ Kavalem Village, Ponda
* Timings: 5:00 am to 10:00 pm
MAHALASA NARAYANI TEMPLE
Mahalasa Narayani Temple is dedicated to Mahalasa or Mohini, the female incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is rare to come across a temple in India where Vishnu is worshipped in both male and female forms.
Build in traditional Hindu style, the temple has a copper roof and a granite mandap An interesting feature of this 17th-century temple is the beautiful brass oil lamp that is 12.5 meters in height. This lamp is lit on all the major festivals celebrated in the temple. A huge brass bell is also present in the temple; which doesn’t have a ringer. As per the prevalent folklore, the ringer used to be attached to the bell only when someone wanted to testify. Anyone who lies while the bell is being rung is punished with death within three days by the presiding deity of the temple.
* Location: Mardol, Ponda taluka
* Timings: 5:30 am to 8.30 pm
KAMAKSHI TEMPLE, GOA
Shri Kamakshi temple was built in the late 16th century. It is located in the scenic village of Shiroda in Goa. This large temple is dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi, known to be Lord Shiva’s consort and another form of Parvati, The temple also houses shrines of other deities such as Lord Shiva, Goddess Lakshmi, and Lord Vishnu, among others. This temple oversees visits from thousands of devotees every day; with the number increasing, especially during the time of annual festivities like Dusherra, Navratri, and Jatra.
* Location: Shiroda, Ponda. Goa - 403103
* Timings: 5:30 am to 12:00 pm and 3:30 pm to 8:30 pm
BHAGWATI DEVI MANDIR
* Location: Approx. 10kms from Mandem Beach.
* Timings: 6 am to 8 pm