Navratri Delight – Fifteen Sterling Destinations. Abounding Divinity.
Nature has always ensured the existence of balance around us. Perhaps any quality assumes more significance only in the presence of an opposing element. Religion is no exception to this. While the violent, potent and aggressive Durga symbolizes the power of fury, her gentler incarnate, Shantadurga brings out the divinity in peace.
Dedicated to this peace-loving, calm Goddess of peace is the breathtaking Shree Shantadurga Temple, located at the foothills of Kavalem village in Ponda Taluka,Goa at a distance of 33 Km from Panaji. It is quite an unusual looking temple with a pagoda-like structure. Its roofs are pyramidal and there is a dome in the middle. Also distinctive is a six-storied deepstambha (large pillar to hold lights) present in the complex.
Legend has it that there was once a quarrel between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, that became so ruthless that it stood to destroy the entire Universe. Fearing complete destruction, Lord Brahma prayed to Parvati to interfere, who in turn took the form of Shantadurga. She took Vishnu by her right and Shiva by her left hand, pacified the two and solved the fight. In Sanskrit, Shanta means peace.
In this large temple complex, the Parvati incarnate assumes a very interesting pose – she stands flanked by the idols of Vishnu and Shiva on two sides and holds two serpents, one in each hand, representing Vishnu and Shiva.
There is also a serene-looking lake nearby, perhaps testimony to the peace and calm that the idol within the temple portrays.
Goa is known for many things and comes immediately to mind when one fondly misses having a fun vacation at the beach. However, many overlook the fact that religion is also an integral part of the fabric of the state. The next time you visit Goa, do not forget to visit the famous Shree Shantadurga temple – a mighty reminder of the beauty, peace and calm that resides within all of us.
The Ponda Taluk, where Shree Shantadurga temple is located, is sometimes called the heartland of Hindus in Goa. Numerous temples are located in its vicinity. Ponda is also the gateway to Goa’s wildlife sanctuaries, both the Bondla and the Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and also the Dudhsagar Waterfalls. The Butterfly conservatory run by the Butterfly Conservatory of Goa (NGO) is an interesting place for nature enthusiasts. The temple is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Distance from Villagio, Goa : 23km, 37 minutes
Distance from Camphor Hotels, Goa : 34km, 42 minutes
Closest city : Panjim – 33 kms