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Hindu Temple destruction by Portuguese invaders in Goa


And this is also the time Miguel Vaz actually went to Portugal, because he realized, even the proselytization was happening in Goa, it was not happening fast enough for his comfort. So he actually went to Portugal. He convinced the King and he got a diktat, saying that, “the regime should take stringent measures against the Hindus” and that is when the persecution of Hindus started in real earnest.

Alberqueque had conquered the island of Goa and the areas of Divar, Churao and Zua and all the Hindu temples on this 4 islands were destroyed in 1540 itself. In 1543, Adil Shah gave them the gift of Bardez and Salcete, those 2 districts that I talked about, and in 1546 the King issued the first major directive, saying that all vestiges of idolatry be abolished from Bardez and Salcete. In 1566, there was an order that prohibited people from building new temples. It also prohibited them from repairing old temples, because Jeernoddhar was our, it was ingrained in our psyche. That people kept renovating temples, people kept making the temples better. So not only was it prohibited to build any new temples, it was also prohibited to repair any old temples, who happened to fall in disrepair.

They also said that nobody should make murtis of any kind, of wood, of stone, of metal and whoever does it, and if somebody reports that person, the person who makes the murti will be jailed and the person who reports it will get some financial reward. So you can imagine how this must have been used in those days. If you could actually, you know, if you did not like somebody then you could simply say that, guy was making a murti and you didn’t have to prove, you didn’t have to be there, or submit any proof. You just basically had to say and the other person had to bear the brunt of it.

The original temple of Mangeshi which is right now one of the most famous temples of Goa, it was destroyed around 1566 and a church was built in the same place. But the Hindus, wherever possible, they had managed to save the original vigraha and they moved it to the new place. So the temple was destroyed, churches were built in the original place.

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