Though anyone wouldn’t associate Goa with temples, the state boasts of many architectural and historical marvels that are telling testimonials of the strong Hindu influence in the evolution of the state. Despite the Portuguese stronghold on Goa for centuries, there are a surprisingly large number of Hindu temples that withstood the vagaries of history. The ancient temples of Goa, noted for their simple architecture and quiet atmosphere are a blast from the past, and are still surrounded by coconut groves and lakes and rivers. When the Goa we know was once mostly a cluster of small villages before the Portuguese settled here, every fishing village had its own deity and even today, in the temples in Goa, it is these Gods that are worshipped. With many of the old temples of South Goa were destroyed during the reign of colonialism, the Ponda region, which was spared from Portuguese subjugation, currently houses most of Goa&apo;s temples today. And the temples that were reconstructed after the Portuguese lefty Goa do not have a typically Hindu architecture and are an interesting mix of Portugal and Maratha designs. However, the oldest temple in Goa, the rock-cut caves at Aravalem, which are also referred to as the Pandava Caves date back to as early as the 1st century AD.