Thursday, 28 April 2016

Shantadurga , amazing Hindu temple of Goa, India

General perception about Goddess Durga has been that she is commonly portrayed as Ugraha Deivam 
(fearful deity) and here in Goa one can see a complete metamorphosis in her natural personality and she has become Santha Swaroopini - embodiment of compassion and devotees are captivated by the aura about her.  No doubt Santhadurga, as she is known in Goa, is a popular deity.
Shanta Durga Temple Goa.drkiranacharya.wordpress.com
Shri Shantadurga Temple, about  33 km (21 mi) from Panaji at the foothill of Kavalem village in Ponda Taluka, Goa, India,  is a Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Durga. This huge temple complex is being visited by lots of Hindus  living in Goa and near by states.  This temple in the early stages was  a small laterite mud shrine and an impressive  temple building came up in 1738, eight years after the foundation was laid in 1730.  Recent renovation was done in  in 1966.
Shanta Durga Temple, Goa www.heraldgoa.in
The temple complex  is  built on the slope of the foothills of a mountain chain, surrounded by  lush greenery.  Besides the main shrine, there are small shrines dedicated to  other deities. The shrines are built   on three sides of the temple. The temple has a group of  of pyramidal  roofs with a dome.  An interesting feature about this temple is  the pillars and floors are made of Kashmir stone.  The other features are the temple tank, flagstaff normally called Dwajasthambham  and a guest house (agrashalas). Here one can see a fusion of Indian and Portuguese style of architecture as exemplified by the presence of pyramidal  shaped  towers on the slanting roofs, Roman-arched widows fitted with stained glasses of various hues, beautiful chandeliers, balustraded flat dome, etc.
www.aalayavanimagazine.org
The first original  temple of Shantadurga was at Kellosim by the Zuari river in south Goa. The ancient idol was  reinstalled  in the present location - Kavalem, soon after the raid by the  Portuguese rulers in 1564. The temple was destroyed in the raid.  It was Naroram Mantri (hailed from Kochara village in the Vengurla region),  a minister in  the court of Shahu Maharaj (Shivaji’s grandson) around 1723, who was instrumental in the establishment of a new temple in 1738. He got the necessary funds from the ruler for the temple construction work and further, through his efforts, it is believed,  the Maratha ruler endowed the village of Kavalem  to the temple.
Devi Shantadurga, Goa. www.shantadurgafatarpekarin.com
The deity here is known as 'Santeri' and legend has it that she  at the right time, mediated between Shiva and Vishnu who were seriously engaged in a fierce battle that shook the three worlds. The Hindu God of Creator Brahma, wanted to put an end to the unabated, menacing battle  between two powerful gods, and  appealed to Goddess Parvathi to intervene. Accordingly she took the form of  Shantadurga and placed Vishnu on her right hand and Shiva on her left hand and settled the fight in an amicable manner. The celestials heaved a big sigh of relief upon the end of this war.

The idol of Durga is shown as holding two serpents, one in each hand, representing Vishnu and Shiva. Besides, she also killed a demon named Kalantak in Sankhwal, a village in Salcette Taluka. The demon was harassing the Brahmins living there. Hence the deity is called  Vijayadurga. In  Sankhwal the  the Vijayadurga shrine also is seen  along with Shantadurga and Lakshmi Narasimha. But it was relocated to  a place called Kerim in Ponda Taluka during the Portuguese invasions.

Goddess  Shantadurga  is synonymous with the Goan identity and is interwoven with Goan culture  and worship.  There is no village in Goa where She is not worshiped. Goan catholics are no exception and they hold her in great esteem. In the village of Cuncolim, they participate in large number in the festival called Sontrio (Procession of the Umbrellas) in which the goddess is worshiped. Thus  Goddess Shantadurga,  who acted as a mediator between Shiva and Vishnu  blesses all the denizens here and the devotion transcends religion and faith.  Shri Shantadurga is the  family deity (Tamil: Kuldeivam) of many Gowda  Saraswat  Brahmins  (Konkan region of Maharashtra and Goa). H.H. Swamiji of Shri Kavale Math is Spiritual head Of Shri Shantadurga Temple. India’s greatest philosopher Adi Shankaracharya of Kaladi came to Kellosim,  seeking deeksha from Gaudapada. However, his trip to this place is still a subject of debate. There is  golden palanquin (palkhi) in which the deity is carried on festival days.


Ref:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanta_Durga_Temple