Mahamaya Kalika Devasthan Kasarpal is a magnificent temple complex situated in the serene village of Kansarpal, in the Bicholim taluka of the picturesque state of Goa, India. This revered temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali, who is worshipped in her peaceful form as Mahamaya. With its rich history, captivating legends, exquisite architecture, vibrant festivals, and a spiritual ambiance, Mahamaya Kalika Devasthan Kasarpal attracts devotees and visitors from far and wide.
The legend associated with Mahamaya Kalika Devasthan Kasarpal revolves around the transformation of Goddess Kali. In most parts of India, Kali is worshipped in her fierce form, associated with blood sacrifices. However, in Goa, the deity is revered as Mahamaya, the peaceful and gentle manifestation of Kali. According to the legend, after slaying the demons Shumbha and Nishumbha, the goddess’s anger was calmed, and she assumed a serene and gracious form. This form, known as peaceful (Shanta) and gentle (Soumya), became immensely popular in Goa and is also referred to as Bhadrakali.
The origins of Mahamaya Kalika Devasthan Kasarpal can be traced back nearly 800 years. It is believed that the temple was constructed during the reign of Chandragupta Vikramaditya. An ancient copper-plate inscription, dating back to 1436 AD, sheds light on the temple’s history. The inscription narrates how the village of Varandem, which includes Kasarpal, was gifted to Lakshman Shreshti, son of Rupa Shreshti, by Nagadeva, a descendant of Brahmin Devasharma of Kashyapa Gotra. The temple has stood witness to the trials and tribulations faced by the Goan people, including the period of the Goa Inquisition when it provided refuge to the Daivajna caste to protect them from conversion to Roman Catholicism.
Mahamaya Kalika Devasthan Kasarpal is a true masterpiece of Goan temple architecture. As one approaches the temple complex, they are greeted by two watchmen statues guarding the entrance door. The temple’s architectural elements include a grand hall for public gatherings during festivals and meetings, known as the Sabhamantapa. A majestic drum house, called the Nagarkhana, stands above the stage and reverberates with the beats of drums and shehnai during specific rituals. The main hall, known as the Chowk, leads to the path for circumambulation, Sarwali, and finally, the inner sanctum, the Garbhakud or Garbhagruha, where the main idol of Goddess Kali resides. The deity is depicted with four arms, each holding a symbolic item such as a sword (Khadga), a trident (trishul), a shield (Khetaka), and a skull bowl (Kapala). At her feet rests her mount, a majestic lion. The temple complex is further adorned with Agrashalas (guest houses), two beautiful gates (Praveshdwaras), and a magnificent lamp tower (Deepastambha).
The festival celebrations at Mahamaya Kalika Devasthan Kasarpal are a sight to behold. The Shishirotsav, also known as Shigmo, is the most significant festival celebrated here. Spanning over ten days, this festival attracts pilgrims from Goa, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. The highlight of the Shishirotsav is the grand procession of the deities on beautifully decorated vehicles (Vahanas) accompanied by enthusiastic devotees. The festival also includes various rituals like Ganga Pujan, Homa, Dhwajarohana, Gulalotsava, and Rathotsava. Throughout the festival, an orchestra known as Suvari fills the air with melodious tunes created by traditional musical instruments such as Ghumot, Kasale, cymbals, and Shehnai. Other important festivals celebrated at Mahamaya Kalika Devasthan Kasarpal include Ratha Saptami, Navaratri, Vasant Puja, Akshay Tritiya, Dasara, and Avali Bhojan. One of the major attractions is the Silver Palanquin procession of the deity, which takes place on every Chaturdashi of the dark fortnight of the Hindu lunar calendar.
Mahamaya Kalika Devasthan Kasarpal temple timings:
The Mahamaya Kalika Devasthan Kasarpal temple is open from morning 5:00 AM to night 10.00 PM
How to Reach:
Mahamaya Kalika Devasthan Kasarpal is easily accessible from various parts of Goa and neighboring states.
By Air: The nearest airport is Goa International Airport, also known as Dabolim Airport, located approximately 45 kilometers away from Kasarpal. From the airport, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach the temple.
By Train: The closest railway station to Kasarpal is Thivim Railway Station, which is around 20 kilometers away.
By Road: The temple is situated at a distance of 18 kilometers from Mapusa. The temple complex is located in Kansarpal village, which is easily accessible via the Bicholim Road. You can take a taxi or a bus from Mapusa to reach the temple.