Damodar Temple at Vasco in Goa

The temple of Damodar on the Swatantra Path in Vasco is the venue of the biggest festival in the town called the Vasco Saptah and the Hindu religious life revolves around it. In the Hindu month of Shravan (August), this week long celebration coincides with the festivals associated with the lord Shiva, Nagapanchami.

The story is such that in 1896 when people began dying due to an epidemic that broke out in Vasco, the local turned to an avatar of Shiva, lord Damodar for help. A sacred coconut, which was installed at Vasco as a divine symbol to be worshipped, was brought from the famous Damodar temple at Zambaulim (22km from Margao). The epidemic abated as their devotion bore fruit. The residence of a leading citizen was donated to install an idol of lord Damodar. Even now this small temple attached to the original house is the main venue during the celebration.

The festival begins at the old Mata high school with prayers being offered. Before being immersed in the sea, the last year's coconut is taken out in the procession, which is followed by a troupe of dancers as it visits Vasco's prominent citizens. With the spectators throwing buckets of water and also by the monsoon rain, the dancers get fully drenched.

The devotees return to the temple after the immersion ceremony and while singing devotional songs that continue non-stop for 24 hours, the new coconut is anointed. There is a parade of tableaux in the night and during the entire week culture and religious programs are held. The vendors along the roads and streets of Vasco put up stalls selling everything from toys to clothes. The best time to visit the temple is on any Monday or Thursday at around 9 pm when lamps are lit and devotional songs are sung.

Google Map