was just beginning to understand what made Goa so rich in history and
culture. It was my 3rd day and i waited outside the resort for the tour
bus. I knew we were going to visit a few churches and temples, apart
from beaches that day. The one temple that i had read about was part of
the itinerary. The Shanta Durga Temple.
day was mighty hot and i lost count of the number of bottles of water i
had gulped down. But when the bus pulled up into the parking lot, i was
the first one out and off.
man who was sitting along one of the walls saw me and took it upon
himself to tell me a bit about the temple. The temple was built during
the reign of
Maratha ruler – Shahu Raja of Satara, who had received a request of the
Naro Ram Mantri, in 1738 A.D. The shivalinga here at the temple is said
to belong to the Mahajans [the community with the surname ‘Vorde’ who
Kulavis]. He went on to say the temple is also called Shanteri
Durga holding 2 serpents, one in each hand
[representing Vishnu and Shiva]. The original place of Shantadurga devi was at Keloshi.
However, during the
Portuguese inquisition of Goa, the temple was destroyed forcing
the trustees of the Shanta Durga temple to take a decision to shift the
main idol to Atrunja taluka for safety.
and a Ratha (chariot), which is found in all
temples across Goa. The temple also has a dome, which is fairly unique
for Hindu Temples. This is one of the few temples where Harijans are
permitted to enter the main sanctum sanctorum. I suddenly heard someone
call out my name and realised it was time to head back to the bus. I
walked down the slope towards the parking lot watching hundreds of
tourists and locals march up the slope chattering away.