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This temple is santadurga temple of Goa.The temple is dedicated to Shantadurga, the Goddess who mediates between Vishnu and Shiva. The deity is also called 'Santeri' colloquially. Local legends tell of a battle between Shiva and Vishnu The battle was so fierce that Lord Brahma 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 serpents, one in each hand, representing Vishnu and Shiva. She is then said have gone to Shankleswari a village in Ponda Taluka (goa in which she went to Gothana (a small place in Shankleswari) to kill the demons that were harassing the Brahmins. As a reward, she was given the name of Vijaya where she is now called Shri Vijayadurga. Shri Vijayadurga shrine was located in Shankleshwari along with Shri Shantadurga and Shri LakshmiNarsimha but was later shifted to a place called Kerim in Ponda Taluka during the Portuguese invasions.
The original temple at Cavellossim (Quelshim) in Salsette was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1564. The devi was shifted to Kavalem and worship was continued there. The site on which the original temple of Shree Shantadurga stood at Cavellossim is known as "Deoolbhata" and it is in the possession of the temple trust.
The current temple was constructed during the reign of Maratha ruler Chatrapati Shahu Raje of Satara about 1738 A.D. Shri Naroram Mantri (Naroram Shenvi Rege) originally from Kochar village in the Vengurla region was a Mantri (minister) in the Chatrapati Shahu's Court around 1723 A.D. He obtained finances to construct the new temple for the Devi from the Chatrapati. The temple construction started around 1730 A.D. and with the help from other mahajans, the present beautiful temple was completed. Due to his efforts the village Kavalem was bequeathed to the temple authorities by Shahu Maharaja in the year 1739 a.d.
The temple complex is on the slope of the foothills of a mountain chain, surrounded by lush vegetation. There is a main temple and three smaller temples of other deities which have been built on three sides of the temple. The temple consists of a collection of pyramidal roofs with an interesting dome. The pillars and floorings are made of Kashmir stone. The temple has a huge tank, a Dipa Stambha and agrashalas (guest houses).

Many renovations have been completed over the years to the main temple and the temples of the other deities as well as to the agrashala
[source:wikipedia]
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Additional Photos by Prateek gugu (g4gugu) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 17 W: 0 N: 29] (62)
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