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Shri Saptakoteshwar Temple

Was a favoured deity of Kadamba Kings. Its orginal temple was situated in the island of Diwar. It was destroyed by the Portuguese and the idol was shifted to its present site at Narve (Bichoh'm).

Many years afterwards in 1668 A. D. Chhatrapati Shivaji ordered renovation of this temple at the present site during one of his campaigns to oust the Portuguese. The linga worshipped in this temple is faceted and is known as 'Dharalinga'.

This small temple is situated at Narve, 37 Kms from Panaji near Bicholim. It is dedicated to Lord Saptakoteshwara, an incarnation of Lord Siva. The deity worshipped is the "Lingam" and is faceted and known as the "Dharalinga". This has a long and turbulent history. The deity originally was based in a temple on Divar Island, off old Goa. It was a much favored deity of the Kadambas, and after Goa fell to the Muslims, the deity was buried and later a temple constructed for it on Divar Island. When the temple was demolished in 1560 by the Portuguese, (and a chapel dedicated to Nossa Senhora De Candelaria was erected in its place) it was used as a well shaft until some Hindus managed to rescue it.

The idol was then smuggled across the river to Bicholim where it was installed in a new temple. Sivaji, the great Maratha king, ordered renovation of the temple at its present site in 1688 during his attempt to oust the Portuguese. The Saptakoteshwar Linga of Lord Shiva is believed to be made of seven metals and hence the name Saptakoteshwar. However, according to folk tales, the deity is called Saptakoteshwar because he is believed to have crossed swords with demons with his powerful army of seven crores.

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