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.
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.
Next time, when you visit Goa do make time to visit these amazing temples in Goa.
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