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Shantadurga Temple

Shantadurga temple in Kavalem
Shantadurga temple in Kavalem

Shantadurga Temple : is a large temple complex 33 kms. 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’. This avatar of Shree Jagdamba Devi which had come to make peace (Shanti) between Shree Vishnu and Shree Shiva, came to be known as Shree Shantadurga Devi. Local legends tell of a battle between Shiva and Vishnu The battle was so fierce that Lord Bramha prayed to 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. The deity of Shantadurga is shown as holding two serpants, 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. Shri Vijayadurga shrine was located in Sankhwal along with Shri Shantadurga and Shri Laxmi Narsimha but was later shifted to a place called Kerim in Ponda Taluka during the Portuguese invasions. Shantadurga is the Kuldevi (family deity) of many Konkani Saraswats, Karhade Brahmins, Maharishi Saraswatis (Mahe Gotra), Vishyawani from (Kokan region of Maharastra and Goa) and Bhandaris.

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