The annual 'zatrotsav' of Shree Shantadurga Fatorpekareen at Fatorpa will be celebrated from January 3
As part of this 6-day event, various religious & cultural activities will be held. Maha-abhishek & aartis will be performed everyday along with various other religious rituals. Fireworks, magic shows, prasad distribution, etc will take place every day. Items offered by the devotees to the deity will be auctioned on January 9 to 13.
The zatra is held for five days during paushya shuddha panchami up to dashmi of the Hindu calendar. The highlight of the celebrations is the chariot procession. The first day will mark the commencement of the Zatrotsav. A procession of the diety will be held on ambari, which is an elephant chariot on the second day. The third day will witness the procession of the flower chariot popularly known as fulancho rath, the Maharath which is a chariot of horses and the main chariot will be held on the fifth day, while a variety of the entertainment prgrammes will be held on the sixth day.
The temple of Shantadurga has a very interesting history. The beautiful temple of Kuncoliencarin was originally built in Cuncolim, where today a market exists. During Portuguese rule of the area in the 1570s, the original temple in Cuncolim was destroyed, but the image of Shantadurga was taken to Fatorpa, which at that time remained outside Portuguese territory for almost two centuries.
A new temple was built in the village of Fatorpa, where she remains till today. The devasthan of the temple has twelve vangods, comprising the twelve different communities. It is interesting to note that these twelve vangods are required for the commencement of any socio-religious rituals of the village and temple.
It is believed that the deity, the kulswamini of the twelve vangods has two forms. In her calm form, she is motherly and helpful, while her other form is called devi Durga the fierce form, a destroyer of all evils. In all four directions of the temple, one can see four forms of the idol.
Idols of navgrahas, kalbhairav, tandavnritya, kaliamardan, hirenyakashphu and ugradevta are housed in the temple. There are many myths and legends associated with Shantadurga. After the temples construction, gaunkars found it difficult to install the deity as the idol was too heavy to carry. After praying for a solution, the goddess appeared in their dream and told them to prepare the way and that she would go herself. They decorated the floor with flowers. In the morning the statue was inside with foot prints on the petals.
During the festival, people from all over Goa, belonging to different religions, communities and castes come to worship the deity.
The unique highlight of this zatra is the chariot procession on four days and it is witnessed by crowds of devotees. Shantadurga Mata ki jai, are slogans sang while pulling the rath/chariot.