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Shri Shantadurga Temple, Kavlem

Built in 1738 by king Shahu of Satara, this temple is the largest and most famous in Goa. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva. Being the most powerful of all goddesses, she also takes on a violent form and is then referred to as Durga. Legend has it that once during a quarrel between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, she appeared in the form of Durga and helped to amiably resolve the fight. In the Sanskrit language, Shanta means peace. Thus by combining the two names, emerged the name Shantadurga, who has now come to be the Goddess of Peace.

The temple of Sri Shanthadurga Samsthan was shifted from Kadalivana (Quelossim) to Kavlem in 16th century. The Pallakhi of Sri Shantadurga is held on every panchami while annuaal jatra is celebrated from Magha Suddha prathipada to Shuklapanchami. Navaratri is also celebrated with Makharotsava. The temple is well-equipped with Agrashalas and accomodated with modern amenities and many halls.

33 kms from Panaji. Sumptuously built at Kavlem, is dedicated to Shantadurga, the Goddess who mediates between Vishnu and Shiva. Has a rich and beautiful Garbhakuda or the holy of holies where the deity is kept. The deity was shifted from Kelsi. Agrashalas provide lodging facilities to the devotees.

This famous shrine is situated at Kavlem and built in 1738 by king Shahu of Satara and is the largest and most famous in Goa. It is dedicated to the goddess Shantadurga, an incarnation of Goddess Parvati. This deity is believed to have been carried by Loma Sharma of Kaushik Gotra when the Saraswats came to Goa from Trihotrapura in Bihar.

Legends say that once during a quarrel between Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu, she appeared in the form of Durga and took Vishnu by her right and Shiva by her left hand and pacified the two and resolved the fight. The deity is shown holding two serpents, one in each hand, representing Vishnu and Shiva. Shanteri is then said to have gone to Shankawali to kill the demons harassing the Brahmins there. It is for this good deed that she also earned the name of Vijaya. The deity was shifted here from Kelsi, to escape the Portuguese during the early days. A special feature at this temple is that Harijans are permitted to enter the sanctum sanctorum of his temple on magha sudha sashti as a reward for their help in giving land and welcoming the goddess while being shifted to Kavale. Sri Shantadurga is worshipped all over Goa and scores of temples have been devoted to this deity. At several places she is known by several names, Thamai, Sateri, Bhumka, Adimaya and others. The mahajans belong to Kaushika Gotra. Shree Shantadurga or Shanteri is the most popular deity among all the kuladevatas. There are many temples dedicated to her in Goa.

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