Goa may be famous for its heritage churches but the smallest state of India is also home to some ancient Hindu temples. For a glimpse of Roman architectural touch to a traditional shrine, visit Shri Shantadurga Temple in Kavale.
History Behind Shri Shantadurga Temple
Initially based in Keloshi, Shri Shantadurga Mandir was moved to its present location in Kavlem in the 18th century. The Portuguese destroyed the original location of the temple in Keloshi or Quelossim in 1566. It was several hundred years later, in 1738, that Shri Shantadurga Temple was rebuilt under the rule of the Marathas.
Shri Shantadurga Temple Timings and Entry Fee
Also known as Shree Shantadurga Saunsthan, this Hindu temple is open on all days of the week from 6 AM to 8:30 PM. If you are not able to physically visit this religious shrine, you can also go to their official website for live ‘darshan’ (visitation). There is no fee to enter the temple.
Interesting Facts About Shri Shantadurga Temple
There are several fun facts about this Hindu shrine, some of which are listed below:
- Shri Shantadurga temple flaunts both the Saraswat style of architecture and has hints of Roman style. You will see shikaras jutting out of the roofs of the building – a distinct identifier of some Hindu temples. At the same time, you will find stained-glass panes on arched windows – a characteristic of Roman architecture.
- The resident idol at this temple is Shri Durga. Apart from this deity, you will also find the statues of Shiva and Vishnu. According to legend, Durga acted as a peacekeeper between Shiva and Vishnu during their quarrel.
- Within the temple complex, there is a mandap for conducting traditional Hindu marriage rituals and other ceremonies. Apart from this, there is a canteen that serves only vegetarian meals. One will also find an accommodation complex in the premises, specifically created for devotees.
- According to the ancient practise of offering food to deities during ceremonial obeisance, the temple has a system through which it accepts food and after it is offered to Shri Shantadurga, the food is returned to the originator. This food upon its return is called ‘prasad’ – which is food sacrificed to a deity.
- During certain festivals, the statue of Shri Shantadurga is removed from its static position and taken from one place to another outside the temple complex in the form of a procession. Jatra Utsav is one such festival.
Some other festivals celebrated at this temple are Vasant Utsav, Mahashivratri Utsav (during which a rath – cart procession is taken out), Ram Navmi, Naukarohan, Palkhi Utsav, Deepavali, Tulsi Vivah (the marriage of the tulsi plant), Navratri and Dussehra.
- For those who follow every ritual closely, some traditions include offering a banana and a coconut right after entering the temple. There is also a ritualistic puja which is performed at night. This is accompanied by a deep aradhana or a long meditation.
How to Reach Shri Shantadurga Temple
Shri Shantadurga Temple or Saunsthan is located in Ponda. You can arrive at the destination through various modes of transportation:
By Air: If you fly into the Manohar International Airport in Mopa, it will take you 1 hour and 15 minutes to cover the 60 kilometers to get to the temple. The distance from the Dabolim Airport is 40 km and it takes 1 hour from there.
By Train: 21 km away, the nearest railway station to this temple is the Madgaon Railway Station. It will take around 40 minutes to reach Shri Shantadurga Mandir from there.
By Bus: The nearest bus stop to Shri Shantadurga Temple is Ponda KTC Bus Stand which is 4 km away and a 10-minute drive. Most outstation buses stop at Ponda.
By Car: Get in touch with one of the top car rental companies in Goa to hire a car to the temple.
By Bike or Scooty: Scooters or bikes are very popular in Goa. If you know how to ride a two-wheeler and have the appropriate license, this is one of the best ways to travel and feel like a local. Rentals are easily available throughout the state.
Visit the top sightseeing places of Goa by booking a Goa tour package through us. At Goa Tourism, a division of Holidays DNA, we have offers for all types of travelers. For more information on the packages, please fill the Contact Us form and someone from our team will contact you.