Shree Saunsthan ShantadurgaChamundeshwari Kudtari Mahamaya Ghudo-Avedem, Quepem –Goa 403705

The Temple of “Shree Saunsthan Shantadurga Chamundeshwari Kudatari Mahamaya” that we see today is in the Ghudo ward of village Avedem, in Quepem Taluka, Goa. This Temple was established in the year 1560 of Christian era, was in Salcete Taluka, of village Curtorim, ward Sandiwal or Sandel was known being there and there is no doubt about it. But in the16th century there were religious conversions and from this threat the devotees and public were forced to leave their places of Goa, and the Founders of Kudatari Temple shifted their deities which was more important for them than their own lives, to Shelvon in the area of Chandrawadi, and subsequently it was moved to Ghudo ward of village Avedem in Quepem Taluka where it was established. And till this day the Temple is there in the name of Shree Saunsthan Shantadurga Chamundeshwari Kudatari Mahamaya.

Afonso de Albuquerque conquered Tiswadi and assured hindu population that he will not create any problems to them and they should live happily without any fear. And they will have religious freedom. And he will not interfere with them, and whatever taxes they were paying to Adil Khan, the same they should pay to him. Some years passed and one day one portuguese catholic bishop named Dumi came to Goa. He studied entire  situation in Goa and on 12 th  January, 1522, he wrote to the king of Portugal : –

In case we demolish Temples of Goa and if we erect churches in the same places, it will be big service to the almighty. Whoever wants to live in Goa should get converted as catholic and if this is done he will have his house and his land. And whoever is not accepting this condition should leave Goa.

Bishop’s letter made good impact on the king and he decided to spread catholic religion in Goa, and accordingly to spread catholic religion in Goa and to erect churches, Jesuit priests came to Goa and were busy in converting. Francisco Pais, portuguese officer, in the year 1595, he wrote a book (“Tumbo”). The Bishop wrote that as per the order of king of Portugal, he had brought down all the Temples in year 1540. All the temples of Hindus on date 28th June, 1541, were destroyed, and announced the same temples witl not be rebuilt at any time.

When was initiated religion conversation in Salcete?

On 1st May 1560, people of Jesuit Sect decided to spread Catholic Religion in Salcete for the first time. Hence local people had to face many odd situations to go to other places and had to travel during nights through jungles and without having any fear of their difficulties of night travels, and finally they reached to new places. And the same people had to leave their houses, lands, belongings and everything because they had only thing in mind to reach safely outside the Portuguese territory with the idols, and in case they had not done this they would have lost their deities and their lives and they feared that they all would have crosses in their necks, and this being true one cannot imagine the value of their selfishness’s in escaping from their old places. The Portuguese historian had written in detail all these and as per their thinking it was proper for them to whatever they did was correct. And their writings were not made for the Hindu people or others to understand. In their reports they always described what they were doing and these reports they sent to Portugal confidentially.

Generally most of the writings are in respect of the Temples of Salcete which were destroyed in the year 1567 or around this time. The following is the translation of some portuguese papers:-

The report was published by one Italian historian named Vicky in his book Documenta Indica. And in the chapter 7 is mentioned the above information. And the readers after having read they would think that when Temples were burnt and destroyed, idols also were destroyed and Hindus have taken the same away, and all this in various 58 villages, whether the aggressors and the workers were uneasy or not, whatever was reported cannot be considered untrue. Was it possible for the people to  stand as onlookers and to witness whatever was being burnt and destroyed, or they were moving away from the sites with the idols to the safer places, by whatever way they may find. We have to think about these situations, and if they had not acted as above the Temples that we see today and are worshiped would not have been there.

In the beginning it has been stated that the conversion which was being done by the Jesuit priests, began at Salcete first. On first May 1560, they reached to Cortalim village and when they entered in the Temple of lord Mangesh, they found only the building of the Temple, and upon inquires they gathered that the Mahajans of the Temple had left to the neighbouring states taking away the idols. But at many places the local people could not take away because the idols were of bigger size or due due to the weight and therefore they threw these idols in the neighbouring wells or ponds so that the Catholic priests could not find them. And this was discovered in writings of that time. These Temples had no idols inside the same, and some were broken idols that these priests had found, and these were actually the statues of the Temple Guards or similar. Many marble idols in spite of their heavy weights the devotees have shifted to other safe places. At Avedem village when Temple of Shree Saunsthan Shantadurga Chamundeshwari was established, were kept original idols of Shree Shantadurga, Shree Chamundeshwari, Shree Laxminarayan, Shree Rawalnath. These original idols were from Curtorim village and the one of lord Laxminarayan is even today seen in the Temple and another three idols have been damaged in the course of long time, and new ones were placed in these Temples and the damaged idols were immersed (Vissarjan) into the water. These idols were not seen by Portuguese people of that time, and if that had happened the same also would have been destroyed. So it can be seen that our ancestors during that time had taken away whichever idols were possible for them to take away. Heavy ones and those of big size were thrown to the rivers, ponds, or brooks and some buried, and whenever possible to take away even during that difficult time, they did so. They might have enjoyed while doing the above. Whatever written above is from the available writings of that time. Now let us see about the original Temple of Curtorim now at ward Chandrawadi of village Shelvon, and under which circumstances the same Temple was shifted to the present place at Shelvon.

The destruction of the temples was done for 7 years from 1560 upto 1567 and shifting of the deities was done in the 1st May of 1560, i.e. during the 2nd half of the year 1560.

Which were the temples of Curtorim before their idols were shifted away

In olden times, that is before year 1560, the deities of Curtorim which are known to us from the Goa archeological department or the Historical Archive, are as follows :-

Santeri – Narayan – Chandeshwari – Kshetrapal – Santolio – Rawalnath – Chandranath – Durgadevi – Bhagwati – Kensnath.

But the historian late Pandurang Sakharam Shenvi Pissulekar, who was the director of the Historical Archive, has mentioned that the temples of Salcete which were destroyed by Portuguese are as follows :-

From Curtorim :- Santeri ,Narayan, Chandeshwari, Kshetrapal, Santolio, Rawalnath, Chandranat, Durgadevi, Bhagwanti (Bhagwati), Solveshwar, Maheshwar, Ganesh, Kensnath

And it can be seen that Dr. Pissulekar added three more names to the earlier list.

When the Temple was at Curtorim what should have been the village Curtorim. After good studies it is seen that in the year 1892 was published one report “Historical Mosques of Comunidades” written by Filipe Nery Xavier, it is written in Portuguese, and from it appears that in the village Curtorim there were 37 wards, and from it one can understand the size of Curtorim village having 5 lakes, 5 ponds, and 18 fountains, and people used to take baths in these fountains during summers. And from all these fountains the best known was from Mugali. Another 7 fountains were also highly known and these are from Tambite. Sindole, Vagule, Rumbad, Sukole, Bandola and Mafuti. Among the five lakes the best known was of Raloitolem or Raitolem, its name and fame was highly known. Its size was very big and it was at ward Sandiwel. In this lake there was a small island or height of the land. On this island once a well known hero by name Desai had his house.

 In olden times the Temple of Santeri was at Sandiwel. In the lake of Raitole in its center place there were 2 holow posts like pipes, and the same were indicators of the water level and also of the rains. Accordingly cultivation of paddy (vaingan) was regulated. Besides this, the water of this lake in the summer was taken to the plantations. In olden times the Temple of the Shree Santeri was at Sandiwol and this is eastblished from the Temple site.

From this it appears that during the Portuguese regime whatever historical writings from the Archives are available, this Archieve was known as Goa Archeological Department. In this, office how the shifting of these deities from Salcete took place and about these deities and their Temples upon the orders of then Vice-roys, how the officers of Salcete Taluka by remaining presents and so the informers of the village being also present, the lands of the respective temples were registered of every Temple in respect of its lands was maintained. The Register of village Curtorim was made on 28 th February 1620. and in that register it is mentioned the name of Gasdar Moreira, Judicial official of the public lands of Salcete.

This official had made notes of the lands of the Temple of Shree Santeri before its shifting and the same lands were located and described. And the same is given herebelow.

Main deity and other deities

The main Deities are Shree Shantadurga and Shree Chamundeshwari Kudtari Mahamaya, these deities are placed in the main Temples one near to other but in two different Garbhaghars and to the right of Shree Shantadurga is placed Shree Chamundeshwari. Shree Udangi is a original deity. Shree Udangi is a deity who was here in a small temple along with the temples of Shree LaxmiNarayan, Shree Ganapati, Shree Siddheshwar, Shree Grampurush, Shree Rawalnath, Shree Jalmi, Shree Marangan and Shree Talkhamba Prasad ling and these deities have established as below. Shree Laxminarayan, Shree Ganapati, Shree Siddheshwar, Shree Grampurush these four Deities have established at the right side of the main Temple. The Temple of Shree Rawalnath is situated to the left side of the main Temple in an Independent temple. The establishment of Shree Jalmi is made at the right side in a small window of the main Temple. Shree Marangan is placed opposite to the temple of Shree Udangi. And the Prasad Ling is placed at the left side of the inner square of the main Temple. And it is made of shining brass. Shree Shantadurga, Shree Chamundeshwari, Shree LaxmiNarayan, Shree Ganapati, Shree Rawalnath,  have their idols made of black marble. Shree Siddheshwar and Shree Grampurush also have their idols made of black marbles, and Shree Udangi Varul (Ant House) and infront  there is a marble Cobra of five hoods.Other deities like Shree Jalmi, Shree Marangan are made of marble.

 In the Sabhamantapa of the main temple there is a stony seat of approximately 16” height, with carved two pairs of “PADUKAS” (stone steps) of main deities.

Renovation of  some temples

Shree Shantadurga, Shree Chamundeshwari, and Shree Rawalnath their idols in the course of many years have been highly damaged and their renovation was seen urgent and unavoidable. Originally these deities were at Curtorim but later on they were brought to Shelvan and from here to Avedem. When these deities were being brought they forgot to bring the idol of Shree Ganapati and this idol and two lingas remained at Shelvan, and the same even today can be seen in the same place, and there a new Temple was built and in the same was established new idol of Santeri. After having taken Lord’s Prasad and Kaul one may go to Avedem’s Temple were there are three idols and along with the idol of  Shree Ganapati, became four in total, all the four idols of black marble and the Vidhipurvak inauguration, yadnya and inauguration and that too at high scale, was done in 1893 century, and different functions on the chaitra shukl punchami were arranged  upto Shashti , Friday on date 16th April 1971, as per main star’s auspicious day. For this function religious performances on 14th April 1971 began and continued for six days and it was completed on 19th April 1971, on Monday. Marbles’ new idols were ordered to Shree Gopal Shanay

Temple in its own land

Shree Shantadurga Chamundeshwari Kudtari Mahamaya’s main temple, along with temples of other deities, agrashala and buildings is situated in this area of Kurtara- Ghudo-Kutumban, village Avedem Parish of Paroda, Quepem taluka , is known in this name. and the land belongs to the Temple and its area being 54000 square meters. Presently in Goa Government has made land survey and in the same is referred at number 1/1 to 5 & 55 1, 2 so is known.

Yearly Festival of the Temple

Chaitra-Shudha Pratipada , Nutan savantsar pratipada vadhya shashti festival

Vaishakh: Shudha Pornima: vasantostav.

Shudha Trayodashi & Chaturdashi: Shatakalashabhishek

Shravan: every Sunday; Rangapuja and Shibikotsav (Palkhi)

Ashwin: Shudha Pratipada: festival of Navratras begin, Ghatsthapna, Shudha Mahanavmi, Ghat Udhyappan (visarjan), Taranga, festival of Navratra and Aratis etc. Shudha Dashami-Vijayadashmi: evening 5:00 PM; Simolanghan, Shami and Shastrapooja rites etc. Shudha Pornima: Kojagiri, and at mid day Bramhan Suvasini, Kumarika, Santarpan, in the evening festival of colours, Shibikostav, agreement on Kaul etc.

Kartik: Shudha Dwadashi: Tulsi Vivah, Shudha Pournima: Illumination of Deepstambha.

Marghashirsh: Pournima to Krishna Pratipada –Smarakotsav – Navachandi  Havan.

Paush : Shudha Trayodashi: main Jatrotsav festival starts, Shibikostav in the evening, Kala, Drama, Shudha Chaturdashi: Shibikostav in the evening Mayurasan & Drama(second day of Festival) Shudha Paurnima: auction in the evening, then Shibikostav, Drama, closing ceremony of the festival with Maharath procession at 5:00AM

Falgun : Shudha Paurnima, Holikostav.

Krishna Chaturdashi & Amavasya – Maharudra Anusthan

Prasad – Kaul

In this Temple there is a practice of Prasad and Kaul. For taking such Prasad for two persons at a time, on right & left side of Prasad Ling white flowers are placed for seeking Kaul of the Godess.

Information about Origin of Shree Chamundeshwari or ChamundaShakti Devi

Lord Shankar created Matrugan from 190 Matrukas. The names of these 190 Matrukas are not given here due to the limited space. The matrukas created by lord Vishnu are: – Ghantakarni, Trailokya, Mohini, Sarvsatv Shankeri, Chakrahrudya, Om Charini, Rabkhini, Lekhini, Kalsankarshini. SaptMatruka is known and of that saptmatruka’s names and about the same Matruka’s origin, the information is as follows: from Bramha-Bramhi, from Maheshwar- Maheshwari, from Kumar Skand- Kaumari, From Vishu- Vaishnavi, from Varaha –Varahi, from Indra-Indri and from Yamah- Chamundashakti.