When you think about Goa, the things that come to mind are beautiful beaches, blue water, amazing beach parties and fun with friends and family. Goa is so much more than that, filled with immense amount of history and culture that is sure to overwhelm you. With such a rich history and an assimilation of so many foreign cultures and religions, you are sure to find many nice combinations of various activities such as prayer and various festivals. Those who are religiously inclined should take out some time to visit these beautiful famous temples in Goa that are true testaments to the rich cultural and beautiful religious history.
The Brahma temple in Carambolim is one of the oldest temples in Goa. The idol that is inside the temple is said to be from the 12th Century and is very intricately made. The temple’s name is Brahma Karmali, and is named after the nearby village.
The Mahadev temple of Tambdi Surla is located in one of the most serene and peaceful areas you’ll ever step foot upon. Surrounded by lush greenery on all sides, it is considered to be the oldest temple in Goa, surviving the Christianizing of Goa by the Portuguese. The temple is hidden in a clearing inside a jungle. It is small but magnificently designed and made.
Shanta Durga Temple
Dedicated to the goddess who serves as a messenger between Shiva and Vishnu, Shanta Durga temple used to be a meager mud hut with a small idol but after being destroyed by the Portuguese during the 18th century a beautiful stone temple was erected. Now it is one of the famous temples in Goa a large temple complex, just a few minutes’ drive away from Panaji. The temple is famous for its unique architectural style which incorporates both Portuguese and Indian designs.
Shri Nageshi Maharudra Temple
A temple in Ponda dedicated to lord Shiva, Nageshi temple is a beautiful spectacle. This temple was also untouched by the Portuguese religious and cultural eradication during the 17th and 18th centuries. The temple is small and beautiful and has a convenient tank in the front. Many people cool off here during the summers.
Shri Bhagwati Temple
Shri Bhagwati temple is located in Parshem. The entire temple complex has five temples, with the main one dedicated to Devi Bhagwati. The temple is famous for its two ‘Deepstambhas’ which are tanks. The main temple festival is held during the Indian month of Kartika and during this time devotees flock in droves to this abode of worship. The temple is said to be more than half a century old and has survived the Portuguese onslaught against other religions and cultures.
One of the largest temples in Goa, Mangeshi temple is a must visit famous temples in Goa for people who are religiously inclined during their visit to Goa. Located in Mangeshi village which is around twenty kilometres away from Panaji, this temple was founded during the 16th century and is almost half a century old. Originally located in Saxty, or Salcette, it was moved during the Christianization of the village.
The Mahalakshmi temple is located near Ponda and is a great place to visit if you are looking for a religious stop during your trip to Goa. Built during the 15th century, the original black granite idol of Shri Mahalakshmi was broken by the Portuguese during the eradication of Hinduism and other religions. A beautiful panchloha idol was made. Panchloha is five metals mixed together, usually silver, gold, iron, copper and lead.
Goa’s history spans for centuries and these temples are one of the only reminders of the history Goa lost during Portuguese rule and Christianization.