Nestled within the protected, pristine and remote environs of Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary is Goa’s OLDEST temple: Tambdi Surla Mahadev Mandir. Situated in Sanguem district and about 65 kms away from Panjim, the village of Tambdi Surla acquired its name due the red rocks and soil found in its vicinity. After Mahadev temple at Tambdi Surla, no well-preserved temple belonging to the medieval period was found in Goa.
ABOUT TAMBDI SURLA TEMPLE
Tambdi Surla Mahadev Temple is a beautiful example of Kadamba-Yadava 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. As the name suggests, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
It follows the typical Hindu architectural plan and consists of 3 parts: sanctum (garbhagriha), vestibule (antarala) and pillared hall (sabhamandapa). The main deity of the temple sits within the sanctum, and a statue of Nandi [Lord Shiva’s Vehicle] is located in the hall.
The temple itself is quite simple but these patterns add to the timeless beauty of this 12th century structure
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.
ONE OF THE PERFORATED DOOR SCREENS NEXT TO THE MAIN ENTRANCE OF THE ‘GARBHAGRIHA’.
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].
Even though Tambdi Surla Mahadev Temple is fairly small and not as embellished as compared to later structures, it is a great specimen of mixture of various architectural styles of the region.
Here is a quick glimpse:
If you are a heritage lover and you like exploring lost gems of history, then Tambdi Surla Temple is a must visit in Goa.