Mahalakshmi Temple, Goa

Opening Pic: Maha Mandap (Great Hall) at the Mahalakshmi Temple, Goa

The Mahamandap (Great Hall) at the Mahalakshmi Temple in Bandivade, Goa provides a therapeutic escape from many of Goa busy attractions. It is a perfect place to sit undisturbed and commune with the divine. On this early morning, regular devotees went about their prayers silently and tourist laden buses had not yet arrived.

In front of the Deul (Konkani for Temple, also Devasthan), notice the Deepa Stamba (Light tower), a characteristic of Goa Konkani temples. Around the temple are guest rooms for traveling devotees at nominal costs.

photos of Mahalakshmi Temple in Goa by Arun Shanbhag
Deepa Stamba (Light Tower) in front and the Tulsi Vrindavan on the side

History of the Temple: The Mahalakshmi Deul (see Tribute to Lakshmi) is another of a long list of temples destroyed by the Christians during the Portuguese Inquisition. The Portuguese made every attempt to annihilate the Konkani (Hindu) faith, heritage and reshape the culture of Goa. A genocide lasting more than 150 years during which many of our ancestors were forcibly converted to christianity, murdered, burnt at the stake, or forced to migrate out of Goa!

The Deul was originally in the village of Kolambe, near present day Colva beach. When the Portuguese destroyed it, devotees smuggled the murtī of Mahalakshmi (Great Lakshmi) first to the town of Talauli (aka Talavali, Talaulim) where it resided in the home of a priest. It was then moved to its present location in Bandivade in Ponda, where a small temple was established in 1866. Upgrades and expansions have occurred ever since. Today it is a magnificent example of Konkani temple architecture in Goa.

Mahalakshmi is respected as a form of Durga Devi, as described in the Durga Saptashati (aka Chandi PaTh or Devi Mahatmyam). Devi is an independent Goddess to whom the Gods turn for help in their hour of need. Mahalakshmi is depicted as the Goddess of Wealth and resides as an independent Goddess and not as a spouse of Vishnu.


My Posts Related to Konkani Temples in Goa:


47 thoughts on “Mahalakshmi Temple, Goa

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    1. Hi Manasi:
      yes, I know of this temple and have a strong desire to visit it for a long time. A few years ago, our entire extended family hired a bus and made a trip to the temple in Kolhapur. unfortunately we were in the US at that time.

      I know we will visit – whenever she calls us.

      Thank you for the wiki link; it was interesting reading details about the temple.

      Best
      Arun

  1. Thank you Suhhas for your kind words!

    You are free to use one of these pics for your desktop;
    I don’t have any of the inside!

    You may want to check some of the Related links I have at the end of the post. perhaps you’ll find some pics there.

    Best Wishes
    Arun

  2. Dear Arun,

    Thanks for the beautiful site & information. We have visited the Deul & stayed at guest rooms.

    i have Mangeshi photo from net. Where can I have Mahalaxmi photo for desktop.

    Regards.

    Pune

  3. Thank you Ujwal;
    Did not realize there are NO temples in Shanghai.

    Which is your Kuludevu? Yeah, everytime we visit Goa, it is always a mad rush to go around and visit as many temples as we can. We tend to see the ones nearer to Ramnathi and miss the further ones. :-p During our last visit we added some out of the way ones. And we’ll see more on our next visit.

    Hope to share info about many more of our Konkani temples.

    Enjoy and Hope you get to visit India and the temples soon.

    Best

  4. Hi,
    My first time here.. I love the temples around Goa. We have our KulDevu in Goa too. Everytime we go to Goa we try to cover all the temples.. Being in shanghai where there are no Hindu temples I am missing being in temple very much. Nice post

  5. Ganga:
    (Sorry for the delay in replying to your comment)

    What a wonderful introduction to India!
    The people in Goa and coastal karnataka are super hospitable. I need to spend a whole week in Goa, perhaps on my next visit. And very nice of the Spice Farm owner’s mother. Lucky you! 🙂

    Random folks show amazing acts of kindness, even in Kumta. I go to a store to buy supplies, and the guy offers to buy tea or coffee. This is particularly common. or random folks give me a ride to the school etc.

    It really soothes the spirit and gives meaning to life! and in all this i tend to overlook the poverty. so easy coz no one complains and everyone is smiling!

    Have a blessedly beautiful weekend!
    Arun

  6. Gaudy? How rude. Goa was my first introduction to India – a work function at Sinquerim. I did not have a lot of time to look around, but had one intense day where I visited fishing villages, the Mandovi, a spice farm, Panjim, lots of temples and churches, and lots of things in between. Everyone was amazing – so hospitable and giving. I was fed at the Spice Farm by the owner’s mother – it was my first Indian meal outside of a hotel, and it was A M A Z I N G . I was so bless that day, and it was the beginning of my long love affair with India, esp Sth India. All thanks to Goa.

  7. Ha hA Sush Memsahib:
    Good to hear from you!

    Heh heh – its rare that i go to the beaches in Goa. Once you get into the interiors of Goa and start to visit and read about the history of the temples, it is an amazing experience! Since we are Konkanis, this is the cradle of our heritage! :-))

    Yes, I loved that first pic! Lucky, the floors were just cleaned!
    🙂
    Arun

  8. Thank you Saroj:

    All the Goa Konkani temples are very bright; perhaps to stand out from the forests; I remember an author (christian) dismissed all our temples as “gaudy.” 😦

    Yes, Interesting history and I hope to compile a book on all the Konkani temples! Next project!

    :-))
    Arun

  9. Beautiful! I love the coral pink exterior, makes it so bright and welcoming! Hinduism in Goa/Karnataka has an interesting history, given the Portuguese and the Inquisition.

  10. Thank you Viji!

    The guest rooms go around the temple, creating more like a courtyard within.

    Immediately around the temple is the Pradakshina paaTh and around that are the guest roooms, all facing in. Also includes Wedding and dining Halls, offices and priest quarters in an attached wing.

    These are in remote areas and the old walls and gates were likely to keep bandits and wild animals out! In the older days, the guests usually stayed with the priests in their quarters. Even today, whenever we stay at our temple (Ramnathi) we eat our meals at the Priest’s house and are expected to leave a small donation for him. Very Nice food served in his kitchen! Bestest!

    Only now there are a couple of canteens outside the temple, primarily catering to the tourists.

    Interesting places and you should not only visit, but also spend a few days. Its a nice community of the faithful!

    :-))

  11. Its indeed a very beautiful and magnificient temple Arun. Thanks for the write-up. Does the guest rooms around the temple also serve as the walls of the temple or is it just one side across the street. I was just wondering whether it served as a fortress wall at one time or other?

    Viji

  12. Hi Maya:
    Good to hear! Mahalakshmi-Damodar is my mother’s KuLarche Kuldev as well – so we go there all the time. Damodar is a little bit away (in Zambavoli), but this is very close to Ramnathi, which our Kuladev.

    Love the temple and the pradakshina paTh is very pretty too.

    Ha hA!! Bhat maam’s home food is the best! We do the same at Ramnathi! Yumm!

  13. So good to see this post and lovely write-up..I didn’t know these facts, though Mahalakshmi-Damodar is my ‘Kularche Kuldev’ :)..We visit both temples without fail on every visit, and my dad goes there very often. You are so rite, that Mantap gives such a calm and serene feeling, and that floor is sooo cool anytime of the day. Its good the area outside is now paved, else before when we went for pradakshinas, it used to be all prickly stones. Also, they serve nice food in the canteen ( think its the Bhat Maam’s house, if am not wrong)..

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