Information on Shanta Durga temple in Goa
Shantadurga devi temple is an old large hindu temple located near Panaji, the capital of Goa at a distance of 33 km. The temple is located at in the foothills of Kavalem village in the Ponda taluka of Goa, India and is visited by many devotees from all over India.
The temple is situated in the slope of the hill and has a picturesque surroundings with green trees and plantation all around. The temple is divided into four parts with one main temple and three smaller temples. The temple also has many pyramidal roofs with dome and are made of Kashmir stone. The temple also has a huge tank used for various religious activities. Over the years many renovative measures have been taken place to keep intact this temple highly regarded in Hindu religion.
Religious belief behind the Shantadurga temple of Goa
The Shantadurga temple is built to worship Goddess Shantadurga who is believed to be a form of Goddess Parvati. According to the legends, a battle broke out between lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. The battle took a fearsome look and it was needed to stop the battle in order to save the entire universe. On the prayers of Lord Bramha, Goddess Parvati intervened in the battle and took the form of Goddess Shantadurga. Shantadurga palced Lord Vishnu on her right hand and Lord Shiva on her left hand and hence settled the fearsome battle.
One can see the diety Shantadurga in the temple holding two serpents, each representing Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. After settling the battle she proceeds to kill all the demons who were harassing various saints and Brahmins and eventually finished them all. As a mark of the victory over the demons, she was given the name- Vijaya, meaning the victor.
Many other temples were built in Goa besides it but they were either displaced or destroyed during the Portuguese invasion and subsequent rule.
Shantadurga is the family diety of Konkani Saraswats, Karhade Brahmins, Mahe Gotra and Bhandaris.
The temple complex of Shantadurga temple, Goa
Although the original temple of Shantadurga was located in Cavellossim in Salsette, Goa, the same was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1564. Hence the deity was hidden from the notice of the Portuguese and a new temple in Kavalem was constructed. Since then the goddess is worshipped in the new location.
The present temple in Kavalem was constructed during the reign of Chatrapati Shahu Raje at around 1738 A.D. under the supervision of Shri Naroram Mantri who was a minister in Chatrapati Shahu Raje's court.
The temple is presenty under the temple trust and is visited daily by many tourists and devotees.