The Goa government has begun the process of restoring temples which were destroyed during the Portuguese colonial era, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Wednesday.
Sawant told reporters in Panaji that the state government’s Archives and Archaeology had already begun working on the process of restoration of such temples destroyed in the Portuguese era, for which Sawant in his recent budget speech had allocated Rs 20 crore.
“Archives and archaeology are working on it,” Sawant told reporters. Sawant holds the Archives and Archaeology portfolio.
In his budget speech last month, the Chief Minister had said that restoration of such temples would help the state to bolster its tourism potential.
“Our places of worship are symbols of our rich cultural heritage. At many places in Goa, we find several temples in dilapidated and neglected conditions. During the Portuguese regime, there was a systematic effort to destroy these cultural centres. Considering tourism development, we have made a provision of Rs 20 crore for reconstruction and restoration of these temples and sites,” the Chief Minister had said in his budget speech.
Several temples were destroyed in Goa by the Portuguese, who ruled Goa for a period of 451 years, until the region which was a part of the Portuguese’s Estado da India, was liberated by the Indian armed forces in 1961.
Several Hindu deities were also secretly smuggled out of Goa by its followers to the neighbouring regions — in present day Karnataka and Maharashtra — to escape religious persecution.