The Shri Mahalaxmi Temple is situated at Bandora which is 4kms. from Ponda. Shri Mahalaxmi is the presiding deity and it is considered the abode of the original Goddess of the Shakti cult. The Sabhamandap has a gallery of 18 images, out of 24 images of emanatory aspects of Bhagvata sect, which is considered one of the few galleries of wooden images of Vishnu in India.
Under the Portuguese rule, Portuguese relations with Hindus were not so good. It was during early 19th century, Portuguese were so patient and co-operate with Hindus here in Bandora, that in order to be grateful, Hindus built here a temple called "Mahalaxmi" as she is referred to as Goddess of peace.
Hindus describes Mahalaxmi is a form of Mother of all Universes, who raised three super powers Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer. She is worshipped from many ages and by the 8th century many of their ancestor Hindu leaders adopted her.
This temple is built in the hollows of valley; the description of this temple goes this way, it has a small arched entrance at the one end with naubat khana placed on the up and further to this is a Village. Two sides are kept open, in a miscellany of separate shrine parivar devatas are place displaying in the courtyard, with a simple plastered covering in a red colour. On the entrance of this main building there is a domed octagonal temple tower place with very rare two domes having the look of flattened which is something attractive, the main towers truncated dome is kept higher with huge lantern. This floor has new hall designed for dance and Musical activities keeping in mind with festivals. Every side of mandapa’s entrance is designed with the arts of Hanuman who is known God of Monkey and Garoda Vishnu’s vehicle, half eagle half man and the doors are magnificently carved in wood placed with Ganesh on them. A dynamic silver arched doorway which takes you from pillared hall to sanctuary, the best part is the creation of twenty four wooden panels painted lightly, thus displaying the pictures of Bhagvata Puran along with the story of Lord Krishna and Vishnu’s eighth incarnation.
The actual main temple of Mahalaxmi is situated in Kolhapur one of Maharashtra’s state which is nearly 150 km away from Goa to the north.
The image of Mahalakshmi has a close resemblance to that of Mahalakshmi at Kolhapur, the main centre of worship. Her special feature is that she wears a linga on her head and is considered a peaceful or Satvik form of the Devi. The Goddess Mahalakshmi was worshipped by the Shilahara rulers (750-1030 A. D.) and the early Kadamba Kings of Goa.