Goa, a state known for its vibrant culture and festivities, hosts the Shantadurga Rathotsav, a grand celebration dedicated to Goddess Shantadurga. This festival is a significant event in the Goan calendar, attracting thousands of devotees and tourists from across the country.The Goddess is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Parvati.
In 2024, Shantadurga Rathotsav will be celebrated on February 13th.
About Shantadurga Rathotsav
Shantadurga Rathotsav, also known as the Chariot Festival, is celebrated in the village of Fatorpa in South Goa. The festival is dedicated to Goddess Shantadurga, a manifestation of Goddess Durga who is believed to have mediated between Lord Vishnu and Shiva. The festival is a blend of religious fervor and cultural festivities, reflecting the vibrant spirit of Goa.
The Grand Procession
The main highlight of the festival is the grand procession where a beautifully decorated chariot carrying the idol of Goddess Shantadurga is pulled by hundreds of devotees through the streets of Fatorpa. This procession is a sight to behold, reflecting the deep-rooted faith and devotion of the Goan people towards the goddess.
Festivities and Rituals
The festival begins with a ceremonial flag hoisting at the temple premises, marking the start of the nine-day-long festivities. Devotees engage in various religious activities such as singing devotional songs, performing traditional dances, and participating in processions. The festival also includes other rituals like kalotsav, Homa, Dhwajarohana, Gulalotsava, and Rathotsava.
Shantadurga Rathotsav is not just a religious event but also a cultural extravaganza that showcases the rich Goan culture. The joyous atmosphere during the festival is a testament to the cultural and spiritual significance of the festival for the Goan community.
Temples and Deities
The Shantadurga Temple in Kavalem village near Ponda, Goa, is one of the main sites where Rathotsav is organized. The temple is dedicated to Shantadurga, who is also the Kuldevi for many Konkani Saraswats and Brahmins. The main idol in the sanctum sanctorum is more than 800 years old and is in the form of a lingam.
Historical and Social Context
The temple of Kuncoliencarin was originally built in Cuncolim, but the image of the goddess Shantadurga was taken to Fatorpa during the Portuguese rule. The devasthan of the temple has twelve vangods, comprising twelve different communities, which are all-important for the opening of any socio-religious rituals in the village and temple.
Zatrotsav of Shree Shantadurga Fatorpekarin
The Fatorpa zatra of Shree Shantadurga Fatorpekarin is a five-day event, held during Paushya Shuddha Panchami till Dashmi of the Hindu calendar. This event is a significant part of the festival and attracts a large number of devotees.
Shantadurga Rathotsav is a testament to the rich cultural heritage and religious fervor of Goa. It is a festival that brings together people from all walks of life to celebrate and honor Goddess Shantadurga. Whether you are a devotee or a tourist, attending this festival offers a unique opportunity to experience the vibrant culture and traditions of Goa.
Links and Resources of Interest
For more information about Shantadurga Rathotsav and other cultural events in Goa, visit Goa Tourism Official Website.