Shanta Durga Temple, North Goa
Shri Shantadurga Temple is a Private temple complex belonging to Goud Saraswat Brahmin community(Saraswat Temple). 30 km (19 mi) from Panaji at the foothill of Kavalem village in Ponda Taluka, Goa, India.
H.H.Shrimad Swamiji of ShriKavale Math is Spiritual head Of Shree Shantadurga Saunsthan,Kavale.Shree Shantadurga is the Kuldevi (family deity) of many Goud Saraswat Brahmin families.This current temple structure of Shree Shantadurga Devasthan was built during the period from 1713 AD to 1738 AD by Naroram Rege Mantri.On 4 December 2016, the temple completed its 450th year of existence.
Its pyramidical shape ‘shikaras’ rising on the roofs of the facade (entrance hall) and the ‘Sabhamandap’ (the main hall), its roman-arched windows, some of which have the stained-glass window panes of deep red, yellow, blue, green colours, its chandeliers, its gate posts, balustraded flat dome, the maroon-peach-white colour paint of the temple gives the temple a serene beautiful look.
The highlight of the temple is its golden palanquin (palkhi) in which the deity is carried on festive occasions(only 5 Mahapanchmi).
Legend / Local stories
The original temple at Quelossim (Keloshi) in mormugao was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1566. The goddess was shifted to Kavalem and worship was continued there. The site on which the original Temple of Shantadurga stood at Quelossim (Keloshi) is known as “Deoolbhata” and it is in the possession of the Shree Shantadurga Saunsthan Committee,Kavale.
The current temple was constructed during the reign of Maratha ruler Chattrapati Shahu Maharaj of Satara in about 1738 A.D. Naroram Rege Mantri originally from Kochara village in the Vengurla Taluka,(Konkan) was a Mantri (Minister) in Chattrapati Shahu’s Court at Satara (Grandson of Shivaji Maharaj)around 1723. He obtained finances to construct the new temple for the goddess from Chh.Shahu Maharaj of Satara. The temple construction started around 1730 . Due to his efforts, the village of Kavalem was bequeathed to the Temple by Shrimant Bajirao-1 Peshwa in 1738.[
The temple complex is on the slope of the foothills of a mountain chain, surrounded by lush vegetation. There is a main temple and three smaller temples of other deities which have been built on three sides of the temple. The temple consists of a collection of pyramidal roofs with a dome. The pillars and floors are made of Kashmir stone. The temple has a huge tank, a Deepastambha and agrashalas (guest houses).
Many renovations have been completed over the years to the main temple and the temples of the other deities as well as to the agrashala. The temple has recently banned entry of foreigners into the temple citing objectionable dressing and conduct as the reason.
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