Whenever we hear the name Goa, parties and vacations instantly pop up in our minds. Be it a weekend getaway trip or a week-long holiday with family or best buddies, Goa never gets old on bucket lists. From pristine beaches to decorated alleys, to markets selling attractive items and Churches and Cathedrals, Goa has it all.
Just like everybody else, I too wanted to explore the town of Goa and especially, its impeccably beautiful temples and shrines. So I made a plan with my friends and booked four tickets for Bangalore to Goa flights in October and went there to both attain spiritual satisfaction and also to explore the other tourist spots that the town had to offer. Since I am a die-hard devotee, my priority was the temples and therefore, we started with the temple sojourn first. On that note, the following are the temples that we covered on our vacation.
The Saptakoteshwar Temple located in South Goa is a special structure that bears resemblance with the Mughal architectural structures in North India. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a classic piece of impeccable craftsmanship. Legend has it that the history of the temple dates back to several ages and has been a part of several folklores. The name of the temple is significant too, for it is believed that Lord Shiva had agreed to the prayers of seven sages after a period of seven crore years to stay at the place as one of his incarnations. It is a highly revered temple among the natives and the surrounding beauty pulls several tourists to its premises too.
Maruti Temple is situated on the Altinho Hill in Panaji and is a piece of architectural wonder. Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, this temple is one of the most beautiful ones in the city and houses the signature octagonal, Deepstambha. You will be greeted with a warm natural welcome of fluttering leaves and green hills when you visit this Temple. The compound also houses a natural spring which used to be the lifeline of this area once upon a time. However, it still exists and the water is still potable and quite fresh. Shri Maruti Temple is a must-visit if you are looking for a divine, holy escapade in a crowded chaotic Goa. The walls have been pained with vibrant hues of orange, red and brown, and present a visually pleasing sight to all devotees.
Located at a minimal distance from the Maruti Temple in Ponda, is the Mahalakshmi Temple. This one is a beautifully designed temple and is home to the goddess of wealth and prosperity, Maa Lakshmi. A certain air of peace and tranquillity is bound to engulf you as soon as you enter the stupendously maintained temple complex. The main shrine constitutes the finely made idol of the Goddess while the walls have been painted and carved from the concept of eminent scenes from the Bhagawat Gita. The exteriors are painted in red and white to provide relaxation to tired eyes and souls. Several devotees come here every day for visiting the Goddess and paying homage to her. If you are keen on learning about the basic history of this temple, you can learn them from the giant stone plaques which are engraved on them that depict several explanations related to this place.
The is one of the most ancient existing temples in Goa. Carved out of fine basalt, it is a crowd puller and is a beautiful structure in itself. As the name suggests, the main shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Huge festivals and celebrations are held in this Temple and the surrounding compound during the occasions of Maha Shivratri. It is the only existing piece that finely portrays the intricacies of Kadamba-Yadav architecture. The Shiva Linga here is a huge one and according to the localities here, a massive King Cobra lives in the darkness behind the Linga permanently. Some people have witnessed a reptile curling around the sacred Linga and thereby, lends a divine sight as the Gods themselves.
The current temple of Mahalasha Narayani is situated in Mardol while the original one has been demolished by the Portuguese long back. The deity of Mahalsha here is associated with two different traditional stories, one linking to Lord Vishnu Narayan while the other traces link back to the mighty Lord Shiva. Mahalasha is worshipped as an incarnation of Parvati, the divine consort of Shiva as well as Mohini, the female form of Lord Vishnu who with her charm had managed to get back the elixir from the demons. Mahalasha Temple is a part of several bizarre stories associated with its origins and a small pool beside the sanctum is also revered for its spiritual significance.
For spiritual rejuvenation, the Goa temple has everything to purify the soul. So, that makes no reason for you to skip the place. If you are a true devotee, then the sight of these temples and how they conduct their worship is going to make your heart, rejoice. Do not trust me? Then, plan your trip here and you will know it for yourself.