Pre-Portuguese Rulers of Goa
3rd – 4th Bhoja
4th – 5th Maurya
5th – 8th Chalukyas of Badami
8th – 10th Shilahara
9th – 14th Kadamba
13th – mid 14th Muslim Rulers
14th – 15th Vijayanagara kings
15th – 16th Bahmani
17th c. Marathas
17th c. Adil Shah
Portuguese defeated Marathas & Adil Shah
The Goan architectural heritage is a rich assimilation of a number of cultural influences
that have led to its evolution over a long period of time. Each period has made its own
significant contribution in enriching the architectural vocabulary and no single period can
be perceived in isolation.
Evolution Of Goan Temples
Four Phases in the Evolution of the Goan Hindu Temple:
• First Phase: Pre-Portuguese phase, Kadamba Dynasty ruled Goa and affected style of building
temples. Most of the temples were ruined after portuguese inquisition but the only existing
temple in Kadamba Dynasty which still stands is the Mahadev Temple at Tambdi Surla.
• Second Phase: Neo-Romanisation of the Hindu Temple (17th Cent), when the elements of the
Hindu temple were invested with Mannerist forms, and when the dome replaced the pyramidal
or parabolidal tower over the sanctuary. Two temples belong to this period, the
Saptakottishwar of Narvem, which adopted the dome even though octagonal in plan and the
Santeri temple at Mardol.
• Third Phase: Achieves a synthesis of the Neo-Roman and Maratha motifs and organises the
Goan temple complexes (18th – mid – 19th centuries), beginning with the Shantadurga of
Kavlem and continuing with Nageshi of Bandoda. Features of Baroque and Rococo styles were
adopted at this time and combined with Maratha Forms like the Cypress Column, domed
• Fourth Phase: Completition of the Goan Hindu style (mid 19th – mid 20th centuries). Goan
Hindu architects now worked on the basis of their establishment of idioms and abandoned
their former dependance on church architecture. The temples look more monumental domestic
structures, the temples in this phase include Ramnathi of Bandoda and Navdurga of Kundai
Pre-Historic Goan Temples
• Cave Temples: References to Brahminical shrines which included the
Shaivite as well as Vaishnavite shrines are made in books specifying Goan
temples. In Goa during c. 600-700 A. D. Buddhists also started utilising
rock cut caves for their religious activity. The rock cut architectural
activity continues even during 1100-1200 A.D. and these rock cut caves
were excavated by Nath-Panthis.
• Almost 2/3rd of Goa is Covered with Laterite. Therefore, locally available
laterite hillocks were used for scooping out the caves.
• Architecture activity of the Brahminical caves (Caves having Linga) began
in Goa and first models were available in 400-500 A. D.
• There are single-celled caves in Consua (Marmugao), Dabos, Karanzol &
Sonal (Sattari), as well as multi-celled caves in Khandepar, Harvalem &
• The rock cut caves of Goa reveal developments that took place between
the fall of Satavahanas and the rise of Kadambas.
It is said Bhoja rulers selected Harvalem
village intentionally because it is associated
The ancient shrine of Rudreshwar was
built before the excavation of the caves.
These caves are excavated in a laterite
hillock and have pillared façade.
These caves also have clearly portrayed
cornice and properly scooped out
There are six cell resembling cubicles. Five
of which are facing South and one faces
The square pithas in the cells are
characteristic of Chalukyan lingas.
Lingas are made of schist and are
• In Goa a classical example of the other oldest pre Portuguese era temple
is the Temple of Shiva at Tambdi Surla in Sanguem taluka dating back
to the Kadamba period circa 13th-14th century AD.
• It is reflect of quite evolved Hindu temple form in India of the 7th
century that holds the very principal temple architectural features.
• The small, beautifully carved and perfectly proportioned black basalt
temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and its reminiscent of the temples at
Aihole in neighboring Karnataka.
• The temple has survived Muslim invasions and Portuguese persecution,
in its almost perfect condition mainly due to its remote location in a
clearing deep in the forest at the foot of the Western Ghats which
surround the site in a sheer wall of impenetrable vegetation
• The temple faces east so that the rays of the rising sun fall on the diety
at the crack of dawn
Mahadev Temple, Tambdi Surla
• The temple consists of garbagriha, antarala, and a pillard nandi mandapa
built of basalt.
• The temple faces to the east. The mukhamandapa has three entrances,
the main entrance faces the east and the two side entrances are facing
the north and south respectively.
• There are 10 pillars in mukhamandapa resting on Kakshasana. These
pillars are plain except for the circular and horizontal floral bands on the
central part of the shaft and bear the weight of gable shaped roof of
• There are four central pillars on the raised circular platform of the
mukhamandapa.Pillars have a square base and are divided by two
bands(pattikas) on which stands the shaft which is also square and plain.
Plan of Mahadev Temple
The Shikhara which rises from the
top of garbagriha is in the Vesara
style and is in receding tiers.
Mandap (pillared hall)
There is a small mandap (pillared hall) and
the inner sanctum is surrounded by a
three-tired tower which is incomplete or
which has been dismantled sometime in
the distant past. The mandap is covered
with a roof of plain grey sloping slabs.
There is a linga (symbol of Lord Shiva)mounted
on a pedestal inside the inner sanctum
Naag devtas carved in stone.
Shiva and Parvati
Laxmi Narayana Vishnu with Garuda on his
Bas- relief figures of
Lord Shiva, Lord
Vishnu, and Lord
Brahma with their
appear on panels at the
sides of the temple.
Ceiling in the mandapa consists of stone
carving in the form of petals.
Ceiling in the antarala
• There is a headless Nandi ( bull, Shiva’s vehicle) in the center of the mandap,
surrounded by four columns.
• The symbol of the kadamba kingdom, an elephant trampling a horse is carved
on the base of one of the average Goan Temple.
• The pierced stone screen carrying the figures of deities that surrounds the door
of the vestibule is another notable feature.
The headless nandi in the
center of the mandap
Elephant on the pillar
• Temple was built by the Kadambas during the 10th century.
• Unique temple built with laterite stone.
• Moved from its original location to the current one.
• Temple was originally located about 17 km from its current position , in Kurdi on
the banks of river Salaulem
• The temple has been translocated brick by brick and placed at its current place.
• The Mahadeva temple is built of laterite on a hard laterite ground and has no
• The wall of the temple and the shikhara are constructed out of laterite but schist
is used for the ceiling, door jamb and the pillars.
• The laterite is brittle and has less tensile strength than the schist.
• The Curdi temple consists of two parts.
• The sanctum (garbagriha) and the mukha mandapa.
• Externally the temple is 7mts long and 5 ½ mts wide. The garbagriha is square
(2.10mtsx 2.10mts). The mukhamandapa is 2.10mts in length and 1.80mts in
width. The sanctum is larger than the mukhamandapa.
• However, Mitterwallner has identified the mukhamadapa as a porch and
according to her the mukhamandapa is missing.
• The evidences show that the temple is complete and the porch itself is the
• The Shikhara can be designated as Vesara shikhara. It is the synthesis of the
Rekha nagara and the Kadamba nagara styles. This kind of shikhara can be seen
in later Chalukyan temples which represent an integration of North and South
• The Vesara Shikhara rises from the entire area of the sanctum.
• Like other temples from the coastal area in general, and Kadamba monuments in
particular, the temple could not be provided with a gabled roof on account of its
The two schist pillars at the
mukhamandapa have circular moulded
pithas and the kanda is square. The
upper part hads circular mouldings.
Pilars are plain and has no decorative
Nandi at the entrance of temple
Two pillars that raise the porch
The 5th phase of evolution is where a temple has Shrine, Antarala, Closed Mandapa,
Open Mandapa, Porch, Tulsi Vrindavan, Deepstambh and Tank.
The Deepstambh or the Lamp Tower is an
octagonal turret, raised in front of the temple,
from five to seven storeys high, each storey
articulated with engaged dwarf columns at the
corners, in between which, piercing the sides of
the turret, are niches for the lamp.
Two aspects can be developed in the lamp
tower’s development :
First, its all- over design, the sequence of stories
with niches and the crowning domelet.
Second, articulation of the storeys by engaged
Evolution Of Deepstambh
Tulsivrindavan Piazza Cross Deepstambh
Site Plan of Shri Lakshmi Narsimha Temple, Veling
• Modern temples in Goa have a Talav
(Temple Tank) near the temple.
• Many temples also have Pujari’s house in
the temple premises.
• Tulsivrindavan is a feature developed in
Modern Goan Temples.
Mhalasa Temple, Mardol
• This temple is situated on the main road, near the temple of Manguesh in hamlet
of mardol. The ancient temple of the Goddess was situated at Verna in salcete
• The temple has a spacious open Sabhamandapa supported by seven pillars on
both sides, with wooden terrace on top.
• The ancillary deities and the spacious water tank are to be seen at the back of the
• Steps from either side of the entrance gate lead to the Naubatkhana where vejantaries
sit to play their instruments.
• It has two deepstambhs, one of copper and other with usual stone and masonry work.
• By the side of the two towers is the Tulsi vrindavan.
• On either sides of courtyards are agrashalas where religious functions are held.
• There is also a yadnya mandap with homakhand which is used for homa.
• The temple tank and a well are at the rear of the shrine.
Mangueshi Temple, Ponda
The Mangueshi Temple
in Ponda was one of
the several that were
designed to match the
tall and majestic
churches that the
Portuguesse had built
in Goa. It soon became
a source of Hindu
resilience and pride.
The original temple,
located in Cortalim was
Portuguese in 1560.
• Socio-Cultural History of Goa ,
• Goa, Traveller’s architectural and historical guide,
• Moda Goa, Wendell Rodrigues
• Socio Cultural History of Goa, Dr. V. R. Mitragotri
• Goa, Olivinho JF Gomes
• Best of Goa
• Temples of Goa, Kamla Mankekar
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