Places of worship in Goa - Being a state of dissimilar religious communities, Goa is home to many places of worship that draw tourists from all over the world.
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Goa is a place that has an exclusive merger of different cultures and traditional beliefs. One can find a merge of different customs calmly co-existing in Goa.
The temples of Goa are in soul like most Hindu temples in India, based around a deity which is worshipped.
The architecture of Goan temples is a little dissimilar mostly because of historical reasons.
Religious Destination in Goa - The fundamental design of any Hindu temple is planned around the central shrine or the "Garbagriha" or the "sanctum sanctorum" that houses the main deity.
A tower or "Shikara" arises from the key shrine and is conventionally pyramidal shaped.
One of Goa's significant institutions, Goa's famous and wonderful churches is predominantly a legacy of Portuguese colonization. Architecture or church building was the main occupation of the early Portuguese.
Sri Manguesh Temple - Religious Destination in Goa
Sri Manguesh temple at Mangueshi in Ponda Taluka, the most prominent among temples, is situated along the National Highway-4A about 23-km from Panaji. This temple is famous for its pristine glory, which attracts thousands of visitors every year and is gifted by the Welcome Gate, an elegant lamp tower, a "Noubatkhana" overlooking the temple tank and the "Agrashalas" on three sides.
Although the Sri Manguesh temple originally stood in a secret location in Cortalim, and was moved to its present site between Mardol and Priol during the 16th century, the structure visitors see today dates from the 1700s
Sri Datta Mandir
Shri Datta Mandir is located at a distance of 37 kms from Panaji at Dattawadi, Sanquelim, and 40 kms. from Margao, this century old temple of trimurty (Hindu) has a backdrop of a beautiful hillock covered with dense groves of areca palms. The most important festival, which is attended by devotees from all over Goa, is Datta Jayanti that falls in the month of December.
The deity is believed to have cured many people of unsound mind. The entire interior consists of white marble.
Sri Mahalakshmi Temple
Shri Mahalaxmi Temple is located at the Altinho foothill of Panaji and was built on contributions made by devotees in 1817. The deity is Goddess Mahalakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of Wealth, made of black stone, with four hands and is placed in a silver canopy. This is the peaceful or Satvik form of Devi. According to the Shakti cult (worship of power), Mahalakshmi is the original Goddess who takes forms according to three aspects or gunas viz. Brahma (peaceful, calm form or satva), Vishnu (creative action or rajas) and Shiva (destruction or tamas). The deity originally from Mayem in Bicholim taluka was transferred to the present site.
Sri Shantadurga Temple, Kavalem
There is the famous temple of Sri Shantadurga the goddess of peace who is said to have settled a quarrel between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu amicably. Sri Shantadurga is worshipped all over Goa and scores of temples have been devoted to this deity. At several places it is known by several names, "Thamai", "Sateri", "Bhumka", "Adimaya" and others.
Situated at the foothill of Kavalem, the Shantadurga temple boasts of a huge tank, a Dipa Stambha and Agrashalas. The temple was built in 1728 AD during the reign of Shahu Maharaj of Satara at the request of one of his ministers, Naro Ram Mantri.
The original site of Sri Shantadurga temple is Kardelivana of Quelossim in Mormugao Taluka, where the great bard Krishnadas Shama penned the epic "Sri Krishna Charita" probably in the 14th century on the lines of Dnyaneshwari.
Shri Chandreshwar Temple
The Shri Chandreshwar Temple atop the Chandranath Hill dates from the pre-Christian era, when this region formed part of the Boja capital of Chandrapur today's Chandor). The famous Shiva Linga is lit up by moonlight on the full moon night, and is said to become mystically bathed in water. Sri Chandreshwar or God of the Moon is so placed so to offer the visitor a wonderful view of the green valley below.
Sri Morjee Temple
It is a small shrine dedicated to Kanakeshwar Baba or Bodgeshwar, locally known as Bongini. The god is regarded as agngavani i.e. to whom vows are made and who fulfills desires of the devotees. On the fulfillment of desires, people offer presents to the God as promised by them earlier. A very big fair is held in the month of December/January when thousands of devotees flock to this temple.
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