Shree Devki Krishna temple is one of the earliest temple set up by the Saraswat community in Goa brought to by the legendary Lord Parshuram. The exact period of establishment is difficult to asses since most history of the temple is obscure and is confined to songs and tales which have been preserved by a small section of devotees and which is fast dying out. The story of Devki and Krishna can be traced to the Mahabharata, a special reference to Gomanchal Parvat where it is reported that a battle was fought between Krishna and Balaram on one side and Jarasandha and his supporters on the other. In fact Jarasand is reported to be so powerful that Krishna decided to take refuge in Gomanchal Parvat, Jarasand is reported to have chased him all the way from the north. Devki, the real mother of Krishna became restless and anxious to see Krishna at any cost. She travelled all the way south to Gomanchal Parvat where she came face to face with Krishna. Devki could not believe the sight of Krishna, she thought some evil forces were fooling her and Krishna’s life was in danger. When Krishna inquired why she was so indifferent when he was her Devakinandan, she replied how can you be my son my son is Balakrishna. At this juncture Krishna realized he had not meet his mother since he left for Dwarka in his childhood, and the image Devki carried of him was of a child and the child Balakrishna was in her mind. Krishna instantly appeared in the form of a small child and embraced her. Devaki instantly lifted the child and took him in her lap.
The story of Devki Krishna has its roots deep in mythology and the symbolic idol is a rare one. The meeting place is also unique, the island of Chudamani, Chorao or Chodan now which was a dense forest once, where Krishna had gone hiding. Till date traces of the old Chodan temple are seen. Over a period of time the temple was shifted to Mayem against the advances of the Portuguese who were bent upon destroying each and every temple in the taluka of Tiswadi. Over a period of time when the Portuguese captured Bicholim taluka of which Mayem was a part looking at the safety of the idols they were shifted to Marcella or Mashel via the Cumbharjua canal in canoes.
The Devki Krishna was not the only temple to be destroyed by the Portuguese. It caused large scale migrations and compelled hindus to travel to safer lands in Goa and also outside Goa towards the south and eastern parts of the mainland. While migrating they carried with them whatever symbols of their family deity they could lay their hands on, of which was most precious for them. This phase of destruction proved to be a nightmare to the community, lasted for almost 5 centuries, but despite loosing almost everything, the temple gold, land, belongings the community rose like a phoenix somewhere in the 17th century and opened a new chapter in history forgetting the damage they devoted their time and energy and repaired their identity and many of these temples were reconstructed, and deities reinstalled and they prospered into safer institutions. The Saraswats meanwhile assimilated with the locals and a cordial relationship followed. Similiarly the followers of Devki Krishna accommodated Ravalnath and Bhumika in their folds and paved a cordial and brotherly relationship.
This is the reason we see devotees of other communities at many temples. This is the only temple dedicated to Devki Krishna in the entire world. There are of course a handful of temples dedicated to Devki Krishna with similar idols but they are essentially branches of the temple at Mashel, established by Mahajans and Kulavis who could not visit the main temple regularly to perform puja and obtain Prasad. They still consider the deity at Mashel, their main source of inspiration and visit once in a year or so. Over a period with the passage of time and with advancement of transport, the gap is narrowing down and it is only a matter of time when the temple regains it s full past glory.