Tambdi Surla Temple in Goa

The small Shiva (Mahadev) temple of Tambdi Surla situated at about 18 km from the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary gate is the only surviving structure of the Kadamba Yadava dynasty. Thus it is the oldest temple of Goa, that survived from the Portuguese as it was set next to a stream in the middle of the small clearing, hidden in the dense jungle.

According to history researcher Prajal Sakhardande it was built in the 12th century by the Kadamba queen Kamladevi and is not made of basalt, as it is believed, but of grey black talc chlorite schist soap stone. This makes the intricate handwork adorning the walls of the temple still seem fresh, as it is weather resistant.

The Tambdi Surla temple dedicated to Lord Shiva has a pillared porch and three stepped entrances and the shrine surmounted by a tower. It is quite small with a small passageway and has Shiva's vehicle, a headless Nandi bull in the center of the main porch.

A solid piece of stone work is the lotus shape carved out of the porch's ceiling. The pierced stone screen carrying the figures of deities that surrounds the door of the vestibule is another notable feature.

In February/ March on the festival of Mahashivratri hundreds of devotees assemble here and according to folklore the temple has an unfinished look as the Pandavas of Mahabharata built it in a hurry in a single night.

The Sunset point on the Karnataka border offers a great view of the lush green mountainous landscape. At a height of 609 mts it is good to plan a day long trip to explore the jungle enroute.

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