At a distance of 66 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand, 72 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station and 58 km from Margao Railway Station, Shri Mahadeva Temple is situated in North Goa.
The Mahadeva Temple is a 12th century temple situated inside the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary near the village of Tambdi Surla. This is the only structure preserved in Goa with Kadamba-Yadav architecture. The Mahadeva temple of Tambdi Surla is the oldest temple of Goa that survived from the Portuguese as it was set next to a stream in the middle of the small clearing, hidden in the dense jungle. This historic temple is maintained by the Archeological Survey of India.
According to the history, the temple was built by Kadamba Queen Kamladevi. Most of the ancient temples in Goa were being destroyed either by Mughal rulers or by Portuguese. However this temple survived all the invasions by Muslims and Portuguese because of its remote location. It is situated in deep forest and was difficult to trace.
The Tambdi Surla temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is built in the Hemadpanthi style from the finest weather-resistant grey-black basalt. However some scholars are of the opinion that it was not basalt stone but is grey black talc chlorite schist soap stone. The stone is believed to have been brought from Deccan Plateau from the neighboring state of Karnataka. It is still in same old condition.
The Mahadeva temple is a fine example of the ancient Yadav style of architecture. The temple consists of Garbhagriha, antarala and a pillared Nandi Mandapa. There are four pillars beautifully decorated with fine carvings of elephants and chains and these pillars support the stone ceiling. The ceiling is decorated with fine carving of lotus flower. The carvings of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma with their respective consorts are seen on the panel at the sides of the temple. The pillared hall is covered with plain grey sloping slab. The Garbhagriha is surrounded by three tired tower of which the top is incomplete. There is Lord Shiva Deity in the inner sanctum with Linga. There is a headless Nandi in the mandap which is a common feature of Shiva temples. There is a river flowing just in front of the temple called river Surla which also adds to the beauty of the temple.
The festival of Mahashivratri is celebrated with pomp and gaiety at this temple by local people residing in surrounding villages.