Info – Shantadurga Temple, Kavalem, Goa

General Information

  • Shree Devi Shantadurga Temple is located at Kavalem, Ponda Taluka, Goa
  • The temple complex is located in the foothills of Kavalem Village
  • This temple has banned entry to foreigners.

Mythology

  • Dedicated to Goddess Shree Shantadurga Devi
  • Locally known as ‘Shanteri’
  • Avatar of Goddess Parvati
  • Legends tell that there was a fierce battle between Lord Vishnu (The Preserver) and Lord Shiva (The Destroyer) at Mount Gomanchala
  • During this fight Lord Shiva used the Pashupati weapon, which could damage the entire creation
  • Hence Lord Brahma (The Creator) prayed to supreme goddess Adishakti
  • Goddess Adishakti in-turn sent Parvati in the form of Goddess Shantadurga to intervene, thus saving the universe from eternal doom
  • A story in Skandapurana also tells that Lord Shiva left mount Kailash and went to Gomanchala (a.k.a. Gomantaka, now known as Goa) for tapasya.
  • He heard the cries of a Brahmin, Loma Sharma who was caught by a Crocodile in the River
  • After saving him Loma Sharma asked him to remain in Gomanchala.
  • While searching for Lord Shiva, Parvati was requested to stay in the nearby village of Keloshi (now known as Quelshim [a.k.a.Quellosim/Cavellosim], Salcete; not far from present day southern Colva)

History of the Temple

  • The original Temple was built by an affluent merchant, Anu Shenai Mone
  • 1564 A.D. – The original temple at Quelsim was destroyed by the Portuguese
  • The original Temple at Quelsim, stood at ‘Deoolbhata’, which is currently managed by the temple trust
  • After the destruction, the idol was kept safe by Harijans
  • Between 14th January 1566 to 29th November 1566 – During the Portuguese Inquisition, the Idol was safely moved to Kavalem
  • A Small mud shrine was built and the deity was installed here
  • 1723 A.D. – Shri Naroram Mantri obtained finances to construct the new temple for Devi from Chatrapati Shahu Raje of Satara
  • Shri Naroram Mantri (Naroram Shenvi Rege) from Kochar Village, Vengurla Region was a Minister in the court of Chatrapati Shahu Raje
  • 1730 A.D. – The construction of temple started with the help of Mahajans
  • 1738 A.D. – The Temple was constructed
  • Because of the contribution of Shri Naroram Mantri, the village of Kevalem was given as a Gift to Chatrapati Shahu Raje of Satara
  • 1898 A.D. – The original statue of Shree Shantadurga Devi was stolen by Pathans
  • 19th March 1902 – A new Idol was sculpted by Shree Laxman Krishnaji Gaitonde
  • 27th November 1965 – A New Shivlinga was installed which was sculpted by Shree Ramchandra Sunder from Mumbai
  • The Old Shivlinga was submerged  into ocean in a religious ceremony
  • 1966 A.D. – Renovations were completed

Architecture

  • It has one main temple and 3 smaller temples on 3 sides
  • Main Temple consists of Pyramidal Roofs and an Interesting Done
  • The pillars and floor are made of Kashmir Stone
  • The temple has a huge tank, Deepa Stambha (Lamp Tower, 6 Stories) and Agrashalas (Guesthouses)
  • Fusion of Indo-Portuguese Architecture
  • It has Pyramidal shapes rising from the roof of the Entrance and Sabhamandapam (Main Hall)
  • It has Roman arched windows with stained glass
  • The highlight of the Temple is Golden Palkhi which is used to carry the goddess during festive occasions

Sources

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