Goa has always been associated with its magnificent beaches and relaxed pace of life. And, thanks to Bollywood, with churches and guitar-strumming Christians making merry. But what most people don’t know is that Goa is dotted with magnificent Hindu temples, some very ancient and which have survived the plunder and loot of Muslim invaders and Portuguese Catholic bigots and evangelists.
So here are 10 divine Hindu temples that one must visit for your next trip!
1. Mahadev Mandir, Tambdi Surla
Mahadeva Temple, Tambdi Surla is a 12th-century Shaivite temple in the Kadamba style dedicated to Lord Shiva and an active place of Hindu worship. The temple survived untouched due to its remote location in a clearing deep in the forest at the foot of the Western Ghats which surround the site.
2. Shri Shantadurga Mandir
Shri Shantadurga Temple is situated at the foothill of Kavalem village in Ponda Taluka, Goa. It is dedicated to Shantadurga, the goddess who mediates between Vishnu and Shiva. The deity is also called ‘Santeri’ colloquially.
3. Shri Mallikarjuna Mandir
Shri Mallikarjuna Mandir dedicated to Lord Mallikarjun, an incarnation of Lord Shiva is situated in the Sristhal village which is 7 km northeast of Chaudi in Canacona taluk in the South Goa district of Goa, India. The temple is believed to be built during the middle of the 16th century, as per the inscriptions near the temple dome, by lineages of the Kshatriya samaj.
4. Bhagwati Devi Mandir
The 500-yer-old temple of Sri Bhagwati is dedicated to Goddess Bhagwati who is an incarnation of Goddess Parvati, the consort of Lord Shiva. The Portuguese rule was quite disadvantageous for the existing temples in Goa as they had to face destruction and devastation at the hands of the foreign rulers. Very few temples survived the wrath of the invaders. Shri Bhagwati Temple is one of the few temples that were allowed to stand.
5. Kamakshi Saunsthan Mandir
The temple of Shri Kamakshi is located amidst the hills of the picturesque village of Shiroda and was built in the late 16th century.
6. Shri Laxmi Narasimha Mandir
It is known to have been built in the 18th century and the deity in this temple is known to have been transferred from Salcete in 1567.
7. Maruti Mandir
Hindu temple on Altinho Hill dedicated to Lord Hanuman, with orange-red walls & a February festival.
8. Shri Brahmadev Mandir
Legend has it that Brahma the creator of the Hindu holy trinity was to have just one temple at Pushkar, in Rajasthan. However, little known to many, there is another Brahma temple, this one tucked away in a remote village of Nagargao in Valpoi, Goa. The beautifully chiseled image of Brahma is dated to the Kadamba period and belongs to the 12th century.
9. Shri Nageshi Temple
Shri Nageshi Temple is considered to be "Swayambhu" shrine of Lord Shiva popularly known for its miraculous powers. was built in 1413, when the region was under the rule of King Veer Pratap Devaraya of the mighty Vijaynagara Empire.
10. Shiva Rock Carving at Vagator Beach
It is not a temple but definitely a must-visit in Goa!