Goa has always been known for the churches, its beaches, and its Portuguese influence but one should know there are a lot of temples of Goa that one must visit, very less people know about these temples but each of them has a very ancient history and significance of its own. One of these is the Shree Mandodari Temple.
In the small village Betki, this is an ancient temple that has been a pilgrimage to the locals for ages. This temple is considered very miraculous and has a very interesting belief in the hearts of devotes. They come here to seek blessings and offer prayers to the Water Goddess; Mandodari who is the chief deity of the temple.
Often people misunderstand the goddess with Asur Rawans wife Mandodari from the epic of Ramayana, but this isn’t true, there is no connection of Ramayana with this temple. The fact is, the name Mandodari is derived from two words: Mand-(water) and Udar-(stomach) in easy terms we can say one who is born from water. Hence the deity is considered a water goddess.
Temple is situated in Betki which is 5 km from Marcle town, Ponda sub distict of north Goa.
This temple is a tribute to the children who sacrificed their lives and the blessing of the Goddess Mandodari who showered their village with lifetime water and happiness.
One might consider this just a folk tale but today also there are no wells or any other source of water in the village except the stream, which is flowing, adjacent to the temple stating its history, importance, and beliefs of the localities. This makes it one of the must-visit places in the list of oldest temples in Goa.
Shree Mandodari Temple ususally opened for devotees from 6am in the morning till 7pm int he evening.
Rituals performed here are unique in their way. But unlike other temples, there is no specific day or Pooja, which is performed here.
One can seek blessings in an early sunrise Aarti or at sunset Aarti. Only Priest can perform Aarti on the premises.
Hinduism is a way of life in which we pray to every source of life, be it fire(Agni), air(Vaayu) water(Jal), land (Bhoomi). We believe that God is present on earth with us in these forms nurturing our lives. Here in the temple of Goddess Mandodari who is considered as the only source of water for the livelihood in Betki village one worships the divine deity as the water goddess. One cannot deny the sacrifices made by the locals to have plenty of regular water sources in their lives. The locals from generation to generation making it one of the most important and miraculous temples of India have inherited the faith.
The temple has completed 110 years of its Constitution in 2021 making it one of the most ancient temples in Goa.
As we take a look around the temple it seems small. Though it is ancient still the design of the temple is a bit modern. The small “Garbhgrah “(sanctum) has an extended Mandapam, which gives ample space to the devotees to sit and pray.
Painted with yellow and brick color the temple gives a soothing and divine feel. Adjacent to the temple there is the stream of water that narrates the history of Betki.
Temple is situated in Marcel Town of North Goa District. You can reach here my any three means of transport.
By Air : You will have to reach Dambolim international Airport (GOA) , from there you can take a local cab and reach the temple . it is about 36 km from the airport.
By Road: If you wish to commute by bus you can take a bus to Marcle bus stand .temple is about 4.5 km from the bus stand . the nearest bus stop is at Betki which is 700 meters from the temple .
If you wish to travel by your local cab or personal car you will have to reach Ponda from here the temple is 16 km away.
If you start from Panjim you will reach destination after 36 km.
By Train: One option is to commute by train for this you will have to head to Karmali railway station from there the temple is 14 km away.
It is up to you how you want to travel, as there are many local cabs and vehicles to hire in Goa, which you can opt and travel to your destination. Goa being a tourist destination, people here are cooperative and will guide you to reach the temple easily.
It is a very easy commutable distance from north goa. You can stay in any part of Goa and travel here. You get a lot of options as per your budget in resorts, hotels, motels homestays, hostels. Goa being a tourist place offers you stay as per your need.
Every year on Mahashivratri, a palanquin procession is brought to the shrine of Mandodari and the goddess is worshipped.
In a state where there is a lot of Portuguese culture influence but you want to experience the essence of Hinduism and want to see the village deity and the never- ending stream of water. Shree Mandodari Temple should be on your must-visit list.
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