Shanta Durga Temple
ShantaDurga Temple, Goa.
|Devanagari||शांता दुर्गा मंदिर|
|Sanskrit transliteration||Śāntā durgā mandira|
|Important festivals||Magh Panchmi|
|History and governance|
Shantadurga Temple is a large temple complex 33 km (21 mi) from Panaji at the foothill of Kavalem village in Ponda Taluka, Goa, India. A small laterite mud shrine was built and the deity was installed here. The mud-shrine was converted into a beautiful temple whose foundation stone was laid in 1730 and the temple was completed in 1738 and renovated in 1966.
The temple is dedicated to Shantadurga, the goddess who mediates between Vishnu and Shiva. The deity is also called 'Santeri' colloquially. Local legends tell of a battle between Shiva and Vishnu The battle was so fierce that the god Brahma prayed to Goddess Parvati to intervene, which she did in the form of Shantadurga. Shantadurga placed Vishnu on her right hand and Shiva on her left hand and settled the fight.
Shantadurga is shown as holding two serpents, one in each hand, representing Vishnu and Shiva. Apart from this battle, local legends often say that Shantadurga of Keloshi had gone to Sankhwal, a village in Salcette Taluka to kill a demon named Kalantak that was harassing the Brahmins. As a reward, she was given the name of Vijaya. The Vijayadurga shrine was located in Sankhwal along with Shantadurga and Lakshmi Narasimha but was later shifted to a place called Kerim in Ponda Taluka during the Portuguese invasions.
The original temple at Cavellossim (Quelshim) in Salsette was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1564. The goddess was shifted to Kavalem and worship was continued there. The site on which the original temple of Shantadurga stood at Cavellossim is known as "Deoolbhata" and it is in the possession of the temple trust.
The current temple was constructed during the reign of Maratha ruler Chattrapati Shahu of Satara in about 1738 A.D. Naroram Mantri (Naroram Shenvi Rege) originally from Kochar village in the Vengurla region was a Mantri (minister) in Shahu's Court around 1723. He obtained finances to construct the new temple for the goddess from Shahu. The temple construction started around 1730 and, with the help from other mahajans, the present temple was completed. Due to his efforts, the village of Kavalem was bequeathed to the temple authorities by Shahu in 1739.
The temple complex is on the slope of the foothills of a mountain chain, surrounded by lush vegetation. There is a main temple and three smaller temples of other deities which have been built on three sides of the temple. The temple consists of a collection of pyramidal roofs with a dome. The pillars and floors are made of Kashmir stone. The temple has a huge tank, a Deepastambha and agrashalas (guest houses).
Many renovations have been completed over the years to the main temple and the temples of the other deities as well as to the agrashala. The temple has recently banned entry of foreigners into the temple citing objectionable dressing and conduct as the reason. 
It is a fusion of Indo-Portuguese architecture. Its pyramidical shape 'shikaras' rising on the roofs of the facade (entrance hall) and the 'Sabhamandap' (the main hall), its roman-arched windows, some of which have the stained-glass window panes of deep red, yellow, blue, green colours, its chandeliers, its gate posts, balustraded flat dome, the maroon-peach-white colour paint of the temple gives the temple a serene beautiful look. The highlight of the temple is its golden palanquin (palkhi) in which the deity is carried on festive occasions.
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The Deepa Stambha of the temple
- "Shri Shantadurga Temple, Kavalem". Retrieved 2006-09-21.
- "Shree Shantadurga Devi , Kavlem , Phonda, Goa - Official Website". Retrieved 2006-09-21.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shanta Durga Temple.|
- Temples of Goa
- Shri Shantadurga Temple, Kavalem
- Shree Shantadurga Devi , Kavlem , Phonda, Goa Official Website
- Photo of Shanta Durga Temple
- Other Durga-Shantadurga Temples
- Navadurga Temples