This Temple is located in the city of Panajim, off Dada Vaidhya road at the Altinho foothill. It was the first Hindu temple allowed to be built by the Portuguese in Goa after 300 years after bitter opposition. It was approved by the Portuguese authorities in 1818 after a long delay and built subsequently on contributions made by the devotees. It was most recently renovated in 1983. The deity of the temple originally came from the village of Taleigao and was moved to Bicholim in the 16th century to escape Portuguese destruction.
The deity is Goddess Mahalakshmi (the Hindu Goddess of Wealth), made of black stone, with four hands and is placed in a silver canopy. This is the peaceful or Satvik form of Devi. According to the Shakti cult (worship of power), Mahalakshmi is the original Goddess who takes forms according to three aspects or gunas viz. Brahma (peaceful, calm form or satva), Vishnu (creative action or rajas) and Shiva (destruction or tamas). The deity originally from Mayem in Bicholim taluka was transferred to the present site.
This 194-year-old temple has a fascinating history. In the 16th century, the Havig Brahmins from Karwar-Kumtha areas who lived on alms and charity of others worshipped the Mahalaxmi deity and wherever they went in search of alms they carried this deity along. In the 16th century, they moved to Goa along with this diety and reached Taleigo village of which Panjim was then a mere ward, along the river Gomati (Mandovi). The Havig Brahmins whose whole day was spent begging for alms had sought shelter in the precincts of the Vetal temple of Taleigao. But when they learned of the conversion policy of the Portuguese, fearing the desecration of their revered Mahalakshmi idol made of marble, they moved away from Taleigao and as they were moving on they found a horse stable that actually belonged to the Portuguese government.
A person called Late Shri. Raghavendra Kamat Mhamai who then worked for the Portuguese military found that this place selected by the Havig Brahmins to hide their deity was unsafe and hence moved it to his palatial house opposite the Adilshahi palace (Old Secretariat) in the heart of Panjim city. Still fearing for the safety and security of the deity, he moved it to Mayem village of the Bicholim Taluka where it remained till 1817.
Sometime later in 1817, Late Shri. Narayan Kamat Mhamai of Panaji dreamt of the deity and the next day itself he along with others went to Mayem and brought the deity to Panjim and kept it at the ancestral house of Late Shri Raaya Kamat Ghanekar. There is also one more incident related to this as it is said that when the idol was brought to Panaji in a boat and taken out at a place where stands the People’s High School today. That corner at the People”s High School is still venerated where the deity was kept hidden under a chinch tree.
The place where the present temple stands belongs to the Late Purshottam Prabhu Sinari of Raibander. For constructing the temple donations were collected which amounted to 1006 sharafi. After building the temple the idol of Goddess along with her family deities were established on Aashaad Shukla Saptami shake 1739 ie Friday 10th July 1818. It was Saraswat Brahmins who consecrated the idol of Goddess, hence they are the Mahajans of this temple along with the sheth community from Panaji and Taleigao, Bhandari Community, Nhavi Community, Tarukar Community, Hindu Gaonkar Communities from Bardez taluka are also upasak of Goddess.
During this time monarchy was prevalent in the Portuguese regime hence Late. Narayan Kamat Mhamai especially got approval from the King of Portugal for the construction of the temple. The then Governor-General of Goa Conde-de-Rio-Pardo approved the order.
By 1819, the temple was completed. The original deity today lies in a small box in the rear wall of the temple which faces the present-day main idol of Goddess Mahalakshmi. The magnificent sabha mandap of the temple has been added later and today the recently completed new building of the temple stands proudly as a superb addition to the landmarks of Panjim city.
The original Sabhamandap(hall) was donated by Late Shri. Guiri Soiru Sinai Dempo in March 1870. The Sabhamandap(hall) was then rebuilt by his great-grandson Shri Vasantrao Shrinivasa Sinai Dhempo and was inaugurated by H. H. Shrimad Vidyadhiraj Teerth Shripad Wader Swamiji of Shree Samsthan Gokarn Partagal Jeevottam Math on Sunday 9th January 1983.
Vidyadhiraj Teerth Bhavan was donated by Shri. Vasantrao Srinivasa Sinai Dempo and was inaugurated by H. H. Shrimad Vidyadhiraj Teerth Shripad Wader Swamiji of Shree Samsthan Gokarn Partagal Jeevottam Math on Sunday 9th January 1983.
Shree Varadhvinayak, Shree Mahadev, Shree Maruti, Shree Ravalnath and Shree Rampurush Grampurush are the deities in the temple.
Panaji Sri Mahalaxmi Temple Timings: 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Panaji Mahalaxmi Temple Festivals:
Ram Navmi in Chaitra Shukla Navmi
Hanuman Jayanti in Chaitra Shukla Pournima
Chaitrapournima in Chaitra Krishna Pratipada
Saptah in Shravan Shukla Panchami
Dussera / Vijayadashmi in Ashwin Shukla Dashmi
Kaala in Margashirsh Krishna Dvitiya
Rathsaptami in Maagh Shukla Saptami
Maha Shivratri Maagh Shukla Panchami
Gulaal in Falgun Shukla Pournima
Panaji LakshmiTemple Festivals:
next to Mushtifund Saunthan Panaji,
Dada Vaidhya Road,
Goa – 403001.
Nearby Landmarks:-Shree Radhekrishna Temple, Saraswat Bank Panaji, Mayfair Hotel
Contact Numbers: 0832-2422410