Located within the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, the Tambdi Surla Temple complex rests in the remote forests of the Western Ghats in Goa. It is one of the oldest temples in the region and is known for its unique and intricate architecture. The temple was constructed in the early 12th-century and is considered one of the finest examples of Kadamba architecture. It is made primarily from basalt rock and features intricate carvings on its walls depicting various mythological and religious scenes.
If you are looking for offbeat things to do in Goa, here are the reasons why you must explore this 12th-century structure:
The Tambdi Surla Temple is one of the oldest temples in Goa that has survived the test of time, with historical records suggesting that it dates back to the 12th century. Although information about its origins and history is scarce, the temple stands out as an excellent representation of the region's architectural heritage. The temple has remained untouched due to its remote location, situated in a clearing deep in the forest at the foot of the Western Ghats that surround the site. Overall, the Tambdi Surla Temple is a remarkable piece of history that provides a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region.
The temple is a fine example of the Kadamba-Yadava architectural style that is typical of many ancient Goan temples. This style was founded by Mayurasharma in the 4th century AD in Karnataka, India, and is characterised by its unique features. Constructed with black basalt stone, the temple holds great historical and architectural significance. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and boasts intricate carvings and sculptures on its walls, pillars, and ceiling, which add to its beauty.
The Mahashivratri festival is an annual event at the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, attracting devotees from Goa and neighbouring regions who come to offer prayers and seek blessings.
The Tambdi Surla Temple is situated in a secluded area and can only be reached by road. It is approximately 65 kilometres away from the state capital, Panaji, and about 27 kilometres away from the town of Ponda. If you are searching for offbeat things to do in Goa, combine a trip to the temple with a tour of the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Tambdi Surla Temple has been declared a protected monument by the ASI to ensure its preservation and maintenance, with conservation efforts being made to preserve its historical and architectural heritage.
If you are visiting the Tambdi Surla Temple, consider checking out nearby attractions:
Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary is a protected natural habitat spreading over 240 sq km in the Western Ghats, located on the Goa-Karnataka border. It is the largest wildlife reserve in Goa and features Dudhsagar Falls, Tambdi Surla Temple, and Devil's Canyon. The sanctuary is known for its rich plant and animal diversity, making it a favourite among nature enthusiasts and hikers. The green zone of the cover is home to various wildlife and bird species, thanks to the diverse forests.
Exploring the hinterland of Goa is an experience unlike any other, far from the typical tourist attractions. Here, you will discover the state's rich cultural heritage, deep-rooted traditions, and pristine natural landscapes. The hidden gems include charming villages, lush green fields, ancient temples, and vibrant local markets that showcase local crafts and delicacies. The hinterland is also home to numerous wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves that offer opportunities for ecotourism, such as trekking and bird watching, perfect for nature enthusiasts.