Ponda In Goa
Ponda city is a beautiful city in the South Goa district of India, which is located in western India, South East Panjim. The Ponda city is also a beautiful tourist places in Goa.
Places to visit in Ponda Goa such as Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Shanta Durga Temple, Shree Nagesh Maharudra Mandir, Safa Masjid and Mahalasa Narayani Temple, etc.
Ponda City History
The city of Ponda was a part of the Novas Conquistas. Novas Conquistas means “New Conquests”.
The Sonde Rajas ruled under the Vijaynagar kingdom or the Bijapur Sultanate. As the Portuguese did not have Ponda in the 16th century, the Hindus were happy staying here.
They thus avoided being chased by the Portuguese in the 16th century and being persecuted by the Jesuits and Portuguese. The Marathas held it until 1764.
Saundekar Raja ruled this region then. The Hindus used to make temples in the Ponda forests. These temples had the idols that were brought from the broken temples in Salcette or Sashti.
When the Hindus progressed, these temporary temples were renovated. Even today, most of the Hindu temples are found in Ponda.
In 1791, the Portuguese took over the area from the Sonda Raja. With Quepem, Canacona, and Sanguem also being taken together, this was the administrative center.
But by the 18th-century things had changed, the Portuguese influence had reduced and the city of Ponda had a majority of Hindu population.
Learn more about Panjim In Goa.
Ponda – Down the Ages
With the heart of Hinduism here, the city of Ponda had witnessed major historical events.
Ponda started existing when the Hindus started settling here after abandoning their coastal settlements. After this, they moved inland and started developing the city.
Down the ages, has seen Ponda, the Hindu center, as a major center of transportation.
Besides Ponda today has some of the best temples, it also has some small factories and industrial estates.
The availability of iron ore mines is a reason. The Ponda does not have as many ports as the rest of the places like Panaji and Margao.
Ponda A Rendezvous
Ponda, the Antruz Mahal is the center of music, drama, poetry, and culture.
The city also has temples dedicated to Lord Mangesh, Lord Nagesh, Lord Ganapati, Lord Ramnath, Goddess Mhalasa and Shanta Durga.
Ponda, the city of five temples, has the largest mosque in Goa.
Most of the temples in Ponda have been restored after they were destroyed by the Portuguese.
This is the reason there are no temples on the coast. Ponda is a transport hub. The temples are built in two groups.
One group is to the north of Ponda on the NH4 and the other is inside the countryside. This is in the western part of Ponda Goa.
Thus, the city has the best culture and tradition to offer.
Learn more about Canacona Goa.
Ponda Travel kitty
With its crowded villages and lovely temples, Ponda offers a different experience to the tourists.
The cultural hub of Goa, Ponda gives the tourist the chance to avail of all things available here.
The scenery is beautiful and the atmosphere busy yet the traveler likes to be with the surroundings and enjoys himself here.
A tourist coming to this place would take this as his travel kitty.
Besides these basic local articles are loved by all the tourists coming here.
Ponda lately has had spice tourism as its travel kitty. Thus, it is promoting ‘spice tourism’.
Top Things To do in Ponda
With its penchant for attracting people with its charm and activity, Ponda, the city of temples is a place, which the tourist would surely enjoy.
This dusty town, dotted with temples and sometimes even a good construction, does not have much to boast of as a tourist spot.
However, the ambiance, the surroundings and the general vibration here create a sense of coming here repeatedly. A person coming here would see :
Safa Mosque: This mosque was constructed by Adil Shah. This is also known as Safas Shaouri Masjid. This was built in 1560.
The style of architecture used in this mosque is mainly Goan. But the arches show that the mosque has a Bijapuri effect.
The hills behind the mosque provide it with this beautiful scenery.
Ponda city Goa has many famous and beautiful temples that attract tourists. There is a different story of each temple here that you can read.
- Shree Mangeshi Temple
- Mahalasa Narayani Temple
- Nagesh Temple
- Nagueshi Temple
- Laxmi Narsimha Temple
- Kamakshi Temple
- Shanta Durga Temple
- Ramnathi Temple
- Vijaydurga Temple
- Mahadev Temple
Shree Mangeshi Temple
This is spelled as Sri or Shri. This was built in the 18th century. This was a very important temple in Goa.
This temple represents the real Goan type of architecture. The style is a peculiar mix of Hindu and the Portuguese style of architecture.
This temple lies on a hilltop amidst a vast expanse of farmlands. The temple has idols of Goddess Parvati and Ganesha.
Ganesha is the Indian God of prosperity and wisdom.
There is a beautiful lamp tower or Deepstambha, which is an authentic Goan type of architecture.
This is found in the temple complex.
Learn more about Margao in Goa.
Mahalasa Narayani Temple
This is just 2km from the Shri Mangesh temple.
This temple is devoted to Lord Vishnu the Indian God of preserving the Universe.
This temple is known for the Garuda pillar.
This shows the half man half Eagle vehicle of Lord Vishnu.
This stands on the back of a turtle and has a Garuda perched on it.
This temple too has a lamp tower or a Deepastambha and has intricately carved columns, which show the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.
This temple is found on the western side of Ponda Goa. This is spelt as Nagesh or Naguesh. This is devoted to the God of Serpents.
This refers to Lord Shiva the destroyer of the Universe. Built in 1413, this temple has a mandapa.
This mandapa has an assembly hall, many pillars, and a sanctum sanatorium.
This mandapa or hall has carvings made out of wood. These all are related to the stories of the Hindu Epic “Ramayana” and the “Mahabharata.”
This temple also has a Deepstambh which is around five floors high. Very near to this temple, there is the Sri Mahalakshmi temple, which is dedicated to Goddess Durga.
This goddess is considered a Goddess of War. This is supposed to have been built in 1413.
This is found in Bandora and is a wonderful piece of architecture.
There is a linga in the temple, which is the main attraction for the devotees.
Legend has it that it was found by some cowherds who were playing there then.
There are a lot of wood murals in the interior. All these depict the Ramayana.
Laxmi Narsimha Temple
This temple is situated In Nagueshi. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his Goddess Lakshmi.
The temple has a very unusual image of Goddess Laxmi. She is seen wearing a linga on her head.
There is a rare treasure of woodcarvings of all the 18 avatars of Vishnu.
Located in Shiroda, this temple was situated in Raja and was the first temple to be thrown out of Salcette. This happened in 1564.
The presiding deity is Kamakshi who is an incarnation of Parvathy.
Shanta Durga Temple
This is found amidst a lot of greenery, freshness, and hills. This temple is near Ponda in Quela.
The deity of the temple is supposed to be Shantadurga, who is one of the wives of Shiva. Durga means the Goddess of War.
According to legend, once the Destroyer and the Preserver had a big fight.
This resulted in putting the entire world into total chaos. So Shantadurga came as a problem solver and was successful in bringing together the two fighting parties.
So the entire universe was saved from doom. And so this idol of Shantadurga is found between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.
She is a symbol of peace.
This temple was built in 1738. This is supposed to be the biggest temple in Goa.
There is again a Deepstambha here also and a Ratha also. Some gilt work is done to adorn the temple.
There is an influence of Church architecture in this temple.
This is found near Kavlem, There are many deities in this temple. Besides this, we also have the idols of Kalinhira, Betal, Santeri.
This is also a temple worshipped by both Shaivites and Vaishnavites.
This temple is around 500 years old. It was renovated in the 16th century in 1603.
This temple is found at the end of a huge stretch of green bushes.
This is situated at Tambdi Surla. This Shiva temple is the only well-preserved temple made of basalt stone.
It is surrounded by Anmod Mountain on one side and stream on the other side.
Chapels and Crosses
Mount Carmel Chapel: This was built by the Portuguese for their army. The Mount Carmel Chapel is used by the Indian Army now.
This chapel was built in the 18th century and has dark-colored altars.
These altars are made of wonderfully carved wood. The chapel is kept clean by some people.
Miraculous Cross: This is locally known as “Goddar”. This is a major attraction in the city of Ponda in Goa.
There is the feast of the Holy Cross that is celebrated here.
During this time, people of all religions take a walk to the forest check post and then climb a hill.
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary: This is a vast expanse of greenery with the very best flora and fauna.
This small wildlife sanctuary is extended over an area of 8 sq kms.
It is situated approximately 3000 ft above sea level.
This is found on the slopes of the western ghat ranges.
This sanctuary is actually a combination of the Botanical garden, a fenced deer park, and a zoo.
The River Ragado flows in the eastern part and Madhel river on the north.
There are a lot of species here like the Wild Boar, reptiles, leopard, deer, etc.
Learn more about Arambol Beach In Goa.
Dudhsagar Waterfalls: The sound of the Dudhsagar waterfalls is heard even in the train.
This is a beautiful spot in Goa and the color of the water here is crystal white.
This is the reason it is called Dudhsagar where Dudh means milk and Sagar means ocean.
Thus with the best of nature at the doorstep, it is not long before Ponda, not only becomes the transport hub but also the cultural center.
The exquisite carvings, magnificent architecture and relaxing greenery make Ponda a very much sought after place for having a different experience.
As the saying goes, “Go green, Go Ponda.”
Ponda City Information
Location: Western India, South East of Panjim
Best time to visit: October to March
Local Transport: Auto rickshaws, Mini buses, Bicycles
Places to See: Sri Mangesh Temple, Shri Mahalasa Temple, Safa Mosque, Mount Carmel Chapel, Miraculous Cross-, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Ponda Temples.