Goa’s temples combine aspects of Muslim and Christian architecture into basically Hindu layouts. Domed roofs are a Muslim trait, while whitewashed octagonal towers and balustrade façades have been borrowed from Portuguese church architecture.

Of particular note are the deepastambhas (lamp towers) that are almost exclusive to Goan temples and are decorated with oil lamps at festival times.

Despite these unique aspects, Goa’s temples share many common features with Hindu shrines throughout India, and the layout is pretty much standard to all. The pillared pavilion is known as the mandapa. Between the mandapa and the inner sanctum, where the deity resides, is the area known as the antaralaya, and the sanctum itself is called the garbhagriha.

On either side of the antaralaya there are usually smaller shrines to the deities worshipped at the temple. Outside the main building, the temple’s courtyard is generally surrounded by agarshalas (accommodation blocks) for visiting pilgrims.

Larger temples tend to have a storage area somewhere in these buildings where the ratha (ceremonial chariot) is kept. These carts are used to transport representations of deities around the village on feast days.

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Shantadurga Temple
Shantadurga temple, dedicated to the Goddess who mediates between Vishnu and Shiva, is a large temple complex located 33 kms from Panaji at the foothills of Kavalem village in Ponda.
Mangeshi Temple
The Mangeshi temple or the Shri Mangesh Devasthan is perhaps the most famous of all Goan temples. It is located at Priol in Ponda taluka, about 21 km from the capital city of Panaji. The surrounding area is known as Mangeshi.
Kamakshi Temple
This temple was originally located at Raia in Salcette and was moved to its present location at Shiroda in 1564-1568 and is dedicated to Goddess Kamakshi, an incarnation of Goddess Parvati, consort of Shiva.
Mahalaxmi Temple, Bandivade
The village of Bandode or Bandivade is the location of a number of temples among which is the large and beautiful temple of Goddess Mahalaxmi. Bandode is approximately 22 km from the capital city of Panaji, off the main road to Ponda, at Farmagudi....
One of the capital city's most discerning assets is the Mahalaxmi Temple. Located on the Dada Vaidya road (Rua de Saudade during the Portuguese times), the Mahalaxmi deity is the chief object of veneration for all Panjimites, irrespective of caste, class, sex or creed....
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