If this is your first time visiting Goa, an ideal schedule for you would include relaxing on the sun-kissed beaches, giving in to the titillating play of the waves, attending a few hot parties, visiting the majestic cathedrals, and sampling the incredible local food.
However, if you’re a tourist who wants to see Goa beyond its beaches and churches, you’re in for a fantastic adventure. The state has an exciting array of things for you to explore and visit.
Goa also referred to as the Pearl of the Orient, is home to several locations and buildings exhibiting the city’s distinctive façade. Consider the situation of the old temples in Goa. Although Goa is not typically associated with temples, the town possesses some of the most beautiful ones that are well worth visiting. But there’s more!
You can see temples here that combine Jain, Portuguese, Mughal, and European architectural styles. We’ll look at them one by one, and you will be genuinely surprised.
Sri Mangeshi Temple in Goa is one of the biggest and busiest shrines in this land of sea and sun, with a history spanning more than 450 years. It is devoted to Lord Mangesh, a manifestation of Lord Shiva, who is revered in this location as a linga.
The balustrades, domes, and columns of the temple architecture make for an alluring picture. The complex of the temple includes a stunning water tank. A seven-story deep stambha or lamp tower in the shape of an octagon may be found at the entryway. This imposing tower, built in the form of a Goan temple, is a sight to behold when lit by oil lamps on special nights.
Seeing Lord Mangesh’s weekly procession in a palanquin is possible if you go to this temple on a Monday evening before the evening aarti. In any other region of India, you are unlikely to find another temple honouring Lord Mangesh. Therefore, if you’re travelling to Goa, remember to stop by this temple.
Location: Mangeshi Village, Priol
Hours: 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
The renowned Shanta Durga Temple in Goa has a history that dates back more than 450 years. This temple worships Goddess Durga as a middleman between Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, hence the name Shanta Durga, or tranquil Durga. She is shown in the deity’s image holding a serpent in each hand. The serpents are thought to stand in for Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.
The temple tower, which was constructed in the Indo-Portuguese architectural style, has a pyramidal shikhara and Roman arched windows, both of which are uncommon among Goa’s temples.
Additional attractions include the large, five-story-deep stambha, or lamp tower, and the nearby large lake. The goddess is paraded in a golden palanquin at joyous events.
Location: Kavalem Village, Ponda
Timings: 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Mahadev Temple, a revered Shiva temple with a long history in Goa, is considered the area’s oldest temple. The inner sanctum sanctorum of the temple contains a linga. The temple was built in the Jain style during the 12th century.
Its unique status as Goa’s only remaining example of the Kadamba-Yadava architectural style is what makes it so remarkable. The basalt stone shrine’s walls are decorated with intricate carvings, making it aesthetically pleasing.
The temple is a hidden jewel of Goa and is situated in a thick bush. The beautiful vegetation that surrounds it enhances the shrine’s charm. Numerous worshippers flock there to honour Lord Shiva during the annual Mahashivratri festival.
If local lore is to be believed, a giant king cobra spends the night within the shrine. Does that increase the attraction to the mystery?
Location: Sanguem, Surla
Timings: 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
One of the most famous temples in South Goa is Chandreshwar Bhoothnath Temple. This historic temple serves as both a viewpoint and a location because it is perched atop Chandranath Hill.
To get to the temple, you can either walk up the granite stairs or take a car on the motorable road that leads there.
As the Lord of the Moon, Lord Shiva is revered in this location. On full moon nights, the Shiva Linga inside the shrine is positioned to shine radiantly, which is a beautiful sight to behold. Additionally, water is reported to pour out of the linga whenever the moon shines on the linga!
You can also stop at a nearby minor temple while you’re here. Bhoothnath, a different incarnation of Lord Shiva, who is the lord of the spirits, is the subject of this temple. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, you will have a wonderful time if you visit the Chandreshwar Bhoothnath Temple.
Location: Paroda, Quepem taluka
Timings: 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The only temple in Goa that is devoted to Lord Brahma, the universe’s creator according to Hindu mythology, is the Brahma Karmali Temple, or the Brahma Temple.
It is thought that the finely carved idol of Lord Brahma housed in this temple dates to the 12th century. Along with Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma is depicted in this idol.
The tranquillity of the area where the temple is situated is what attracts people. The temple complex is the perfect place to relax for a while and take in the serene atmosphere.
Location: Valpoi, Satari
Timings: 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The list of distinctive temples in India includes the Mahalasa Narayani Temple. Mahalasa, or Mohini, the female manifestation of Lord Vishnu, is the subject of the temple. In India, it is uncommon to find a temple where Vishnu is revered in both his male and female forms. The temple has a long history that dates back to the 17th century.
The stunning brass oil lamp, which is 12.5 metres tall and is thought to be among the biggest in the world, is an intriguing aspect of the temple. Every major event observed at the temple has this lamp lit, providing a beautiful sight for guests.
The temple also has a substantial brass bell, but it lacks a ringer. The ringer was once only fastened to the bell when someone wanted to testify. The prevailing myth states that the temple’s presiding deity will kill anyone who lies while the bell is ringing within three days.
Location: Mardol, Ponda taluka
Timings: 5:30 a.m. to 8.30 p.m.
As the name suggests, Goddess Mahalaxmi, the goddess of prosperity, power, and strength, is the presiding deity of this temple.
The stunning temple has a hall with pillars and a gateway with a silver arch. The twenty-four wooden panels that depict episodes from the Bhagavata Purana, many of which are stories about Lord Krishna, are among the temple’s principal attractions.
The black stone idol is depicted as having four hands. It resembles the Mahalaxmi idol at Kolhapur, the principal location of the goddess’s worship in India.
Location: Yashwant Nagar, Bandivade
Timings: 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saptakoteshwar Temple, one of the six primary shrines of Lord Shiva in the entire Konkan region, is well-known for its exquisite architecture.
The temple’s Mughal-style dome is one of its most remarkable features. The towering, deep sthambha is unique compared to other temples in the state, and the mandapa is constructed in the European architectural style. The temple’s main pillared hall has beautiful arches and chandeliers.
Lord Saptakoteshwar, a manifestation of Lord Shiva, is the temple’s deity, and his idol is housed inside a wooden sanctuary.
Even if the temple is beautiful in and of itself, getting there can be a pleasant experience. A ferry from the island of Divar may take you to the temple. Whether you worship Lord Shiva or not, this gorgeously constructed shrine should be on your list of Goa’s must-see temples.
Location: Narve, Bicholim
Timings: 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
True to its name, the Goddess Kamakhya, or Kamakshi, a venerated divinity in Assam, is the subject of the Kamakshi Temple in Goa. She is a prominent goddess connected to tantric cults.
Due to the exquisite goddess idol that was crafted from a Salagrama Shila, the temple draws attention. The temple’s central tower has a stunning design that resembles a Buddhist pagoda. The corners of the temple roof are decorated with representations of hooded serpents. The complex of temples is made more beautiful by a sizable water tank.
The serene atmosphere and stunning surroundings add to the temple’s appeal. Although it may not be the biggest or most well-known temple in Goa among tourists (not believers), it is unquestionably one of the most incredible.
Location: Shiroda, Ponda
Timings: 5:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The Maruti Temple is located atop the Altinho hill in Panaji, overlooking the Fontainhas neighbourhood. It makes Lord Hanuman, the monkey god, the presiding deity and is dedicated to him. The Maruti Temple is also exquisitely illuminated at night, and because to its dazzling illumination, it is noticeable from a distance.
Dedicated to Rama, the protagonist of the Indian epic Ramayana, Lord Hanuman is a Hindu god. Hanuman, a general among the Vanaras and a manifestation of the divine who fought alongside Lord Rama against the demon king Ravana, is Rama’s disciple.
Shri Maruti Sansthan is a stunning example of architecture, with its bright orange building set against a green background and wide steps leading up from the foothill in Mala, where a long-gone natural freshwater spring still satisfies the thirst of the residents. Water from the mountain accumulates in three tanks this spring before spilling into a reservoir.
Location: Altinho Hill, Panaji
Timings: 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.
These are only a few of the beautiful temples that can be seen across Goa. You can reserve one of the hotels in Goa that is close to these magnificent Hindu temples of worship if you wish to experience their magnificence. So, here’s to the many pleasant hours you spend seeing Goa’s temples and learning about the country’s rich architectural beauty and party-loving reputation.