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The goddess name Shantadurga is a form of Durga, which is often venerated in the form of an anthill. Many myths surrounding the goddess Shantadurga portray her as a peacemaker (her name actually means "Durga of peace"), and she has been credited with mediating conflict between the gods Vishnu and Shiva. The temple is often visited in tandem with the nearby Sahakari Spice Farm.
Men and women should dress conservatively, with clothes that cover their knees and shoulders.
You’ll be expected to remove your shoes before entering the temple, so it’s best to wear something easy to remove.
Foreigners have been denied entry to the temple in the past, so your best option is to go with a tour group or guide, and double-check that you’ll be allowed in.
The temple is located in the inland town of Ponda, about an hour's drive from Panaji or a half-hour from Old Goa. Getting here by public transportation is arduous and requires multiple stops from most destinations, and the temple is a good half-hour walk from the center of town. So, travelers should either drive or visit as part of an organized tour.
The temple is open daily, and its cool interior is pleasant and refreshing anytime. The most lively time to visit is during the annual Navratri festival, a nine-night Hindu holiday that falls during late September or October.
A word you might see a lot during your India trip is "shakti." Its basic meaning is strength and power, but on a deeper level, shakti refers to the supreme divine feminine energy that permeates existence. Shakti is personified in India's goddesses, from Saraswati, the goddess of learning and music, to Durga, the great warrior goddess.