Nestled within the protected, pristine and remote environs of Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary is Goa’s OLDEST [yes, OLDEST] temple: Tambdi Surla Mahadev Mandir. After Mahadev temple at Tambdi Surla, no well-preserved temple belonging to the medieval period was found in Goa.
The temple has been well documented and written about throughout it’s existence. So, rather than getting into the historic facts, I will be sharing some intricate architectural details in the pictures below:
A beautiful example of Kadamba Temple architecture which flourished in Goa from 10th to 14th Century. The temple itself was built in 12th century, making it THE OLDEST temple in Goa.
Headless Nandi at the center of the mandapa.
Intricate Lotus Medallion carved on the mandapa ceiling made of chlorite schist stone, which is much easier to carve on as compared to Basalt.
Intricate carvings of chains on the pillars supporting central mandapa ceiling. The temple itself is quite simple but these patterns add to the timeless beauty of this 12th century structure
One of the perforated door screens next to the main entrance of the ‘Garbhagriha’. This type of window was meant for allowing light and air into temples. Over the course of time, these windows became popular in temple architecture with their intricate carvings and floral motifs.
The exterior portion of this temple shows some really unique features of temple architecture. On each side of the exterior walls of the central chamber, one can clearly see some intricately carved images of the Holy trinity of Indian mythology: Bramha [creator], Vishnu [protector] and Shiva [destroyer].
If you are a heritage lover and you like exploring lost gems of history, then Tambdi Surla Temple is a must visit in Goa.