Brahma of Goa

Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva constitute the Trimurthi of the Hindu pantheon. Of the three, Brahma the Creator is the odd one out: He has less than 10 temples dedicated to Him alone in the whole of India. The puranas ascribe this anomaly to a curse inflicted on Him by Lord Shiva.

The Brahma temple in Pushkar, Rajasthan, is well known. Not as well known is the temple at Carambolim (also called Brahma-Karmali) in northeast Goa. The idol worshipped here is an 11th C masterpiece of scuplture.

The Brahma temple in Goa was originally located at Carambolim (Karmali) near Panjim. After its sacking by the Portuguese in the 16th C, the idol was moved to its current remote outpost and re-consecrated. Later, in a nod to its original home, the area around it came to be known as Brahma-Karmali.

From: Socio Cultural History of Goa by V.R. Mitragotri (published by Institute Menezes Braganza, 1999)

p. 206
The stone sculpture of Brahma from here is one of the best specimens of Kadamba art. Like Brahma from Sopara, the stone sculpture of the Carmoli Brahma has a beard on the central face. The sages were supposed to have a beard. In this respect Brahma is similar to them. Brahma in his front right hand is holding chanting beads (akshmala) and the hand in the blessing pose (varada) and in the rear right hand he is holding the sacrificial ladle (sruka). In the front left hand he is holding ghee pot (ajya-sthali). In the rear left hand he is holding a book (pustaka). The consorts of Brahma, Savitri and Saraswati are shown standing on either side of Brahma.

Three small niches found in the intricate torana are housing tiny images of the deities. The central niche has Ganapati, Vrishabhavahanashiva is in the right hand side niche and Vishnu is found in the left hand side niche.


There are other ancient Brahma images in Goa worshipped in subsidiary shrines in the villages of Parsem, Virnoda and Colomb. A striking Brahma head also figures in the museum collection in Old Goa.

The Carambolim temple recently got a complete makeover. These photographs were taken in November 2009.

Temple of Lord Brahma in Carambolim, Goa

Temple of Lord Brahma in Carambolim, Goa
5D Mark II, TS-E 17L

Detail of the Brahma sculpture in Carambolim, Goa

Detail of 11th C Brahma sculpture in Carambolim, Goa
5D Mark II, 85L II

Lord Brahma in Carambolim, Goa

Lord Brahma in Carambolim, Goa
5D Mark II, 24-105L

Priest Sandeep Kelkar at the Brahma temple

Priest Sandeep Kelkar at the Brahma temple
5D Mark II, 85L II

  • Naren - September 5, 2014 - 6:30 am

    After searching for nearest possible Bramha’s temple than one in Rajasthan, I found this Rajan’s site…; I appreciate his efforts of beautiful photography.
    I visited GOA during August 14th 2014 and have shot few video clips around with decent results. Hope you all people like it… Also I have mentioned my thanks to Mr. Parrikar as ..his photography led me to plan my visit… & it was worth… 🙂

    I have included a short walkthrough / passthroughof the premises as well…. including two kundas…!ReplyCancel

  • Vishwanath Gadgil - May 13, 2014 - 2:20 am

    I am Local resident of the same place but according to me this place is not yet been developed as it should have been as far as presence of such a brilliant sculpture of Lord Brahma is concern.

    This place is really beautiful to give a visit. Thus the government should take the interest to develop the same.ReplyCancel

    • Rajan P. Parrikar - May 13, 2014 - 8:51 am

      Anything the government in India/Goa takes an interest in turns to rubbish. Why “develop” it? Let it remain the way it is, beautiful and serene. “Development” in Goa means pouring concrete. Is that what you want? Why not let it remain green and peaceful as it is?ReplyCancel

  • Yogesh Bhomkar - May 25, 2012 - 11:40 am


    I’m a resident of Karmali (nr Old Goa). Suprised after reading this. Brahma karmali and Karmali is same.ReplyCancel

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  • Xanno Moidecar - January 25, 2010 - 1:39 am

    A fittingly colourful abode for the Creator of the universe. This statue of Brahma depicts a much younger version of the Creator I know, that of the Old Testament. But then Hinduism does pre-date the Mosaic traditions.


  • Arun - January 13, 2010 - 5:23 pm

    Eye-feast 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Rani Thompson - January 12, 2010 - 5:50 pm

    interesting but beautifully arranged colors of the temple,
    another classic piece of photography, Thank youReplyCancel

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