Shri Ramnath Temple, also known as the temple of Ramnathi, is dedicated to five deities - Lord Rama, Lakshmi Narayan, Lord Ganesh, Kamakshi, Shanteri and Betal & Kalbhairav. The 450-year-old temple is of immense religious importance for the Gowda Saraswat Brahmins. It was initially located in Salcete but was relocated in the 16th century to save the idols from the Portuguese.
Sri Mahadeva Temple is one of the oldest temples in the state dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is said to be built by the minister of King Ramachandra of the Yadava Dynasty, Hemadri, but has influences of architecture belonging to the time the Kadamba Dynasty ruled Goa as well. The monument is made of basalt rocks sourced from the Deccan Plateau and adorns beautiful carvings made by skilled craftsmen of the time.
Located on the Altinho Hill, the majestic Maruti Temple was built after the decline of the Portuguese reign. A refreshing stream of the same name also flows beside the temple, lending it a calming and yet, refreshing aura. The idol of Lord Hanuman was hidden when the Portuguese destroyed all the Hindu temples in Goa to promote Christianity. It was at this location that the devotees would offer their prayers secretly till the end of the Portuguese reign.
Shri Mahalaxmi Temple - Bandora is dedicated to Goddess Mahalakshmi with quite a unique feature - a Linga on the head of the deity. The deity was worshipped by the Silahara rulers and the Kadamba Kings. This temple was established in 1866 after the original shrine was destroyed by the Portuguese and is a magnificent example of traditional Konkani Temple architecture.
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Shri Shantadurga Temple is one of the largest temple complexes in Goa. It is dedicated to Goddess Durga who is one of the patron deities of the Gaud Saraswat Brahmins. The temple was built around 1715 AD. It was relocated from Keloshi after the Portuguese gained control over the state. The beautiful Indo-Portuguese style of temple architecture and the magnificent idol of the deity are a treat to the eyes and make it a famous tourist attraction.
Shri Mahalsa Temple is a half a century old temple dedicated to Goddess Mahalsa located in Mardol in North Goa. The temple is dedicated to Shri Mahalasa Narayani, who is also known of Mohini, an Avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Built in the traditional Hindu style of temple architecture, characterised by a splendid copper roof, a granite mandap and an ancient bell; the temple is a must visit for its calm and serene surroundings.
Shri Mangueshi Temple is built in the honor of Bhagwan Manguesh, the Kuldevata of Gaud Saraswat Brahmins. The deity is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva, whose name was derived from "Mam Girisha" the words used by Goddess Parvati when Lord Shiva made a successful attempt to scare her by taking the form of a Tiger.
Shri Lakshmi Narayan Temple is an 18th century shrine dedicated to Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu. The idol had been relocated from Salcete in the late 16th century when Goa was captured by the Portuguese. The beautiful temple complex has wooden carvings, paintings, a sacred water tank and a musician's gallery. The temple is thronged with devotees on the occasion of Shukla Chaturdashi every year when a procession is held for the deities.
Dedicated to Saptakoteshwar, another form of Shiva, this temple was built in the twelfth century under the rule of King of Kadamba dynasty who founded it for his very religious wife. Situated in Maem village in Goa, one of the best parts about this temple is its unique architecture which sports Moghal dome mounted over octagonal tiled roofs, a large lamp tower, assembly hall, and European style designed Mandapa.
Situated in the Zambaulim village and on the Kushavati River banks in Goa, Shri Damodar temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Damodar, an incarnated form of Lord Shiva. This temple is marvelled in the city for its beautiful architecture and is also known for hosting grand celebrations for a number of festivals such as the famous Shigmo festival, Mahashivratri, and Kartik Poornima, among others.
Built in the 5th century AD, the Brahma Temple is one of the ancient pilgrim centres for Hindus situated in the lovely Carambolim village in Goa. This sacred place is the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the city and the well-defined beautiful image of Brahma, made out of black stone that dates back to the 12th century, is one of the main highlights of this temple.
Established in the late 16th century, Shri Kamakshi temple 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, but 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.
Exhibiting exquisite architecture consisting of beautiful paintings and wooden relief carvings, Shri Lakshmi Narasimha Temple is a must-visit temple located in Veling village in Goa. This temple was constructed during the 18th century and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his consort, Goddess Lakshmi. Stunning water tank surrounded by several coconut palm trees, temple hall filled with images showcasing different avatars of Lord Vishnu, musician’s gallery, and elaborated annual festivities, are some of the highlights of this temple.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Shri Rudreshwar Temple is quite a sight with it being accessible by a set of stairs that are situated near the stunning 70-meter high Harvalem Waterfall. Apart from a number of devotees that visit the temple daily in the morning to worship the deity, it also attracts a large crowd during two occasions; one when Hindus visit to perform rites for the dead and other during Mahashivratri celebrations.
Situated in a fantastic location in the Ponda city in Goa with a range of hills and trees surrounding it, Shri Nagesh Maharudra Temple is dedicated to Lord Nagesh (an incarnated form of Lord Shiva who is worshipped by Hindu Goans). The temple houses a magnificent ancient water reservoir encompassed by palms and is often praised for its calming and serene atmosphere.
Shri 1008 Adinath Digambar Jain Mandir is an extremely well-maintained place of worship for Jains, which is located very close to Margao railway station in Goa. The temple is known for its beautiful architecture and the statue of deity; the peaceful environment of the place is another aspect that is highly admired. Furthermore, adjoined to this temple, there is also a Jain Dharamshala that houses very clean AC as well as Non-AC rooms where people can stay at very cheap rates.
Devaki Krishna temple, which is situated in Marcel town in Goa, is a sacred Hindu holy place dedicated to Lord Krishna, Lord Balrama and their mother, Goddess Devaki. Grand festivities are often held at this temple during festivals such as Gokulastami, Ramnavmi, and Malini Purnima, among others. Furthermore, the temple also houses a couple of large halls that are used for marriages and other ceremonies as well as accommodation facilities which consist of both AC and Non-AC rooms that are rented to guests at decent prices.
Exhibiting a Goan style architecture, Bhagwati Temple is a massive and the oldest temple dedicated to Goddess Bhagwati, an incarnation of Goddess Parvati (Lord Shiva’s consort) located in the Pernem city in Goa. This temple complex consists of five separate temples dedicated to each deity namely Brahma, Shri Bhagwanti, Shri Sateri, Shri Dev Bhivangi Panchakshari, and Shri Dev Ravalnath. The sacred place is further famous in Pernem for its Dussehra celebration that oversees over twenty thousand visitors.
Amidst beautiful green surroundings, Baingineshwar Shrine is an old and quaint holy place located on the National Highway in the Goa Velha town. With it being so small in size and situated on an uneven pathway, people may face some difficulty locating it. But if they do manage to find their way here, they will love this beautiful shrine with such a peaceful environment.
Next time, when you visit Goa do make time to visit these amazing temples in Goa.