Temples in Goa
There are a number of temples of Goa that attract innumerable devotees every year. It is noteworthy that when the Portuguese came into power they had tried to destroy the temples in Goa. The Saraswat Hindu Temples in Goa are the few temples that had survived the attack of Portuguese. The simple architecture and the natural beauty are the highlights of the temples in Goa. In the early days betel nut trees, coconut groves and lakes of pure water surrounded the temples in Goa. The sanctity and purity of the temples in Goa can still be experienced.
The Mangeshi Temple of Priol, the Shanta Durga Temple at Kavele, the Ganapati Temple at Khandole, the Mahalaxmi Temple at Bhandiwade and the Sri Nagesh Maharudra Temple at Bandora are amongst the oldest temples of Goa that were built by the Saraswat Brahmins. The Portuguese inquisition saw the change in location of most of these temples except the Sri Nagesh Maharudra Temple at Bandora.
Temples in Goa : Mahalaxmi Temple
Mahalaxmi is believed to be the Goddess of power and strength. The Saraswats worshipped her in the form of the linga. The temple was built by the Saraswats at Bhanda-Vatika or Bhandiwade village in the Atrunja taluka of Goa. Later another temple was established at Kolva, just 6 km from Madgaon on the side of Arabian Sea. Devotees will find that the Bhandiwade Mahalaxmi closely resembles the Mahalaxmi idol at Kolhapur in Maharashtra that holds a sickle, a club, a dagger, and a vessel containing prasad and flowers in her four arms.
Temples in Goa : Sri Ganapati Temple
Sri Ganapati Temple in Atrunja taluka and Khandole village of Goa is one of the most prominent and oldest temples of Goa. The Portuguese inquisition saw the change in location of the Ganesh idol from Elle to Naveli in Dewadi island; then to Khandepar in Ponda; from Ponda to Narve in Dichole; and to Khandole village. There are a number of other temples around this temple surrounded by coconut and areca nut groves.
Temples of Goa : Sri Mangeshi Temple
Lord Mangesh is worshipped at the Sri Mangeshi Temple in the shape of a Shiva linga. The Mangesh Linga is believed to have been sanctified by Lord Brahma on the banks of river Bhagirathi.
Even today many of the Christians visit these temples in Goa, use their pre-conversion surnames and support the festivals at the temples of Goa.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS IN TEMPLES OF GOA:
Igitun Chalne, held at Sirigao temple in Bicholim Goa is celebrated during May. It is one of unique temple festivals celebrated in Goa. Pilgrims of Goddess Lairaya walk across burning coals during this festival. This act of proving their devotion to the Goddess attracts several tourists besides pilgrims.