Ponda is also known as Antruz Mahal. It's called so because of the concentration of culture, music, drama and poetry. It also houses the temples of Lord Mangesh (Shiva), Lord Nagesh, Lord Ganapati, Lord Ramnath and the Goddesses Mahalasa and Shantdurga. Safa Masjid, 2km west on the Panjim road was built in 1560 by the Bijapuri ruler Ibrahim Adil Shah, this small mosque, with its whitewashed walls and pointed terra-cotta tile roof, is renowned less for its run-of-the-mill architecture than for being one of only two Islamic shrines in Goa to survive the excesses of the Portuguese Inquisition.
When Portuguese arrived in Goa, they destroyed every temples and mosques
they could lay their hands on. As a result, temples in Goa are generally set
back from the coast and comparatively new, although some date back about 400
years. The temples near Ponda have been rebuilt from originals destroyed by
the Portuguese, and their lamp towers are a distinctive Goan feature.
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