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The oldest Hindu Mandir of Goa: Mahadev Mandir at Tambdi Surla Midhun The oldest Hindu Mandir of Goa, that survived from the Portuguese as it was hidden in the dense forest. Built in the 12th century, the beautifully carved and perfectly proportioned black basalt Mahadev Mandir at Tambdi Surla, is considered to be the only specimen of Kadamba-Yadava architecture in basalt rock preserved and available in Goa. sides of the temple. Surprisingly the mandap is of one of the columns. There is a linga (symbol of covered with a roof of plain grey sloping slabs. Lord Shiva) mounted on a pedestal inside the The river Surla flows nearby and can be reached inner sanctum and local legend has it that a huge via a flight of stone steps. King Cobra is in permanent residence in the dimly There is a headless Nandi (bull, Shiva’s vehicle) lit interior. in the centre of the mandap, surrounded by four matching columns. The symbol of the Kadamba The festival of Mahashivratri is celebrated with kingdom, an elephant trampling a horse is all pomp and gaiety at the temple by the local carved on the base people residing in surrounding villages. A TO Z INDIA FEBRUARY 2023 PAGE 27

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