When planning Goa’s Tour don’t forget to add Temples of Goa in your itineraries. During Sightseeing tours in Goa, the tour guides will tell you about the magnificent and mysterious history of these temples. Fascinating legends, interesting stories and unsurpassed architecture of temples will not leave you indifferent! Each of these, the most revered, Hindu temples for over a hundred years, they even survived after colonial dependence of Portuguese. The walls of the temple complexes are imbued with a long history, culture of the Indian people, so every tourist who is looking for what to see in Goa should visit them! There are lots to see in Goa beyond Sea, Sun and Sand. Following is a list of Oldest temples of Goa.
1. Brahma Temple
The Brahma temple is situated at Brahma Carambolim village in the Satari taluka, Valpoi. It is 60 km away from Panjim.
History: Brahma is a creator who created this universe. Brahma had five heads out of which one had been chopped off by Lord Shiva, for his ‘unholy’ behavior. Brahma has created the four Vedas from each of his mouths and is said to be continually reciting these four Vedas till now.
There are very few temples in India that are dedicated to Lord Brahma. The Pushkar temple of Rajasthan is the popular one. The Brahma temple of Goa has been believed to be built in the 5th century. The idol of Lord Brahma was bought to Carambolim by a large section of devotees who escaped the religious intolerance by Portuguese.
The idol of Lord Brahma seen in this temple is a masterpiece of sculpture chiseled out of black stone and is dated to the Kadamba period. The stone sculpture of the Brahma has three heads and four hands. The face in the center has a beard. The front right hand has a mala of chanting beads and the rear right hand has a sacrificial ladle. In the front left hand, there is a ghee pot whereas in rear left hand there is a Pustaka (book). On either side of Brahma, there are idols of Savitri and Saraswati: consorts of Brahma.
Address: Carambolim-Brama, Sattari, Goa, India – 403506
2. Tambdi Surla Mahadev Temple
The Mahadev Temple is situated in Tamdi Surla which is well known for its red soil. It is 67 km away from Panjim. This Temple considered to be the oldest temple of Goa.
History: the Mahadev temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is the destroyer or transformer of the
“Great Trinity”. The temple was built by the finest weather-resistant grey-black basalt in the 12th century by a minister of the Yadava King Ramachandra, in the Jain style of architecture. The temple has a pillared porch and three stepped entrances. The pillars have intricate carvings of elephants. A headless Nandi is placed in the center of the Mandap.
The inner sanctum is surmounted by a three-tiered tower whose top has never been completed. Inside the inner sanctum, there is a “linga” mounted on a pedestal. It is believed by the locals that a huge king cobra is in permanent residence in the dimly lit interior. The temple is built facing towards the east so that the first rays of the rising sun, shines on the deity.
Address: Near Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary, Sanguem, Surla, Goa, India – 403406
3. Shri Devaki Krishna Ravalnath Temple
The temple 460 Year old Temple of Sri Devaki Krishna is situated in Marcel Village of Ponda Taluka. It is at a distance of 17 km from Panjim. The date of establishment of this temple is difficult to assess but it was said to be reconstructed around the year 1560.
History: This is one of the few temples in India where Lord Krishna is worshipped with his mother
Devaki. Sri Krishna is an avatar of Lord Vishnu who is maintainer or preserver of the “Great Trinity. Devaki is his biological mother. There is a tale in Mahabharata; once there was a battle between Sri Krishna and Jarasandha. As Jarasandha was more powerful in the battle, Lord Krishna took refuge in Gomanhal Parvat. By hearing that Devaki became restless and came to Gomanchal parvat looking for Sri Krishna. When they came face to face with each other, Devaki was unable to recognize him as she has seen him in his childhood when he left Dwaraka. So Sri Krishna took a form of a child and appeared before her.
Then Devaki recognized her Balkrisna and took him into her lap. In the inner sanctum of the temple, the idol of Devaki – Krishna has been placed. In this idol, Balkrisna is sitting in the lap of his mother Devaki. The temple also has deities of Bhumika Devi, Laxmi Ravalnath, Mallinath, Katyayani, Chodaneshwar, and Dhada Shankar. These along with the main deity were originally located at Choodamani Island (Chorao Island of today).
Address: Marcel, Ponda, North Goa, Goa, India
4. Navdurga Temple
Navadurga Temple is situated in Madkai village of Ponda taluka. It is 28 kms away from Panjim. This
temple is more than 500 years old. It is famous for its deity, having tilted neck.
History: This temple is dedicated to Goddess Navdurga; an incarnation of Goddess Parvati. There is a famous story relating to the deity of this temple. A long time ago a rich vendor came to this place and prayed to Navdurga to fulfill his wishes. And if the wish is fulfilled he will offer her flowers of worth on lac rupees. By the blessing of Navdurga, his wish has been granted. So he decided to offer Goddess Navadurga flowers of one lac rupees. But when he went to the market to buy the flowers, to his surprise no one was having any flowers. He searched the entire village and found a lady having only one marigold flower. He bought it by paying one lac rupees. When this flower was placed in the head of the deity, the neck of the deity was tilted showing her acceptance.
Navdurga worshipped in this temple is a fierce form of Goddess Durga known as the
Mahishasuramardini. In the Garbhgraha of the temple, the beautiful idol of Goddess Navdurga is placed. The idol of the Goddess is about 4 ft in height and is beautifully carved out of a stone. The idol of the deity is in standing position and her neck is slightly bent to the left.
Address: Madkai, Ponda, North Goa, India – 403404
5. Kamakshi Rayeshwar Temple
Kamakshi Temple is situated in Shiroda village of Ponda Taluka. It is 37 kms away from Panjim. The
Kamakshi temple was built in the late 16th century.
History: Kamakshi Temple is dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi an incarnation of Parvati who is the
consort of Lord Shiva. She is also known as Goddess Kamakhya, originally a deity from Guwahati,
Assam. After the destruction of its original temple which was in Raia in Salcete Taluka, the idol of
Kamakshi was carried away to Shiroda where it is now situated. A huge Mahadwar leads to the Kamakshi temple complex which is also known as Sthal. After passing under the Mahadwar you can see two temples. One is of Goddess Kamakshi and in the second temple deities of Shree Shantadurga, Shree Laxmi Narayan and Shree Rayeshwar (Shiva) are worshipped. In the
vicinity of Kamakshi temple, there are other temples of Lord Hanuman and Goddess Mahamaya. The temple is facing towards the east and has a tall Deepstambh in the front. It also has a holy water tank where you can see many fishes, turtles and duck swimming under the water. The top of the temple has an octagonal, two-storied tower, with a golden Kalash perched on its peak. During Amavasya (No moon day) of every month devotes from all over the Goa including devotees from nearby states like Karnataka and Maharashtra come here to take Goddess Kamakshi’s blessings.
Address: Shree Kamakshi Saunsthan, Thal Shiroda, Ponda, Goa, India – 403103