The Shree Mahalsa Narayani Temple is situated in the village of Mardol 22 kilometres from Panaji. The presiding deity at the Temple is a female incarnation of Vishnu. Originally housed in a temple in the village of Verna, the statue was secretly moved and eventually brought to its present site in 1543 to avoid it from falling into the hands of the Portuguese.
A legend says that the presiding deity once appeared to a cattle herder on the Sonsada plateau at Verna. Asked to go and fetch his master by the goddess, the petrified cattle herder is said to have tried to escape his predicament by lying that the cattle were thirsty and had to be watered. The goddess is said to have then touched the ground with her ankle ornament creating a spring, which can be seen today as the Lake Nupur.
Eventually, only the master’s son-in-law could be summoned and was asked by the goddess to construct this Temple at the spot that she appeared. Besides the deity’s annual feast, the Jaiyanchi Puja around August and the Kojagiri Pornima just after the rains are the two important days at the Temple.