The state of Goa is beautiful, as evinced in its nature, people, tradition, history, culture and spirituality. People who have never been to Goa must make at least one trip to Goa to visit the famous feast (jatra) of goddess Shantadurga Kunkalikarin and Shantadurga Fatarpekarin. This jatra takes place for more than eight days with various religious rituals and gaiety, and is a great attraction to tourists and devotees.
Thousands of devotees from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa come in large numbers to Fatorpa to pay homage to goddess Shantadurga and seek her blessings.
During these jatra days, the main highlights are the aartis, Mahaabhishekam, Shibikotsav, etc. Various religious rituals include offering padd, which is two coconuts, green bangles, green cloth, rice, flower garlands, incense sticks, vermilion, bananas, etc offered to the goddess.
Furthermore, there is the religious procession of deities in various chariots called rath. There are raths like Mayur rath, Maha rath, Chandi rath, Surya rath, etc, which take place on separate days of the feast.
Besides the religious aspect, window shopping provides much enjoyment at this jatra as numerous stalls are seen set up in the vicinity of the temples. One can buy clothes, gadgets, eatables and various things.
The history of Fatorpa according to the information given on the official website of Shree Devi Shantadurga Kunkalikarin Devachan, it is mentioned that owing to religious persecutions by the Portuguese in the 16th century (1583), this deity was shifted to the holy place at Fatorpa, Quepem, from the village of Cuncolim, Salcete, at the express command of the goddess herself. Later, she became popular as Shree Shantadurga Kunkalikarin at Fatorpa.
Furthermore, the famous Revolt of Cuncolim in the 16th century (July 15, 1583) against the Portuguese oppression to protect Swadharma and Swaraj, took place as per the divine spirit and inspiration received from the goddess Shantadurga. As a result, forced conversion ended. Hence, she is considered the saviour of Hinduism in Goa.
This historical event at Cuncolim is similar to a spiritual event in Maratha history which took place in the 17th century, where Adimata Bhavani inspired Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to aim for Hindavi Swarajya (self-rule of Hindu people) to defend and save the Hindu religion, Vedic culture, civilisation, mutts and temples from the invasion of the mighty Mughals.
On Sunday, the first day of the new calendar year of 2023, there were thousands of devotees who were present for the Maha rath procession and sought blessings from the deity. It is a festival which has the potential to attract tourists and devotees. The Goa government needs to promote and popularise the shrine through its tourism department.