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Kamakshi Temple at Goa – Shiroda Kamakshi Devi Temple

The 16th century Kamakshi Temple is located at Shiroda Village in South Goa and is around 12 km from Ponda and 22 km from Margao. The Kamakshi Temple complex is locally known as Sthal or Thal and the entrance is through huge Mahadwar or temple gate.

Maa Kamakhya of Assam and Goddess Kamakshi

The widespread belief is that the murti of Mother Goddess Kamakshi worshipped in the Shiroda temple came from Assam and she is a manifestation of Goddess Kamakhya, who is worshipped the world famous Kamakhya Mandir in Guwahati.

History of the Temple

The original Shri Kamakshi temple was located in Raia village in Salcete. As Portuguese were destroying Hindu temples, potter community of Raia Village moved the deity to Shiroda. The temple was again moved to Thal in Shiroda to stay out of sight of the Portuguese.

Story of Goddess Kamakshi in Goa

A Brahmin boy of Raia village once went to the forest to collect grass for his father’s pujas and rituals. The boy was swallowed by demon Mahishasura.

The father of the boy, Agnimukha, used his spiritual powers and approached Shiva and Vishnu. Shiva and Vishnu told the father that his son will be rescued by Mother Goddess Kamakshi.

As told, Goddess Kamakshi challenged Mahishasura. The demon was injured in the battle and realized it was impossible to defeat the Mother Goddess. Therefore he gave back the Brahmin boy and ran away to safety.

This story is found in the Kamakshi Mahatmyam in the Sahyadri Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Architecture of Temple of Shri Kamakshi

  • The temple is crowned by an octagonal two-storied tower with a golden Kalash on its Shikhar or peak.
  • The temple faces east.
  • There is a traditional entrance hall (sabha mandapa).
  • Deepasthamb or the lamp tower is in the front.
  • The Holy water tank is also located in the front a bit further away.
  • Inside the temple, there is a square shaped place for rituals, Gan for conducting bhog related rituals and the sanctum sanctorum.

Subsidiary Deities

  • Shri Vetal and Shri Kalbhairav are the Kshetrapals or protector deities.
  • Shiva is worshipped here as Shri Rayeshwar
  • Shri Lakshminarayana and
  •  Shri Shantadurga.

Monthly Auspicious Events

  • Palanquin procession of Shri Kamakshi Devi and Laxminarayana on Amavasya Day
  • Procession of Shiva on Shiva Chaurdashi day (14th day during the waning phase of moon)
  • Procession of Shantadurga on Shukla Panchami or the fifth day during the waxing phase of moon.

Annual Festival

Jatra or annual festival is held during the Navratri – Dussehra period. The highlight of the festival is women holding diyas and walking around the temple.