Besides beaches, Goa is the land of sun and surf, featuring famous temples that cater as a perfect destination of worship for devotees, photography fanatics, history lovers, and adventure seekers.
Must Visit Temples in Goa
Below is a list of the landmarks of holy temples that will ensure a surreal experience through their ambiance.
#1 Sri Saptakoteshwar Temple, Narve
This sacred temple in Narve is one of Lord Shiva’s six pilgrim sites in the Konkan region, known for its archaeological significance. The template features a shallow Moghul dome, a European-style assembly hall, and Deepastambha, the tall lamp tower. The premises of the temple has a few Brahminical laterite and stone caves. The ruins of Jain Math are visible in the temple.
The temple welcomes devotees with the shrine of Deepastambha of Kal Bhairav and the padukas of Dattatraya carved on the stone. Explore two stone henges that are pillar-like structures buried deep in the ground. On the back side of the temple, there are carvings on the stone walls with nooks which are possibly the ancient Agrashala. There is a man-made tunnel-like structure and a holy tank called Panchaganga Tirtha.
#2 Maruti Temple, Panjim
Located in North Goa, Maruti Temple stands high on the Altinho hill. As the name suggests, this temple is a dedication to Lord Hanuman. The temple sets a perfect example of vibrant architecture with a bright orange structure against the lush green surroundings and the bright saffron flags fluttering in the blue sky. Moreover, there are wide steps at the beginning of the foothill in Mala, where a historically significant natural freshwater spring is present.
The planning and implementation of the modern architecture of the Maruti temple happened in the 90s by Panjim-based engineer – Bhaskar Wagle. One can see the idol of Maruthi from the main road through the basement wall of the temple. Witnessing the beautiful octagonal Deepastambha, a Lamp Tower, is highly recommended. Out of all the festivals celebrated here, the annual festival for 10 days in February is a major festival that attracts many pilgrims.
#3 Mahalaxmi Temple, Bandora
Standing as one of the major tourist attractions among places in Goa, Mahalakshmi temple draws a large number of Hindu pilgrims as well as tourists. At this temple, Goddess Laxmi is the prime deity with four arms of her idol holding four items such as a flower vessel, sickle, and dagger. Devotees can explore and find the sabha mandap with a gallery consisting of wooden images of Lord Vishnu.
The Mahalaxmi Temple is famous for having existed since 1413, as carvings of information about the rituals followed in the temple are on stone plaques by Nanjan Gosavi Pratihast. Mahalakshmi temple’s front side displays an ornamental arch that shows two idols of Lord Shiva as well as two elephants. Some other attractions in the temple premises include the antique Chandeliers hanging on the roof of the sabha mandap.
#4 Shree Mangesh Temple, Ponda
The renowned Shri Mangesh temple, situated in Mangeshi Village, Ponda, is among the largest and most popular temples in Goa. The Mangesh Linga got blessings on the mountain of Mongir on the banks of Bhagirathi Brahma. This temple is 450 years and is a dedication to Lord Shiva. The simple structure features several domes, pilasters, and balustrades. The temple also consists of a water tank, the oldest part of this temple.
The assembly hall known as Sabha Griha accommodates over 500 devotees and includes the chandeliers of the 19th century. Some of the major annual festivals celebrated here are Rama Navami, Akshaya Tritiya, Navaratri, Dussehra, Diwali, Magha Poornima, and Mahashivratri. Every Monday, the procession of the idol of Mangesh on Palakhi happens before evening Aarti. Built-in typical Goan architectural style, the temple traces its roots back to the Kushasthali, an ancient village invaded by the Portuguese in 1543.
#5 Shri Rudreshwar Temple, Sanquelim
Shri Rudreshwar Mandir possesses enormous spiritual significance and is located at Arvalem in Bicholim Taluka. The temple is a dedication to Lord Shiva and stands on an ancient site. Arvalem Waterfalls is one of the most famous waterfalls in Goa, located right beside the temple, where the image of Lord Rudreshwar faces the waterfall.
The festival of Mahashivaratri witnesses one of the biggest attention and draws large masses to this temple. On the other hand, the Hindus perform the last rites for the dead people in this temple. The Rudreshwar temple is near the Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand and Vasco Da Gama Railway Station in North Goa. Even after the modification of the temple newly, but still enjoys great historical significance.
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