A long history
The temple of Goddess Mahalasa had been on the plateau of Verna village in Salcette taluka from ancient times long before the advent of the Portuguese rule in this part of Goa.
Its mythological reference is found in Skanda Purana. It is the largest of all Puranas and is believed to have been written between seventh and ninth century CE. In this Purana, there are two adhyayas (chapters) entitled “Varunapur Mahatmya” and the legend of Shri Mahalasa of Varyenapur is narrated in these two adhyayas.
It is said that Parushuram brought 10 Saraswat families in Gomantak from their settlements in Trihotra in the North. These 10 families brought with them their following family deities:
Mangueshi, Mahadeva, Mahalaxmi, Mahalasa, Shantadurga, Nagesh and Saptkoteshwar.
Later, more Saraswat families came to Goa and they too brought with them their own family deities.
In all, there were 66 families which settled in Salcette taluka. Of them, six families settled in Varyenapur or Varunapur (old Mhaddol), commonly known as Vernem during Portuguese rule and Verna now.