DEITY: Lord Damodhar , Zambolim

SIZE: 10 X 8 inches

The painting is a framed Thanjavur Painting of Lord Damodhar. The 2D Tanjore Painting has been gemset and gilded with pure 22ct Gold Leaf.

Tanjore Painting is a traditional style of painting that is native to Thanjavur in Tamilnadu. It is an elaborate painting process that involves use of pure 22ct gold leaf and Jaipur gemstones.

To know more about Lord Damodar, the temple that houses the deity and its history, you can read on.

A page about the temple from my Travel Journal


On the way to Madgao, a slight detour into the woods, and a few kilometres further into the taluk of Quepem, you will find a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which is the Shri Damodhar Temple Zambaulim. The temple houses the idol of Lord Damodhar who is a Manifestation of the Hindu God Lord Shiva.

Front entrance of the Temple: Sri Damodhar Saunsthan


The idol of Lord Damodar was originally housed at a temple where The Holy Spirit Church presently stands. The family of people/ The Mahajans who worshiped the idol escaped with it from Old Goa during the period of inquisition.

The idol of Lord Damodar was given refuge in the temple of Lord Ramnath at Jambavalli. By seeking permission from the presiding deity Lord Ramnath, this place was given on rent to the Mahajan Prabhus and their deity Damodar by the Desais of Rivona, and the Vatan is paid even today.

The shrine of Lord Ramnath

The Damodar Temple stands on the banks of the river Kushawati whose sacred waters are believed to have a lot of healing powers. Housed in the interiors and in the midst of a lot of greenery, this place is a beautiful confluence of nature and religion which provides a very peaceful atmosphere.


The temple has a mix of architectural styles with an entrance that is influenced by the Portuguese style of architecture with subtle pastel shades, arched windows and original stained glass panels.

The inner structure has beautiful Shikharas and the temple walls bear beautiful murals.

The Shikhara over the Sanctum Sanctorum

The temple premises houses beautiful wooden carvings of religious symbols and elements and also portrays scenes from the Bhagavad Gita.

That’s me at one of the wooden carved doors in the temple.

The main hall of the temple has about a dozen stone pillars which have beautiful carvings. One can also see carved idols of the Dasha Avatara in the temple. The main hall has a Magnificent Victorian Style Chandelier which is very exquisite.

Stone Pillars with Intricate Carvings of the Dasha Avatara


  1. Sri Ramnath who was initially the presiding deity of Zambaulim. The left side of the temple has a shrine dedicated to Lord Ramnath.
  2. Sri Damodhar is the main deity of the temple. The deity is a Linga and is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
  3. Sri Lakshmi Narayana (Lord Vishnu) is placed alongside Lord Damodar
  4. Sri Mahesh a manifestation of Lord Shiva
  5. Devi Mahakali a manifestation of Devi Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva
  6. Devi Chamundeshwari a manifestation of Devi Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva
  7. Sri Nirakar
  8. Nandi (The Bull/Vaahan of Lord Shiva) is seated facing the Sanctum Sanctorum and in front of Lord Damodar.
  9. Worship of elements of Nature like the River Kushawati and A huge Banyan Tree (at the entrance of the temple) reminds one to be grateful to nature.
  10. Harijan Maragana carried the idol on his head all the way to Zambolim. He then died. As a token of respect for being a sevak of the Lord, a shrine is dedicated to him outside the temple premises.
Nandi: The Vaahan of Lord Shiva


Lord Damodar or Damba is fondly called as Dambaab by children and is the original Saib of Goa. He is known as The God of Goa as He is worshipped by the local Goan tribes, The Hindus and The Christians.

Damodhar is actually the name given to Lord Krishna after an episode where His mother ties His stomach with a chord to keep His mischief under control. But this is the only temple where you will find a Shiv Ling referred to by this name. This is a result of the merge of two sects: The Vaishnavas and The Shaivas who looked up to Indian Philosopher Madhwacharya as their Guru and followed His Teachings.

A painting of Lord Damodhar

The idol is a Shiva Linga seated on a Horse and with basic elements that hold reference to Lord Shiva like the Naag, Trishool and Damru. The deity is adorned with colourful flowers.

The Presiding deity: Lord Damodar

It is believed that The Horse and Headgear were elements that were added to mask or disguise the idol and change its appearance by adding these foreign elements to please the Portuguese. The priests would explain to the Portuguese that they are worshiping idols of the Portuguese itself and not the Hindu idols. Over the years, it has become a prominent characteristic of the idol.

Thanjavur Painting of Lord Damodar




The points and views mentioned in this blog are only personal notes of the artist which were heard as stories from elders or from other books and sources. These have been taken as references and inspiration for creating the artwork of the deity Sri Damodhar. The artist does not wish to religiously influence or hurt any individual.

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