Shree Damodar Temple at Zambaulim
The Shri Damodar Temple is one of the most beautiful and famous architecture constructions in Goa. It stands on the bank of Kushawati River near the Zambaulim Village, just 22 km from the City of Margao on the border of Quepem region (Quepem taluk) in the South of Goa. Hindus believe that the Kushawati River is a sacred one place and that its healing powers help to get rid of various body ailments. This famous temple houses an incarnation of lord Shiva, the deity of lord Damodar. The deity was originally based in a temple where the Holy Spirit Church in Margao now stands and was moved to escape from the Portuguese inquisition in 1565 when the temple was destroyed and the church was built on its site. Both Hindus as well as the Catholics alike revere it. And it was originally founded in Mathagram, later known as Madgaon.
Shigmo the Goan Hindu festival of color is the main festival celebrated at this beautiful place. Chamundeshwari (the fierce form of Shakti, a tutelary deity), Mahakali (the Hindu Goddess of time and death, considered to be the consort of Shiva the God of consciousness, and as the basis of Reality and existence) and Mahesha (one more incarnation of Lord Shiva) are also honored at this place. Due to the temple destruction campaign started by the Portguese rulers in Sasashti Taluka in the year 1567, the Mahajans from Madgaon shifted the local deities, Shree Ramnath, Damodar, Laxmi-Narayan, Chamundeshwari, Mahakali, Mahesh, etc to Zambaulim. The Desais of Rivona helped the Mahajans and gave them land for the construction of temples as well as Vatan which is being paid even today. And records about the date of construction of the original Shree Damodar temple at Zambaulim and the dates of posterior extensions or reconstructions of the temples therein upto 1885, are not, so far, available. The Shree Damodar temple, belongs to GSB community (Gowda Saraswath Brahmins). And there is also an idol of Lakshmi Narayana inside the sanctum.There are shrines for Goddess Chamundeshwari and Shiva on either side of the main temple.
The enchanting idol of Lord Shiva was consecrated at the present site after the Portuguese demolished the original temple in 1567. Accommodation facilities are available in the temple complex for the community members. Darmodar is a place of worship for both Hindus and Catholics. The main festival celebrated in Shri Damodar Temple is called Shigmo. This is a Goa Hindu spring festival of colors, which lasts for one week only. During the festival the Panair takes place and the folkloric show within which all participants are exchanging gulals (powders of different colors) with each other and organise various feasts and tablefuls. To reach the Shri Damodar Temple is not very difficult. All you will need to do is drive on NH66 Highway (Kanyakumari-Panavel Road) and then turn to northeast on the crossroad with the Road to Fatorpa. Balli Railway Station is the closest railway station to the place of Shri Damodar Temple location. You can take a regular bus which stats its way from the bus stand in Margao city and get to the Temple without problems. Also a pre-paid taxi can be taken from Margao to Shri Damodar Temple as well.