- Busy commercial town is experiencing an economic boom due to its proximity with some large iron-ore mines of the State.
- Around Ponda are a number of important Hindu shrines set amidst lush landscape full swaying palms, numerous spice plantations and the wildlife sanctuaries of East Goa.
- Portuguese could not occupy Ponda for nearly two and a half centuries, after their arrival in Goa.
- It became a haven of the Hindus, who escaped the Inquisition in the old Conquests (Velhas Conquistas) and crossed the river to settle down here.
- Came under the Portuguese in 1791, by then had become more tolerant towards other religious.
MODE OF COMMUNICATION:
- Airport: Goa International Airport, Dabolim (GOI), 45 kms away from Ponda city.
- Rail: Karmali Railway Station, Karmali, 17 kms away from Ponda city.
- Road: Well connected by road.
SIGHTSEEING AT A GLANCE:
FORT & MONUMENTS
Safa Masjid Shri Shantadurga Temple Shri Mahalaxmi Temple Lakshmi Narasimha Temple Shri Mahalsa Temple Shri Manguesh Mandir Tambdisurla Temple
Bondla Sanctuary Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary
FAIRS & FESTIVALS
Feast of Three Kings
Sao Joao Festival
St. Francis Xavier’s Feast
For more information visit https://www.goa.gov.in/places/ponda/
ATTRACTIONS OF PONDA
- Originally built by Adil Shahi rulers and was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1549.
- Shivaji conquered the town in 1675 and rebuilt the fort and was again destroyed by the Portuguese.
- Within the fort ruins lies the mausoleum of Saint Ghazi Abdullah Khan Shaheed.
- Safa or the Shahouri was built in 1560, by Ibrahim Adil Shah of Bijapur.
- The best preserved Muslim monument of Goa.
ATTRACTIONS AROUND PONDA
Shri Shantadurga Temple:
- 3 kms away from Ponda city centre.
- Largest and popular temple of Goa was built in 1713.
- Dedicated to Shantadurga, a manifestation of Parvati or Durga.
- According to mythological legends once Lord Vishnu and Shiva were engaged in a fierce battle.
- Beautiful pagoda like temple is peculiar to Goa.
- It is Neo-Classical in design with distinct influence of European architecture.
- In front of the entrance is the six storeyed deepmal or Lamp Tower.
- Marble has been used extensively in the interiors of the temple fine chandeliers add to the beauty of the shrine.
Shri Mahalaxmi Temple:
- 4 kms away from Ponda city centre.
- Considered to be the abode of the original Goddess of the Shakti cult.
- Stone plaques found in the temple indicate that the shrine has been in existence since 1413.
- Temple was rebuilt in 1913, but the old outline and the architectural style was retained.
- Unique image Mahalaxmi has a representation of linga on her head and it is considered a peaceful or Satvik from the goddess.
Lakshmi Narasimha Temple:
- One of the most picturesque temples located 5 kms away from Ponda city.
- Idol of presiding deity, Laxshmi-Narasima devta was brought here from Salcete in 157.
Shri Mahalsa Temple:
- Just 1 km away south of Mangueshi temple along the Panaji-Ponda road and 7 kms away from Ponda city.
- Dedicated to Mohini, a female attribute of Lord Vishnu.
- Beautiful temple was constructed in 1567.
- A seven storeyed deepmal or lamp tower in the courtyard and a 12.5 metres high dipa stambha or oil lamp made of five metals (panchalayi).
- Dip stambha is considered to be the largest of its kind in the world and symbolises the mythological churning of sea.
Shri Manguesh Mandir:
- 7.5 kms away from Ponda city centre.
- Temple dedicated to Shri Manguesh, a magnificent lord Shiva.
- One of the most important Hindu shrines in Goa.
- Present shrine situated on the side of a hill was built in 1565 and enlarged in the mid-18th century.
- Its architecture reflects typical Goan style, with Christian and Muslim influences.
- Courtyard has a 7-storeyed deepdaan or Lamp Tower, which is undoubtedly, the most impressive in Goa.
- The majestic white tower at the entrance is a special feature of Hindu temples in Goa.
- Interior is illuminated with graceful chandeliers, which is quite unlike Hindu temples and gives a church like appearance.
- Manguesh linga is placed in the main silver sanctum, flanked by a solid idol and is illuminated by oil lamps.
- There are also shrines dedicated to Laxmi Narayan, Satiri and Mulkeshwar behind the main temple.
- 8 kms away from Ponda city centre.
- Typical Goan village is endowed with exceptional scenic beauty.
- It has a rich heritage in Ayurveda, Indian classical music as well as cottage industries.
- Vaidya family has been practicing the Ayurveda for generations.
- Parvati Madhav Plants Park, Arya Cashew Products Factory, Laterite Stone Mines and Sri Vijayadurga Temple are worth visiting sites.
- The lush foothills of Western Ghats 20 kms away from Ponda city.
- Small sanctuary covers an area of 8 sq. kms.
- A major attraction for nature lovers as well as children.
- There is also a Mini Zoo, Deer Safari Park, Gardens Botanical Gardens and Eco-Tourism Cottages.
Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary:
- Sanctuary set in the foot hills of picturesque Western Ghats, 28 kms away from Ponda city and spread across 240 sq. kms.
- It is semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forest dotted with clearings of grasslands and occasional tribal village.
- Key fauna – gaur, sambar, spotted deer, slender loris, jungle cat, leopard and monkey.
- Famous temple just 40 kms away from Ponda city.
- Fabulous falls to the south-east of Molem lie within the Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary.
- It is the second highest falls in the country.
- A tributary of the Mandovi River plunges down majestically from a height of 603 metres.
- Creates a foaming torrent that splits into three streams, which cascades down a near-vertical cliff face into a deep green pool full of lush foliage.
- Best time to visit the falls is just after the monsoons from October to mid of December.
- Devil’s Canyon at the base of the falls, is a very charming with a deep pool formed between the steep-sided rocks and excellent site to view wildlife.