Mahadev Temple

About The Temple

The Historical Grandeur Of The Mahadev Temple Tambdi Surla

The Mahadeva Temple that happens to be the distinctive reflection of the Shaivite faith dates back in time to the twelfth century. It has its situational presence in the western province of Goa, near a small rural settlement, by the name of the Tambdi Surla. The most ancient temple of Goa testifies to the architectural excellence of the Yadava- Kadamba dynasty. The temple that lies on the foothills of the Western Ghats highlights the exemplary contribution of Hemadri- the minister who belonged to the Yadava dynasty.

The generic significance

Both from the cultural, as well as, religious point of view; the mahadev temple tambdi surla is of immense significance. It reflects the classy statements of Hemadpanthi architectural style. The carved basalts from the mountainous plateau of Deccan were used for the purpose of construction. The temple that had survived end numbers of invasion celebrates the omniscient spirit of the Lord Shiva. The oldest Shaivite shrine in Goa bears resemblance to the temples present in the historically significant complex of Aihole, that exist in the neighboring state of Karnataka

The main deity

The phallic linga that symbolizes the regenerative spirit of Lord Shiva is the presiding deity. The main sanctum has a pedestal to uphold the symbolic representation of the Lord. The internally located sanctum happens to be the main place for offering prayers. In addition, you will come across intricate sculptured carvings of the Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar. The bas-relief carvings are also found reflecting the pictures and figures of their respective consorts. In fact, the striking feature of the inner hall is the intricate details of the carving.

Details of the idols

When you reach the pedestal that upholds the phallic representation of the Lord, you will also come across a headless image of Nandi, the bull. The central part of the hall has the headless image of the consort. The image finds itself surrounded by the majestic columns. There is one more striking representation that reflects the regality of the Kadamba dynasty. One particular column bears the curved representation of a striding elephant that manages to trample a horse. It happened to be the dynastic symbol of the Kadambas. The columns also unveil the intricate carving of the lotus flowers. Very close to the main idol, you will also come across a sculpted representation of the King Cobra.

Surrounding shrines in the temple

In relation to the other temples of Goa, the mahadev temple shiva is smaller in size and scope. Consequently, you will find no shrines inside the main premise, but since the river flows adjacently, the stone steps leading up to the Surla (river) provides option for ritualistic bathing. You can use the well-bound stone steps for the purpose of bathing.

Timing of the Rituals

The temple has a remote location. Thus, it is well cut off from the busy humdrum of the region’s tourism. The villagers lying in the vicinity, are found paying obeisance to the phallic linga. The festive occasion of the Shiva Ratree is celebrated with much fanfare and gaiety. The day-to-day worship takes place in the sanctum sanctorum that gets the direct exposure of the sun rays. Inaccessibility and the situational presence at the forest interiors are the constraining factor. In spite, of the inaccessibility, the temple comes to the live on the auspicious occasion of the Maha Shiva Ratree. The mahadeva temple timings during the auspicious occasion of the Shiva Ratree are found changing, slightly. On that particular day, the visitors are always welcomed, all through the day. But on the other days including the holidays and the weekdays the temples close by nine in the evening. The proceedings start from 6:30 in the morning. The priests take a short noontime break at 12:45 pm. The evening rituals restart at four past thirty.

Pilgrimage factor of the temple

You already know that the temple is cut off from the mainstream. It lies deep inside the forest belt of the Western Ghats. So, apart from attracting the local villagers and the nearby settlers; you will not find pilgrimages up there at the mahadev temple location.

How To Reach

You can access the temple either from the state of Goa or from the state of Karnataka. That’s because the temple lies at Anmod Ghat’s base. Incidentally, the ghat serves as a common link between the twin states of Goa and Tamil Nadu


  • Once you reach the capital Panaji, you can access the temple joint via the roads that lie to the north of the capital city. The village of Tambadi Surla is thirteen kilometers away from Panaji.
  • So, you will have a long drive to take, either making it to the temple destination by your tourist bus, or by a car rental.
  • You can take the government buses that start from Valpoi. A distance of twenty-two kilometers separates Valpoi from the temple destination.
  • As a visiting tourist, it is preferable that you rely on the state’s tourism facilities, to access this particular temple location. The region’s tourism service is well developed to facilitate easy transit and travel to the places located far and near.
  • You can use either Panaji that lies on the North, or Valpoi, that lies on the South, as a launching base of your travel. By doing so, you can make a convenient but a time taking bus or a car drive to the Mahadev Temple.
  • The check point at the Mollem that lies on the way to the Mahadev Temple facilitates the hiring and parking of the vehicles. So, if you are on a long journey, travelling all the way from Panaji, you can think of halting at the check point.


Nearby Attractions

The tambdi Surla-based Shiva temple may be on the deep interiors, but it will be wonderful visiting the eco-friendly spot that find itself decked in greenery

  • You can feast your eyes on the floral and the faunal exuberance of the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary. It upholds the prized and the pristine wonders of the tropical forest. Another striking point that merits your attention is the presence of the water sources. The sanctuary includes as many as seven-hundred and twenty two plant species. You will also come across a diverse assortment of mammals, birds, butterflies and the reptiles
  • The national park is a popular tourist destination. It unfolds the geological and the cultural diversity of the state. It is safe to visit the park that finds itself well protected. Besides you are sure to love the natural biodiversity that the park seeks to present.
  • On your way to the temple location, you will come across large numbers of waterfalls including the Dudhsagar and the Tambdi Falls. Paying a visit to the Sunset Point, and the carved crevices of the Devils Canyon is another option to consider. The treetops up there at the Sunset Point have a canopied look to present. The scenic beauty is not only refreshing but gives you the much-needed break that you have been looking for.


History Of Temple

It is a fact that the mahadev temple history has an interesting dimension to present. It is not only the oldest surviving temple of Goa but that which survived the onslaughts of invention. The architectural exuberance that rests on the use and application of the basalt rock has ensured the structure with an element of permanence. As a result of this the construction has managed to stand up against the incessant beating of the rain and elements. The country’s archaeological survey deems it as a historically significant monument. Hence, the object is to protect it against all the odds and onslaughts. It is supposed to be one of the finest illustrations of a weather-resistant architectural construction.

There is an interesting legend that finds a deep connection with the history of this particular temple. The temple’s interior finds the presence of a sculpted king cobra, but as per the mythological story, the temple happens to be the permanent abode of a majestically sized living cobra. But since the interiors have dim lighting provisions, the visitors are unable to catch a glimpse of the so-called living cobra.

The sanctorum of the temple has a unique surmounting. There is a three-layered tower to surmount the sanctum, but the topmost part of the tower is found missing. As said in the introduction, the purpose of the builder was to make way for the proper expression of the Shaivite faith. You will not only come across the bas-relief sculptures of the Lord Shiva, but of Brahma and Vishnu, as well.