This famous Shantadurga Temple is situated at Kavlem and built in 1738 by king Shahu of Satara and is the largest and most famous in Goa. It is devoted to the goddess Shantadurga, an incarnation of Goddess Parvati. This deity is believed to have been carried by Loma Sharma of Kaushik Gotra when the Saraswats came to Goa from Trihotrapura in Bihar.
Legend says that once during a quarrel between Lord Siva and Lord Vishnu, she appeared in the form of Durga and took Vishnu by her right and Shiva by her left hand and pacified the two and resolved the fight. The deity is shown holding two serpents, one in each hand, representing Vishnu and Shiva. Shanteri is then said to have gone to Shankawali to kill the demons harassing the Brahmins there. It is for this good deed that she also earned the name of Vijaya.
A special feature at this temple is that Harijans are permitted to enter the sanctum sanctorum of his temple on magha sudha sashti as a reward for their help in giving land and welcoming the goddess while being shifted to Kavale.
Sri Shantadurga is worshipped all over Goa and scores of temples have been devoted to this deity. At several places she is known by several names, Thamai, Sateri, Bhumka, Adimaya and others. The mahajans belong to Kaushika Gotra. Shree Shantadurga or Shanteri is the most popular deity among all the kuladevatas.
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