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WATER SPORTS IN GOA
Location: Goa Famous Sports: Water Scootering, Para Sailing, Wind Surfing, and Water Skiing Goa is a paradise for water sport lovers. The long coastal area offers a wonderful opportunity to indulge in all sorts of water sport activities. A number of government and private organizations including hotels and tour operators conduct regular water sport activities including training courses at a very nominal rate for tourists. Here we list the major water sport activities along with the names of organizations or centers involved. Cidade de Goa five star hotel - Para-sailing, wind surfing and water-skiing. Taj Holiday Village Resort, Candolim - water sports facilities in its beach. Goan Banana's. C/o Casa Goana restaurant, Cobra Vaddo, Baga road, Calangute Goan Banana's, Cobra Vaddo, Baga road, Calangute Le Marine, Sauntawaddo, Baga Barracuda Diving, Vainguinim beach, Dona Paula. C Cats Cruise Boats, Davidair, Calangute Vailankanni Stores, Candolim. Water Sports Centers / Organizations 1. AARON RISHIKA ADVENTURES Office Address: Sinquerim, Bardez, Goa - 403 519. Location Address Sinquerim, Bardez, Goa - 403 519. 2. AQUA SPORTS INDIA Office Address: 5th Floor, Nizari Bhavan, Menezes Braganza Road, Panaji, Goa - 403 001. Contact Person: Mr. Anil Madgaonkar Location Address Tourism Jetty, Patto, Panaji, Goa. Activities: Fishing, Motor Boat Rides, Scuba Diving, Snorkelling, Water Scooter Rides 3. BOGMALO BEACH PARK PLAZA RESORT Office Address: Bogmalo Beach, Bogmalo, Goa - 403 806. Activities: Body Boards, Motor Boat Rides, Parasailing, Water Scooter Rides, Water Skiing, and Windsurfing 4. DOLPHIN ADVENTURE SPORTS LTD. Office Address: Survey No. 251/25, Kurkuta, Dona Paola, Goa - 403 004. Contact Person: Mr. Malcom Coelho Location Address The Promenade, Ourem Boating Center, Ourem, Patto, Panaji, Goa. Activities: Boating, Entertainment 5. DOMINIC WATER SPORTS Office Address: Sinquerim Beach, Bardez, Goa - 403 519. Activities: Canoeing, Water Scooter Rides, Water Skiing, Windsurfing 6. FORT AGUADA BEACH RESORT Office Address: Sinquerim, Bardez, Goa - 403 519. Contact Person: Mr. Prakash Shirlekar Location Address Sinquerim, Bardez, Goa - 403 519.
Activities: Banana Rides, Coastal Cruise (North Goa), Crocodile Cruise, Dolphin Cruise, Fishing, Jet Ski, Knee Boarding, Parasailing, Ringo Rides, Speed Boating, Water Skiing and Training, Windsurfing and Training, Sailing and Training 7. GOA DIVING Office Address: Joet's GuestHouse, Bogmalo Beach, Vasco, Goa - 403 806. Contact Person: Mr. William Downie Location Address House No. 145P, Chapel Bhat, Chicalim, Goa - 403 711. Activities: Dive Master Course, Guided Dives, Medic First Aid Course, Open Water Diver Course, Rescue Diver Course, Scuba Experience Special Features Own Pool used solely for Goa Diving's Training Courses. 8. GOA TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION Office Address: Lake Resort, Mayem lake, Bicholim, Goa - 403 504. Activities: Dinghy Sailing, Pedal / Rowing Boat Rides, Poly - Cat (2 seater) 9. GOA YACHTING ASSOCIATION Office Address: P.O. Box - 33, Panaji, Goa - 403 001. Activities: Dinghy Sailing, Windsurfing 10. GOAN BANANA'S WATERSPORTS Office Address: Opposite Hacienda Hotel, Baga Road, Calangute, and Goa. Contact Person: Mr. Camilo M. Fernandes Location Address Baga, Calangute and Candolim Beaches. Activities: Backwater Crocodile Cruise, Banana Rides, Boat Rides, Bumper Rides, Dolphin Cruise, Fishing, Parasailing, Water Skiing Special Feature Personal Insurance facility is available. 11. HYDRO SPORTS Office Address: Hotel Cidade-de-Goa, Vainguinim Beach, Dona Paula, Goa - 403 004. Activities: Dinghy Sailing, Harpoon Fishing, Kayaking, Motor Boat Rides, Parasailing, Ski Biscuit, Ski Bob, Skurfer, Snorkelling, Sports Fishing, Toboggan, Water Cycle Rides, Water Scooter Rides, Water-skiing, Yacht Sailing 12. NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF WATER SPORTS Office Address: NIWS, Sundial Apts. A.S. Road, Near Doordarshan Kendra, Altinho, Panaji, Goa - 403 001. Contact Person: Mr. Lalit Negi, Manager (Training) Location Address Near Dona Paula Circle, Caranzalem, and Goa. Activities: Technical Courses for Water sports Center Operators - OBM Maintenance, FRP Boat Repair, Life Saving Techniques, PowerBoat Handling, Water sport Management & Communication Skills. Water sport Skill Courses - Windsurfing, Dinghy Sailing, Water Skiing Hire of Equipment - Windsurfs, Sailing Dinghies, Water Skis, Kayaks and Boats Constancy Services for feasibility reports and equipment procurement. Special Feature NIWS is a premier water sports training establishment of the Department of Tourism, Government of India. 13. THE LEELA PALACE GOA Office Address: Mobor, Cavelossim, Salcete, Goa - 403 731. Activities: Boating, Dinghy Sailing, Sailing, Windsurfing 14. VENTURE SPORTS Office Address: Surfside Holiday Home, Candolim Beach, Panaji, Goa - 403 515. Contact Person: Mr. Louis Demello Location Address Candolim Beach (Camotim Vaddo)
Activities: Backwater/Crocodile Cruise, Banana Rides, Body Boarding, Coastal Cruise, Dolphin Cruise, Fishing Trips, Knee Boarding, Parasailing, Ringo Rides, Water Skiing, Windsurfing Special Features Island special cruise includes all drinks, mineral water, soft drink and beer, BBQ Lunch, Rod fishing and Snorkelling (minimum 4 persons) Training for Windsurfing and Water Skiing 15. WATER SPORTS GOA Office Address: Bogmalo Beach, Bogmalo, Goa - 403 806. Activities: Body Boards, Canoeing, Catamaran Rides, Dinghy Sailing, Fishing, Motor Boat Rides, Parascending, Scuba Diving, Snorkelling, Water Scooter Ride, Water Skiing / Fun Skiing, Windsurfing 16. WESTERN INDIA PARAGLIDING ASSOCIATION Office Address: C/o Mr. J. Deshprabhu, Cunha Rivara Road, Panaji, Goa - 403 001. Contact Person: Mr. Jitendra Deshprabhu Location Address Arambol, Pernem, Goa Activities: Training and Tandem Rides off the beautiful coast of Arambol. Equipment’s also available on hire. Paragliding tours throughout Goa on request. Football: Football is another love of Goans. Football first arrived in Goa in 1883. The Goan Football Association, established in 1959, is in the forefront of conducting regular league matches in Goa. Goa is the first ever-Indian state to introduce professional football in the country. The top five Goan football teams are Churchill Brothers Sports Club, Salgaokar Sports Club, Dempo Sports Club, Vasco Sports Club and VLM Sports Club. Goan Footballers have brought many a laurel to the state and the country at national and international arena. Today there are 150 registered football clubs and 3407 registered players in Goa. If you are a football lover and in Goa, to know the latest happening, just get in touch with Goa Football Association, 2nd Floor, Padmavati Towers, 18th June Road, Panaji Goa - 403 001. Trekking: Though Goan inland does not have high mountains, small or medium sizes hills not exceeding a couple of thousand feet in height offer some chances to go for a short trekking. Some old temples are also located on hilltop and trekking the way up amidst a deep jungle is an enjoyable experience. Golf: The Leela Beach and Ramada Renaissance, both in south Goa, have small nine hole courses. Bullfights: It doesn’t pay to be a matador in Goa. Here, bullfights are between two bulls, no matador needed. The fighting season starts around early October and lasts till May. The most popular locations are in one of the villages around Panjim like Taleigao (the most famous fights are held here), Santa Cruz or Caranzalem. They are also held near and around Margo in south Goa at the villages of Velsao and Benaulim. The fights usually begin around 4 PM, after siesta to the sound of taped Konkani music.
Cities of Goa
The scenic capital of Goa, Panaji is located along the river Mandovi. Tiers of white washed red tile - roofed buildings rising up the hillside give it a Mediterranean flavour. Panaji is noted for its fine buildings. Once the Governor's residence, the present Government Secretariat is located along the river and was built at the site of the palace of Adil Shah, the ruler of Bijapur. The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception dominates the City Square and its steps zigzag ups the hill. The Old Latin Quarter of Fontainahas has immense Old World charm. It’s little lanes and stairways going up the hill are lined with quaint street houses with wrought iron balconies. The little Chapel of San Sebastian blends into these surroundings. The Kala
Academy, the focus of all cultural activities in Goa, is a beautifully designed modern complex along the river and close by is the Miramar beach. Margao to the south of Panaji is a major commercial center. It also has some beautiful old houses and churches. The towns of Vasco Da Gama and the Mormugao port are close by. Mapusa is another town with great charm that comes alive each Friday when a local market springs up.
Location: 32-km, northwest Of Mapusa, Goa Also known As: Harmal Famous As A: Fishing Settlement Main Attraction: Beaches and A Freshwater Lake The Countryside Heaven: Of the fishing settlements dotted along the north coast, only Arambol 32-km northwest of Mapusa is remotely geared to tourism - albeit in a very lowkey, low-impact fashion. If one is happy with basic amenities, the village offers two very fine beaches and a healthy dose of peace and quiet. Parties are occasionally held here, drawing revelers across the river from Anjuna and Vagator, but these are rare intrusions into an otherwise tranquil, out of the way enclave. Beaches Of Arambol: Modern Arambol is scattered around an area of high ground west of the main coast road, where most of the buses pull in. From here, a bumpy lane runs downhill, past a large school and the village church, to the more traditional end of the village, clustered under a canopy of widely spaced palm trees. The main beach lays 200m farther along the lane. Strewn with dozens of old wooden fishing boats and a line of tourist café bars, the gently curving bay is good for bathing, but much less picturesque than its neighbour around the corner. The smaller and less frequented of Arambol's two beaches can only be reached on foot by following the stony track over the headland to the north. Beyond an idyllic rockybottomed cove, the trail emerges to a broad strip of soft white sand hemmed in on both sides by steep cliffs. A Freshwater Lake: Behind the surrounding of the second beach lay a small freshwater lake extends along the bottom of the valley into a thick jungle. Hang around the banks of this murky green pond for long enough, and one will probably see a fluorescent yellow human figure or two appear from the bushes at its far end. Fed by boiling Hot Springs, the lake is lined with sulphurous mud, which, when smeared over the body, dries to form a surreal, butter coloured shell. Nearby, in the woods immediately behind the lake, other members of the lunatic fringe have taken to living in the branches of an old tree; the scene resembles a cross between Lord of the flies and apocalypse now. HOW TO GET THERE Road: Buses to and from Panjim pull into Arambol every thirty minutes until noon, and every ninety minutes thereafter, at the small bus stand on the main road. A faster private minibus service from Panjim arrives daily opposite the Chai (tea) stalls at the beach end of the village. Boat: Boats leave here every Wednesday morning for the ninety-minute trip to the Anjuna Flea Market. Tickets should be booked in advance from the Welcome Restaurant by the beach, which also rents out motorcycles. NEARBY CITIES Mapusa: 32-km Vasco-da-Gama: 34-km Panjim: 44-km
Location: Goa Main Attraction: Pololem, Chaudi, and Agonda
The Far South District Of Canacona: Ceded to the Portuguese by the Raja of Sund in the treaty of 1791, Goa's far south - Canacona district - was among the last parts of the territory to be absorbed into the Novas Conquistas, and has retained a distinctly Hindu feel. The area also boasts some of the state's most outstanding scenery. Set against a backdrop of the Jungle covered Sahyadri Hills (an extension of the Western Ghat Range), a string of pearl white coves and sweeping beaches scoop its indented coastline. Enfolded by laterite headlands and colossal piles of back boulders. PRIME ATTRACTION So far, tourism has made little impression on this beautiful landscape. With the exception of the village of Palolem, whose near perfect beach attracts a steady flow of day trippers and longer staying travelers during high season, the coastal settlements remain rooted in a traditional fishing and Todi-tapping economy. Chaudi: Chaudi, 33-km south of Margao, is Canacona district's charmless headquarters. Packed around a noisy junction on the main Panjim-Mangalore highway, it is primarily a transport hub, of interest to visitors only because of its proximity to Palolem, 2-km west. Buses to and from Panjim, Margao, and Karwar in Karnataka Taluka trundle in and out of a scruffy square on the main street, from where taxis and auto rickshaws ferry passengers to the villages scattered across the surroundings fields. The area's only pharmacy stand just off the crossroads, handy if one is staying in Palolem. Agonda: Agonda, 10-km north of Chaudi, can only be reached along the sinuous coast road connecting Cabo De Rama with NH-14 at Chaudi. No signposts mark the turning and few of the tourists that whiz past en route to Palolem pull off here, but the beach, fringed along its entire length by Todi trees, is superb. Its remote location is not the only reason this 3-km spread of white sand has been bypassed by the bulldozers. Villagers here are opposed to any kind of tourist development. At present, there are only two places to stay over here, both situated at the far end of the beach. HOW TO GET THERE Rail: For the last year or two, it has been possible to reach Canacona by direct "Superfast" Express trains from Mumbai, Panjim and Mangalore. Road: The regions main transport artery is the NH-17, which crawls across the Sahyadri and Karmali Ghats towards Karnataka via the district headquarters, Chaudi. Bus services between here and Margao are quite frequent. NEARBY CITIES Margao: 33-km Vasco-da-Gama: 63-km Panjim: 64-km
Location: Bardez Taluka, 13-km South Of Panjim, Goa Pronounced As: Mapsa Main Attraction: The Friday Local Market The ramshackle market town of Mapusa is the district headquarters of Bardez Taluka. If one arrives by road from Mumbai and plan to stay in one of the north Goan resorts, one can jump off the bus here and pick up a local service straight to the coast, rather than continue on to Panjim, 13-km south. The Booming Friday Market: A dusty collection of dilapidated modern buildings scattered around the west facing slope of a low hill, Mapusa is of little more than passing interest in itself, although on Fridays it hosts a lively market (hence the town's name, which derives from the Konkani words for "measure" map. And "fill up", Sa). Calangute and Anjuna may be better stocked with souvenirs, but this bazaar is more authentic. Visitors who have flown straight to Goa, and have yet to experience the rest of India, wander in on Friday mornings to enjoy the pungent aromas of fish, incense, spices and exotics fruit stacked in colourful heaps on the sidewalks.
Local specialties include strings of spicy Goan sausages ('Chourico'), bottles of 'Todi' (fermented palm juice) and large green plantains. One'll also encounter sundry freak shows, from run of the mill snake charmers and kids dressed up as Sadhus to wide-eyed Flagellants, blood oozing out of slashes on their backs. HOW TO GET THERE Road: Other than to shop, one may want to visit Mapusa to arrange onward transport. All buses between Goa and Maharashtra pass through, so one doesn't need to travel to Panjim to book a ticket to Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore or Mangalore. Reservations for private buses can be made at the numerous agents stalls at the bottom of the square, next to where the buses pull in; the Kadamba Terminal - the departure point for long distance state buses and local services to Calangute, Baga, Anjuna, Vagator, Chapora, and Arambol - is five minutes walk down the main road, on the southwest edge of town. One can also get to the coast from Mapusa on one of the motorcycle taxis that wait at the bottom of the square. Rides to Calangute and Anjuna take twenty minutes. Taxis charges are considerably more, but one can split the fare with up to five people. Note: As soon as one-steps off the bus, one will be pestered by touts trying to get one to rent a motorbike. They'll tell one that rates here are lower than on the coast - they are not. Another reason to wait a while is that Mapusa is effectively a "no-go zone" for rented motorbikes, especially on Friday, when the police set up roadblocks on the outskirts of town to collar tourists without international licenses. NEARBY CITIES Panjim: 13-km Vasco-da-Gama: 43-km Margao: 46-km
Location: Salcete Taluka, 33-km From Panjim, Goa Also known As: Madgaon Main Attraction: Lutolim, Chandor Margao is Goa's second largest town and a bustling commercial center. Barely frequented by travelers, this central Goan town has an old-worldly charm about it because of its Old Portuguese churches, and fine country houses decked with dark rosewood furniture. Surrounded by fertile farmland, the town has always been an important agricultural market, and was once a major religious center, with dozens of wealthy temples and Dharamshalas - however; most of these were destroyed when the Portuguese adsorbed the area into their Novas Conquistas during the 17th century. Today, Catholic churches still outnumber Hindu shrines, but Margao has retained a distinctly cosmopolitan feel, largely due to a huge influx of migrant labour from neighbouring Karnataka and Maharashtra. PRIME ATTRACTION The Old Market: If one is arriving in Goa on the Konkan Railway from Mumbai or South India, one will almost certainly have to pause in Margao to pickup onwards transport by road. The other reason to come here is to shop at the town's excellent market. Stretching from the south edge of the main square to within a stone's throw of the old railway station, the Bazaar centers on a labyrinthine covered area that's a rich source of authentic souvenirs and a good place to browse. CHURCHES: The Stately Church Of The Holy Spirit: While one is here, take a short rickshaw ride north to the Stately Church of the Holy Spirit, in the heart of a disheveled but picturesque colonial enclave. Presiding over the dusty Largo de Igreja Square, the church, built by the Portuguese in 1675, is one of the finest examples of late-Baroque architecture in Goa, boasting a pristine white façade and an interior dripping with gilt crystal and stucco.
The picturesque farming villages strewed across the verdant countryside around Margao host a scattering of evocative colonial monuments and a handful of Hindu temples that can be visited on day trips from the coast. Lutolim: Peppered around the leafy lanes of Lutolim, 10-km northeast of Margao, are several of Goa's most beautiful colonial mansions, dating from the heyday of the Portuguese empire when this was the countryseat of the territory's top brass. Lying just off the main road, the village is served by eight daily buses from Margao, which drop passengers off on the square in front of a lopsided looking church. The cream of Lutolim's houses lie within walking distance of here nestled in the woods, or along the road leading south. However, visits have to be arranged in advance through the Margao tourist office. Within Loutlim: Pick of the crop in Lutolim is Miranda house, a stone's throw from the square. Fronted by a plain classical façade, the mansion was built in the 1700s, though renovated later following raids by a clan of rebel Rajput bandits. Today, a famous Goan cartoonist, and his family, direct descendants of the wealthy Areca planters who originally owned the surrounding estate occupy it. Route Caetan Miranda house, two minutes' walk south of the square, and Salvador Costa House, tucked away on the western edge of the village, are other mansions worth hunting out; the later is occupied by an elderly lady who only welcomes visitors by appointment. Lutolim's other attraction is the quirky model village cum heritage center, a short way east of the square, called Ancestral Goa. Set up to show visitors a cross section of local village life as it was a hundred years ago, it's a well meaning but ultimately dull exhibition of miniature houses and dressed dummies. Chandor: 13-km east of Margao across the fertile rice fields of Salcete lies sleepy Chandor village, a scattering of tumbledown villas and farmhouses ranged along shady tree-lined lanes. The main reason to venture out here is the splendid Perreira Braganza / Menezes-Braganza house, regarded as the grandest of Goa's colonial mansions. Dominating the dusty Village Square, the house, built in the 1500s by the wealthy Braganza family for their two sons, has a huge double-storeyed façade, with 28 windows flanking its entrance. Braganza de Perreira, the great grandfather of the present owner, was the last knight of the King of Portugal; more recently, Menezes Braganza, a famous journalist and freedom fighter, was one of the few Goan aristocrats to actively oppose Portuguese rule. Forced to flee Chandor in 1950, the family returned in 1962 to find their house, amazingly untouched. The airy tiled interiors of both wings contain a veritable feast of antiques. Furniture enthusiasts, and lovers of rare Chinese porcelain, in particular, will find plenty to drool over, while anyone interested in religious relics should request a glimpse of St. Francis Xavier's diamond-encrusted toenail, recently retrieved from a local bank vault and enshrined in the east wing's tiny chapel. Visitors generally travel to Chandor by taxi but one can also get there by bus from Margao, or by train via Chandragoa station, 1-km northwest. While many people turn up without an appointment, it is still a good idea to call ahead through the tourist office. HOW TO GET THERE Rail: Margao's new Train station, the only stop in Goa for most long distance express services on the Konkan Railway, lies 3-km south of the center. The Reservation office (Monday-Saturday, 8.00 am-4.30 PM, Sunday 8.00 am- 2.00 PM) is divided between the ground and the first floor; bookings for the Superfast Rajdhani Express to Delhi are made at the hatch to the left of the main entrance. Tickets for trains for Mumbai are short in supply so make sure to book the tickets well in advance. There is also a 24-hour Information Center and round-the-clock pre-paid auto rickshaw stand outside the exit.
Road: Local private buses to Colva and Benaulim leave from in front of the Kamat hotel on the east side of Margao's main square. Long distance bus services one can get at the main Kadamba Bus Stand, 3-km further north, on the outskirts of the town. This is also the departure point for interstate services to Magalore, via Chaudi and Gokarn, and for services to Panjim and North Goa. NEARBY CITIES Lutolim: 10-km Chandor: 13-km Vasco-da-Gama: 30-km
Location: 34-km From Panjim, Goa Significance: The Main Port City Of Goa Also known As: Mormugoa Main Attraction: The Marmagoa Fort Close to the important industrial town of Vasco da Gama lies the main port of Goa, in Marmagoa. The town has some industries and not very much else besides the highly dilapidated ruins of a fort, and an ironic history, which classifies it as "the town that never was". A Ruined History: Well, leaving the dramatics aside, Marmagoa was the site that was first chosen to be the capital of the Portuguese Empire. This is why, in 1685, the construction of the fort started along with the founding of a township. The Viceroy even moved to Marmagoa in 1703, but the Maratha warriors (term used for Shivaji and other Hindus originating from Maharashtra, who fought against foreign rulers) attacked the site repeatedly, and Old Goa was made the capital instead. The Port Town: Thus, Marmagoa is more or less the Fatehpur Sikri of Goa, minus the monuments, of course. But with the harbour starts another lore. The port is one of India's finest natural harbours. If one wants to extricate oneself from the beaches, a sunset walk around the harbour can be a pleasant change. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Dabolim, Goa's airport, lies on top of a rocky plateau, 4-km southeast of Vasco da Gama. Rail: The nearest railway station is situated at Vasco da Gama. Road: Arriving by bus from Panjim or Margao, One’ll be dropped off to the situated interstate Kadamba Terminus, 3-km east of the town center from Vasco. From Vasco one can catch ferries to reach Margao harbour. NEARBY CITIES Vasco da Gama: 4-km Panjim: 34-km
Location: Goa Also known As: Panaji (The Politically Correct Marathi Name) Significance: Capital of Goa Best Time To Visit: October to March Called Panjim by the Portuguese, Panaji, which means "the land that does not flood" is the state capital of Goa. Unlike many capital cities, Panaji has a distinct unhurried character. It is situated on the southern banks of the Mandovi River, which makes this town all the more charming. The European Ambience: Typical of a Goan town, Panaji is built around a church facing a prominent square. The town has some beautiful Portuguese Baroque style buildings and enchanting old villas. The riverside, speckled with brightly whitewashed houses with wrought iron balconies, offers a fine view. There are some fine government buildings along the riverside boulevard, and the Passport Office is especially noteworthy. In the 16th century, the edifice was the palace of Adil Shah (the Sultan of Bijapur). The Portuguese took over the palace and
constructed the Viceregal Lodge in 1615. In 1843, the structure became the Secretariat, and today it is the Passport Office. Trudge around town in the cobbled alleys to see quaint old taverns and cafés with some atmosphere, and practically no tourists. They are a good place to meet the local people. The Largo Da Igreja Church Square is a fine illustration of the awesome Portuguese Baroque style. The Church of the Immaculate Conception is easily one of the most elegant and picturesque monuments in Goa. Built in 1541 AD, atop a high, symmetrical, crisscrossing stairway, the church is a white edifice topped with a huge bell that stands in between two delicate Baroque style towers. The Braganza Institute, houses the tiled frieze, which depicts the 'mythical' representation of the colonization of Goa by the Portuguese. Fountainheads is a lovely old residential area amidst shady cobbled streets connecting red-tile-roofed houses with overhanging balconies, much like a country town in Spain or Portugal. PANJIM AND CENTRAL GOA Take any mid sized Portuguese town add a sprinkling of banana trees and autorickshaws, drench annually with torrential tropical rain, and leave to simmer in fierce humid sunshine for at least one hundred and fifty years, and One’ll end up with something like Panjim. The Goan capital has a completely different feel from any other Indian city. History For centuries, Panjim was little more than a minor landing stage and customs house, protected by a hilltop fort, and surrounded by stagnant swampland. It only became capital in 1843, after the port at Old Goa had silted up, and its rulers and impoverished inhabitants had fled the plague. Although the last Portuguese Viceroy managed to drain many of the nearby marshes, and erect imposing public buildings on the new site, the town never emulated the grandeur of its predecessor upriver --a result, in part, of the Portuguese nobles' predilection for erecting their mansions in the countryside rather than the city. Panjim expanded rapidly in the 1960s and 1970s, without reaching the unmanageable proportions of other Indian State capitals. After Mumbai or even Bangalore, its uncontested streets seem easygoing and pleasantly parochial. Sights are thin on the ground but the palm-linth squares and atmospheric Latin Quarter with its picturesque neoclassical houses and catholic churches make a pleasant backdrop for aimless wandering. Worth A Visit although one can completely bypass the town when one arrives in Goa, either by jumping off the train or coach at Margao or Mapusa or by heading straight off on a local bus, it's definitely worth spending time here. If only a couple of hours en route to the ruined former capital at Old Goa. The area around Panjim attracts far fewer visitors than the coastal resorts, yet its paddy fields and wooded valley harbour several attractions worth a day or two's break from the beach. Old Goa is just a bus ride away, as are the unique temples around Ponda, an hour or so southeast, to where Hindus smuggled their deities during the inquisition. Further inland still, the forested lower slopes of the Western Ghats, cut through by the main Panjim- Bangalore highway, shelter the impressive Dudhsagar falls, which one can only reach by four-wheel drive jeep. PRIME ATTRACTION The Town: Until a decade ago, most visitors' first glimpse of Panjim was from the decks of the Old Bombay steamer as it chugged into dock at the now defunct ferry ramp. These days, however, despite the recent inauguration of the Konkan railway, and Damania's catamaran service from Mumbai, the town is most usually approached by road - from the north via the huge Ferro-concrete bridge that spans the Mandovi estuary, or from the south on the recently revamped NH-7, which links the capital with the airport
and railhead at Vasco da Gama. Either way, one will have to pass through the suburb of Pato, home of the main Kadamba Bus Terminal, before crossing Ourem Creek to arrive in proper Panjim. West of Fontainhas, the picturesque Portuguese quarter, the commercial center’s grid of long straight streets fans out west from Panjim's principal landmark, Church Square. Further north, the main thoroughfare, Avenida Dom Joao Castro, sweeps past the Head Post Office and Secretariat Building, before bending west along the waterfront. Church Square: The leafy rectangular park opposite the Indian Government Tourist Office, known as Church Square or the municipal garden, forms the heart of Panjim. Presiding over its East Side is the town's most distinctive and photogenic landmark, the toothpaste white baroque façade of the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Flanked by rows of slender palm trees, at the head of a crises-crossing laterite walkway, the church was built in 1541 for the benefit of sailors arriving here from Lisbon. The weary mariners would stagger up from the quay to give thanks for their safe passage before proceeding to the capital at Old Goa - the original home of the enormous bell that hangs from its central gable. The Secretariat: The road that runs north from the church brings you out at the riverside near Panjim's oldest surviving building. With its sloping tiled roofs, carved stone coats of arms and wooden verandahs, the stalwart secretariat looks typically colonial. Yet it was originally The Summer Palace of Goa's 16th century Muslim ruler, the 'Adil Shah. Later, the Portuguese converted it into a temporary rest house for the territory's Governors and then a residence for the Viceroy. Today, it accommodates the Goan State Legislature. Hundred meters east from the building is situated a peculiar statue of a man holding his hands over the body of an entranced reclining woman shows Abbe Farin, a Goan priest who emigrated to France to become one of the world's first professional hypnotists. Fontainhas: Panjim's oldest and most interesting district, Fontainhas, lies immediately west of Pato, overlooking the banks of the oily green Ourem Creek. From the footbridge between the bus stand and town center, a dozen or so blocks of neoclassical houses raise in a tangle o terracotta rooftops up the sides of Altinho Hill. At siesta time, Vespas stand idle on deserted street corners, while women in western clothes exchange pleasantries with their neighbours from open windows and leafy verandahs. Many building have retained their traditional coat of ochre, pale, yellow, green or blue- a legacy of the Portuguese insistence that every Goan building should be colour washed after monsoons. The Chapel Of St. Sebastian: At the southern end of the neighborhood, the pristine whitewashed Chapel of St. Sebastian is one of many Goan churches to remain faithful to the old colonial decree. It stands at the end of a small square where Fontainhas' Portuguese speaking locals hold a lively annual street fiesta to celebrate their patron Saint's day in mid-November. The eerily lifelike crucifix inside the chapel, brought here in 1812, formerly hung in the palace of the inquisition in Old Goa. Unusually, Christ's eyes are open - allegedly to inspire fear in those being interrogated by the inquisitors. Sao Tome: Sao Tome ward is the other old quarter, lying north of Fontainhas on the far side of Emilio Gracia Road. This is the area to head for if one fancy a bar crawl: the narrow streets are dotted with dozens of hole-in-the -wall taverns, serving cheap, stiff measures of rocket fuel 'Feni' under strip lights and the watchful gaze of colourful Madonnas. The State Archeological Museum: The most noteworthy feature of Panjim's state archeological museum is its imposing size, which stands in glaringly inverse proportion to the scale of the collection inside. In their bid to erect a structure befitting a state capital, Goa's status-obsessed bureaucrats ignored the fact that there was precious little to put in it. The only rarities to be found amid the lame array of temple sculpture, hero-
stones and dowdy colonial era artefacts are a couple of beautiful Jain bronzes rescued by customs and excise officials from smugglers and, on the ground floor, photos of the prehistoric rock carvings at Usgalimal. HOW TO GET THERE Air: European Charter planes and domestic flights from Mumbai, Bangalore, Kochi (Cochin), Delhi, Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram arrive at Goa's Dabolim airport, 29km south of Panjim on the outskirts of Vasco Da Gama, Goa's second city. Pre-paid taxis into town booked at the counter in the forecourt, can be shared by up to four people. Rail: Panjim is also connected by rail from Bombay, Bangalore, Hyderabad and New Delhi. The nearest railway station is Vasco-da-Gama, which is situated 30-km away from the capital city. Road: Long-distance and local buses pull into Panjim at the town's busy Kadamba Bus Terminal, 1-km east of the center in the district of Pato. Local Transport: The most convenient way of getting around Panjim is by auto rickshaw; flag one down at the roadside or head for one of the ranks around the city. The only city buses likely to be of use to visitors run to Dona Paula from the main bus stand via several stops along the esplanade, and Miramar beachfront. If you feel up to taking on Panjim's anarchic traffic, bicycles can be rented from a stall up the lane opposite the head post office. Music And Dance: Regular recitals of classical Indian music and dance are held at Panjim's school for the performing arts, the Kala Academy in Campal, at the far west end of town on Devanand Bandodkar Road. For details of forthcoming events consult the boards in front of the auditorium or the listing page of local newspaper. NEARBY CITIES Margao: 30-km Vasco-da-Gama: 30-km Mapusa: 13-km Calangute: 16-km Dabolim: 30-km Terechol: 42-km Malem: 50-km Dudhsagar: 60-km Marwar: 103-km Londa: 106-km
Location: Goa Nearby Attractions: Arambol & Terekol Fort Pernem And The Far North: Sandwiched between the Chapora and Arondem rivers, the predominantly Hindu Taluka of Pernem --in the Novas Conquistas area - is Goa's northernmost district and one of its least explored regions. A Coastal Attraction: Apart from the fishing village of Arambol, which attracts a trickle of backpackers seeking a rustic alternative to the resorts south of the river Chapora, the beautiful Pernem coastline of long sandy beaches, lagoons and coconut plantations has few settlements equipped to cope with visitors. However, the picturesque, if bumpy, journey north from Arambol to Terekol fort, on the Maharashtrian border, provides ample incentive to spend a day away from the beach. HOW TO GET THERE Boat: Heading to Pernem from Anjuna, Vagator, or Chapora, one has to travel a few kilometers inland to pick up the Main Calangute Road, as it runs north over a low ridge of laterite hills, to the river crossing at Siolim. Boatmen sometimes paddle tourists over the estuary from Chapora too, although their dugouts are unstable when laden with passengers and they can't carry motorbikes. The two car ferries that chug back and forth across the river from the ramp at Siolim remain the only dependable link, and one of the high points of the journey north. Once across the river, head straight on until one reaches a fork in the road, where a sign to "Harmal/Terekol" marks the quick route to Arambol. NEARBY CITIES Mapusa: 32-km Vasco-da-Gama: 34-km Panjim: 44-km
Location: 28-km Southeast of Panjim, Goa Main Attractions: Sri Mangesh Temple, Sri Mahalasa Temple & Safa Mosque Significance: Administrative Headquarters & The Main Market Town Ponda can be described as the Hindu heart of Goa. It is famous for the five important temples that are situated around the town, and also has the largest mosque I n Goa. Most of these temples look relatively new as they have been restored after being destroyed by the Portuguese. That explains why there are no temples around the coast, which was the prime territory of the Portuguese. Ponda is also an important transport link. Safa Mosque: Adil Shah constructed the Safa Mosque (also known as Safa Shahouri Masjid) in 1560. The architectural style of the mosque is predominantly Goan, with the exception of the arches that indicate a distinct Bijapuri influence. The mosque has a beautiful backdrop of wooded low hills that rise in the background. TEMPLES AROUND PONDA: Scattered among the lush valleys and forests around Ponda are a dozen or so Hindu temples founded during the 17th centuries, when this hilly region was a Christian free haven for Hindus fleeing persecution by the Portuguese. Although the temples themselves are fairly modern by Indian standards, their deities are ancient and held in high esteem by both local people and thousands of pilgrims from Maharashtra and Karnataka. The temples are concentrated in two main clusters: the first to the north of Ponda, on the busy NH4, and the second deep in the countryside, around 5 km west of the town. Most people only manage the Shri Manguesh and Shri Mahalsa, between the villages of Mardol and Priol. Among the most interesting temples in the state, they lay just a stone's throw from the main highway and are passed by regular buses between Panjim and Margao via Ponda. The others are farther off the beaten track, although they are not hard to find on motorbikes: locals will wave you in the right direction if you get lost. Sri Mangesh Temple: The 18th century, Sri (also spelt as Shri) Mangesh (also spelt as Manguesh) Temple, lies on the north west of Ponda in Priol. Considered to be the most important temple in Goa, it belongs to the typical Goan Hindu temple style of architecture, which is a curious mix of the Hindu and Portuguese style. This picturesque little temple is built on a hilltop amidst sprawling farmlands. The temple has shrines of Parvati (consort of Shiva - Destroyer of the Universe) and Ganesha (the elephant-god of Prosperity and Wisdom). A beautiful seven-storeyed "Deepstambha" (lamp tower), typical of Goan temple architecture, stands in the temple complex. Mahalasa Narayani Temple: 2-km from the Shri Mangesh Temple, is the Mahalsa Narayani Temple. The Vishnu (Preserver of the Universe) Temple is known for the 'Garuda' pillar (the half-man half-eagle vehicle of Lord Vishnu), which stands on the back of a turtle with Garuda perched on top of it. The temple also has a "Deepstambha", and finely carved columns depicting the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Nagesh Temple: The Nagesh Temple is situated 4-km west of Ponda. 'Nagesh' (also spelt as Naguesh) or the 'God of Serpents' refers to Lord Shiva (Destroyer of the Universe). The temple was built in 1413. The 'Mandapa' (an assembly hall, generally pillared, preceding the sanctum sanatorium) has woodcarvings that narrate stories from the Hindu epics - 'Ramayana' and 'Mahabharata'. The temple compound also houses a five-storeyed "Deepstambha". Not far from the Nagesh Temple, is located the Mahalakshmi Temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga (the Goddess of War). According to the date inscribed in Marathi on the temple, the monument could have been built in 1413. Shantadurga Temple: Set amidst tranquill forests and hills, the Shantadurga Temple lies 3-km from Ponda in Queula. Shantadurga, one of the consorts of Shiva, is a form of
Durga (the Goddess of War) and the Goddess of Peace. Legend has it that once; the Destroyer and the Preserver had a mammoth fight that plunged the entire universe into chaos. Shantadurga stepped in as the arbitrator and succeeded in reconciling the warring parties, thus saving the universe from eternal doom. Hence, she stands in the temple shrine in between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu (Preserver of the Universe) as a symbol of peace. The Shantadurga Temple was built in 1738, and is the biggest temple in Goa. A distinctive six-storeyed Deepstambha and 'Ratha' (chariot) with some gilt work adorn the temple grounds. It is interesting to note that amongst some other features of the temple, the dome shows a definite influence of Church architecture. HOW TO GET THERE Road: Ponda is served by regular buses from Panjim and Margao, and lies on the main route east to Karnataka. The Kadamba Bus Stand is on the main square, next to the auto-rickshaw rank. NEARBY CITIES Panjim: 28-km
VASCO DA GAMA
Location: 29-km Southwest of Panjim, Goa Significance: A Key Shipping Center Vasco da Gama, 29-km by road southwest of Panjim, sits on the narrow western tip of the Marmagoa (also known as Mormugao) peninsula, overlooking the mouth of the Zuari River. Acquired by the Portuguese in 1543, this strategically important site was formerly among the busiest ports on India's West Coast. It remains a key shipping center, with container vessels and iron ore barges clogging the choppy river mouth, but holds nothing of interest for visitors, particularly since the completion of the Konkan Railway, when Goa's main railhead shifted from here to Margao. The only conceivable reason one might want to come to Vasco is to catch a bus to Dabolim airport, of Bogmalo beach, 8-km southeast. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Dabolim, Goa's airport, lies on top of a rocky plateau, 4-km southeast of Vasco da Gama. A large new civilian terminal was recently constructed at this naval aerodrome to accommodate Goa's rapidly increasing air traffic, but to avoid delays aim to check in well in advance. Rail: Vasco is laid out in a grid, bordered by Marmagao bay to the north, and by the railway line on its southern side. Apart from the cluster of oil storage tanks, the town's most prominent landmark is the railway station at the south end of the main Dr. Rajendra Prasad Avenue. Road: Arriving by bus from Panjim or Margao, you'll be dropped off at the Interstate Kadamba Terminus, 3-km east of the town center. Local minibuses ferry passengers from here to the more central market bus stand. At local minibuses ferry passengers from here to the more central market bus stand, at the top of the square, where buses from Dabolim airport also pull in. Auto-rickshaws, and Ambassador and motorcycle taxis, hang around on the corner of Swatantra Path and Dr. Rajendra Prasad Avenue, near the station and the small cycle rental stall. NEARBY CITIES Marmagoa: 4-km Panjim: 29-km
Temples in Goa
Goa's many charming temples are built in a style that incorporates Hindu, Islamic and Christian architectural elements. Many are located in the vicinity of Ponda. These complexes have elaborate Deep Stambhas, domes in place of shikharas, which are
crowned by Kalasas, saracenic arches, traditional Mandapas and temple tanks. Among the most revered temples in this area are the Sri Mangueshi Temple at Priol, the Sri Naugesh Temples, the temple of Sri mahalasa Narayan, a folk deity, the Sri Ramnathi Temple at Kavalem and the Sri shantadurga, a shrine to Durga worshipped unusually in a peaceful avatar. Do not forget to visit the sole surviving example of the Kadamba architecture at Tamdi Surla known as the Mahadeva temple.
SRI ANANTA TEMPLE
Location: Ponda Taluka, Sovol Verem, Near Marcela, Maharashtra Presiding Deity: Anant Sheshashayi This is one of the famous temples situated in Ponda Taluka at Sovoi Verem a few km from Marcela. This is the only temple of Ananata in Goa. Water and beautiful scenery surround it on all sides. Besides the main deity Anant Sheshashayi, the complex also has Shantadurga, Kamini, Narayan and Grampurush temples. The idol of Ananta is carved in black stone. Though the structure of the temple is small it is quite inviting. The pillar decoration is very minute and full of intricate designs. The brass stand on the lamp the special illumination stands or "Deepmala" are sacred objects of worship.
SRI BHAGAVATI AND SRI SAPTESHWAR TEMPLES
Location: In Pernem Taluka, Near Morjim, Goa Presiding Deity: Bhajnisaptah Not far from Morjim are two temples namely, Bhagavati and Parshem and Sapteshwar Bhagamati at Mandrem in Pernem Taluka. The principal festival observed are the 7 days "Bhajanisaptah" at Mandrem, which is celebrated in Kartika. The Zatra, Dussehra and "Shimgo" are other festivals, which are attended by large crowds. Surrounding the main temples can be seen some exquisitely sculptured ancillary deities.
SRI CHANDRESHWAR TEMPLE
Location: Chandranath Hill, Goa Presiding Deity: Lord Chandreshwar On way back from Zambaulim one can take a slight diversion at Paroda to proceed to the Chandranath hill and climb the huge granite steps to reach to the temple of Sri Chandreshwar. Though a major portion of the approach road to the temple is metalled, only a small portion before campus is provided with granite stone steps. The side altar is that of Sri Bhutnath. Chandranath formed a part of the Bhoja capital Chandrapur. The South Goa Bhojas worshipped the deity years before the Christian era till the middle of the 8th century AD. The temple has the famous Shiva Linga, which was supposed to ooze water with the touch of moonlight. The temple atop the hill has been designed in such a way, that moonlight directly falls on the Shiva Linga on the full moon night. One can have a birds' eye view of a long ending green valley of Salcete and Quepem Taluka from the Chandranath hill.
SRI DAMODAR TEMPLE
Location: 22-kms From Margao, Goa Presiding Deity: Lord Damodar Also known As: Damubab Main Festivity: Gulal Festival Situated in the idyllic surroundings of Zambaulim and on the banks of the river Kushavati is the temple of Sri Damodar. The deity was shifted to this place from Margao in the 16th century. Located 22-km from Margao City, the headquarters of South Goa district, Sri Damodar or simply "Damubab" to the faithful, continues to be the patron deity of the people of
Margao. The Gulal festival of colour in the month of Phalguna is the biggest attraction at the Zambaulim temple.
SRI DEVAKI KRISHNA TEMPLE
Location: 3-km From Banastri Bridge on Panaji-Ponda Road, Goa Presiding Deity: Lord Krishna 3-km away from Banastari Bridge on Panaji -Ponda Road is situated the noteworthy temple dedicated to Devaki Krishna at Marcel. The deity is said to have been brought from Chorao in Tiswadi to Mayem in Bicholim and then shifted to its present place during the days of religious persecution by the alien rulers. The Garbha Griha contains the beautiful idol of Devaki and Lord Krishna. The idol of Devaki is in standing posture with a child Krishna, sitting astride her hip. This particular pose is considered to be unique in Goa. The idols are beautifully carved in black stone. The major festival is Malni Purnima from Paush Vadya is celebrated over here with great fervour and excitement.
SRI KALIKA TEMPLE
Location: Gillage Kansarpal, Near Assonora, Mapusa, and North Goa Presiding Deity: Goddess Kali (Rudra Form of Goddess Durga) Main Devotees: Daivadnya Brahmans One of the most important Hindu monuments in North Goa is the temple dedicated to Sri Kalika situated in the Gillage Kansarpal near Assonora, a few kilometers away from the Mapusa town. The Daivadnya Brahmans are the main devotes of this deity. A huge gold "Kalash" atop the dome of the temple beckons thousands of devotees and inquisitive visitors to this otherwise secluded place. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali, which is the Rudra form of Goddess Durga. The temple represents a fine blend of aesthetics and architectural designs.
SRI KAMAKSHI TEMPLE
Location: 12-km From Kavalem, Goa Presiding Deity: Goddess Kamakshi (An Incarnation OF Goddess Kamakhya) Main Attraction: A Temple Dedicated to Lord Rayeshwara. About 12-km from Kavalem is situated another important religious monument which is dedicated to Sri Kamakashi. The deity is believed to have come from Kamakhya, Guwahati in Assam, which is her original abode. In Goa, the original location of Sri Kamakshi temple was Raia in Salcete Taluka. But alien rulers subsequently shifted the deity to Shiroda village in Ponda Taluka due to religious persecution. The place where temple is has an ancient name "Shivagram". Of the smaller temples present in the complex there is the one dedicated to Lord "Rayeshwara". People irrespective of religious faith and hailing originally from Raia, still venerate Sri Kamaksha.
Location: In Village Sal, 5-km From Kasarpal Main Festivity: Gade Festival Just 5-km from Kasarpal is another temple complex with beautiful natural surroundings at village Sal, which is soon going to be converted into a tourist village. The Festivity: The temple is famous all over Goa and Sindhudurg district for its annual festival of "Gade", which is a three-day religious affair from Phalgun Vadya 1 to 3. Devotees believe that people can have Darshan of 'Devchar' at night during the festival and hence the Gade attracts huge crowds even from urban areas of Goa.
Presiding Deity: Goddess Lakshmi Nearby Attraction: Sri Maruti Temple The temple tour can be resumed by offering prostrations unto Goddess Mahalakshmi, the presiding deity of Panaji, the capital of Goa. The main temple has been reconstructed recently. The main festivals at this temple are Navaratri and Chaitra Purnima. A kilometre away and perched on the Altinho hillock overlooking the Mandovi River is the temple of Sri Maruti, which is equally patronised by the city dwellers. The Maruti Zatra in the month of February draws large crowds of devotees from far and nears.
Location: Village Mardol, 1-km From Mangueshi, Goa Presiding Deity: Manifestation of Lord Vishnu as Mohini. Houses: A Huge Dipa Stambha Hardly one kilometre away from Mangueshi is the village Mardol where nestles the temple of Sri Mahalasa. While it is commonly understood that Mahalasa is a form of "Shakti", "Madalasa" or "Narayani", the deity is also being worshipped as the manifestation of Lord Vishnu as "Mohini". A huge 'Dipa Stambha' made of five metals greets the visitors at the entrance of the temple, which was built in the 17th century. It has exquisite wooden carvings of ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Huge round pillars held the 'Sabhamandapa' at the entrance, which is being reconstructed to recapture the glorious past of the original temple situated at Verna in "Salcete Taluka".
SRI MANGUESH TEMPLE
Location: Mangueshi, Ponda Taluka, 23-km From Panaji, Goa Presiding Deity: Lord Shiva Houses: A Lamp Tower, A Welcome Gate, And A Noubatkhana & Agarshalas. Sri Manguesh temple at Mangueshi in Ponda Taluka, the most prominent among temples, is situated along the National Highway-4A about 23-km from Panaji. This temple is famous for its pristine glory, which attracts thousands of visitors every year and is gifted by the Welcome Gate, an elegant lamp tower, a "Noubatkhana" overlooking the temple tank and the "Agrashalas" on three sides. Although the Sri Manguesh temple originally stood in a secret location in Cortalim, and was moved to its present site between Mardol and Priol during the 16th century, the structure visitors see today dates from the 1700s. Within The Temple Enclosure: A gateway at the roadside leads to a paved path and courtyard that leads to a water tank, overlooked by the white temple building, raised on a plinth. Also in the courtyard is a seven-storey 'Deepmal', a tower for oil lamps. Inside, the floor is paved with marble, and bands of decorative tiles emblazon the white walls. Flanked by large 'Dvarpala' guardians, embossed silver doorways with florite designs lead to the sanctum, which houses a Shiva Lingam. A golden "Shesha" besides the Linga and an image of Shiva constitute the main altar. Lore has it that Parvati; the heavenly consort of Lord Shiva came to Goa in search of her spouse who had disappeared from Kailasa following an altercation between them. The Lord tried to frighten her by appearing in the form of a tiger. Parvati beseeched Shiva to protect her in these terms. Trahi Mam Girisha (protect me the Lord of mountains). "Mam Girisha" subsequently became "Mangirisha" or "Manguesh". The temple is small yet grand with all the component of a Hindu temple, like the Prakara, mini shrines, Garbha Griha, grand towers and spacious courtyards. The entire complex, due to outlandish impact looks like a Gurdwara or palatial mansion, but when entering the complex, one finds our Hindu traditional gods and their accommodation according to Shastric injunctions. Its citizens and tourists offer devout worship to this deity as well.
Festivals and commendable.
Location: Morjim, Prename Taluka, 15-km From Mapusa, Goa Main Festivity: Kalash AutoSave This is yet another temple situated at Morjim in Pernem Taluka, which is about 15-km from Mapusa. The temple complex is situated around sylvan surroundings. The Festivities: The main festival is "Kalash AutoSave" which is celebrated every three, five, seven or nine years. Duration of the festival is nearly a month, beginning from "Phalgun Shush Panchami". The concluding 7 days is a big cultural and religious affair when people not only from Goa, but also from Sindhudurga in Maharashtra and Karwar in Karnataka assemble in large numbers. Other festivals that are celebrated at this temple site are Gudi Padva, Dussehra, Zatra, "Divjam" and "Ghode Mundim".
SRI NAGUESH TEMPLE
Location: Goa Presiding Deity: Lord Ganesh Renovated: In Chtrapati Shahu Era The Naguesh temple with old scriptures on stone at Nagueshim, the Mahalakshmi at Nagueshim Bandora, the Ramnath temples at Ramnathi and Shantadurgta temple at Kavalem. The Ganesh temple has been bequeathed to posterity but the temple was subsequently renovated in the days of Chatrapati Shahu, the Maratha ruler of Satara. The galleries of the Sabhamantapa contain exquisite specimen of intricate woodcarvings of famous episodes from Ramayana on one side and wooden images of "Astadikpal" and "Gandharva".
SRI NAVDURGA AT MADKAI
Location: Village Marcaim, 9-km East Of Ponda, Goa Presiding Deity: Navdurga 9-km to the east of Ponda in the village Marcaim amidst sylvan background is situated the temple of Navdurga. The temple is said to be about 500 years old and was renovated in 1603 AD. In the center or Garbhagriha of the temple is a stone idol of the Goddess placed on a raised platform. The idol in standing position is four feet and her peculiarity lies in her pose; that is her neck, which is slightly bent to the left, and she is in the form of "Mahisasurmardini". The annual fair from Kartika Vadya 4 to 10 is considered to be a religious gathering in which people participate in large number. As one proceeds further, one comes across a string of beautiful temples nestling amidst swaying palms and abundant greenery. They include the Ganesh Temple at Farmagudi, which is known for the visit of Maratha warrior "Sambhaji
SRI RAMNATHI TEMPLE
Location: Goa Presiding Deity: Ramanathi (An Incarnation of Lord Shiva) Worshipped By: Shaivites & Vaishnavites Built In: 1566 AD Situated close to the temple of Naugesh is the temple of Ramnathi. The deity is incarnation of Lord Shiva and is equally revered by both Shaivites and Vaishnavites. Lord Ramnath is the form of Shiva worshipped by Lord Rama before embarking on the Sri Lanka campaign to free Goddess Sita from the clutches of Ravana. It is famous for its serene atmosphere. The temple was built around 1566 AD and was renovated in 1905. The "Sabhamantapa", however, is a recent addition.
NARVEN- BICHOLIM SRI SAPTAKOTEESWARA TEMPLE
Location: 37-km From Panaji, Goa Presiding Deity: Lord Shiva Houses: Dhara-Linga Architecture: Medieval Architecture Style As one tries to return to Panaji from Harvalem, one can visit the famous temple of Sri Saptakoteshwar Naroa, Bicholim. Sri Saptakoteshwara was the patron deity of the Kadamb as who had built a beautiful temple dedicated to this deity at the Diwar Island. The invading foreign rulers destroyed the temple and built a chapel dedicated to Candelaria in 1641 AD. The devotees shifted the image of Sri Saptakoteshwara to Naroa then. It was Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaja who ordered renovation of the temple in 1668. An Abode of Shavaite Worshippers: The Kadamba kings were staunch Shaivaites and patronised the arts to a commendable degree that deserves emulation more than appreciation. Their gigantic temples adorned with superb sculpture and architectural Excellencies, though built some seven centuries back, are still beckoning the attention of the theists and tourists. Despite they’re external grandeur and magnificence being tested by the vagaries of time; their spiritual effulgence is still illumining the paths of the earnest seekers. The Shiva temples built at Tambdisurla and Naven-Bicholim are testifying to the rulers' devotional zeal and their care for public zeal. An Example of Medieval Architecture: The famous Saptakoteshwara temple is a standing specimen of medieval architectural style and mirrors the rulers' refinement and artists, superior craftsmanship. It is elegantly beautified with sculptural adornments. It is a big temple with imposing tower, vast courtyards and several mini-shrines for all the premier Shaivate gods. The Archamurti- Shivalinga is called "Dhara-Linga". Its majesty and glistening polish forces one to raise his hands and fills the souls with bliss. It was the favored deity of the kings.
SRI SHANTADURGA TEMPLE
Location: Kavalem, Goa Presiding Deity: Goddess Shantadurga Built In: 1728 AD Built During: The Reign of Shahu Maharaja of Satara There is the famous temple of Sri Shantadurga the goddess of peace who is said to have settled a quarrel between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu amicably. Sri Shantadurga is worshipped all over Goa and scores of temples have been devoted to this deity. At several places several names, “Thamai”, “Sateri”, “Bhumka”, “Adimaya” and others know it. Situated at the foothill of Kavalem, the Shantadurga temple boasts of a huge tank, a Dipa Stambha and Agrashalas. The temple was built in 1728 AD during the reign of Shahu Maharaja of Satara at the request of one of his ministers, Naro Ram Mantri. The original site of Sri Shantadurga temple is Kardelivana of Quelossim in Mormugao Taluka, where the great bard Krishnadas Shama penned the epic "Sri Krishna Charita" probably in the 14th century on the lines of Dnyaneshwari.
Location: Fatorpa in Quepem Taluka, Goa Presiding Deity: Goddess Shantadurga Worshipped By: Hindus & Christians Main Festivity: Jajrotsva Festival Situated at Fatorpa in Quepem Taluka, the temple dedicated to Shantadurga was originally from Cuncolim and hence, the deity is known as "Shantadurga Kukalienkarin".
The idol is made of five metals and is one foot in height. The deity is known as "Jagrit Devta" and holds in its arms a shield and a Trishula. Hindus and Christian’s alike worship Shantadurga, as the devotees believe that she asks in their dreams anything she likes and they offer the things demanded by Goddess with great veneration. Hence, the temple has much religious sanctity. The principal festival is "Jatrotsava", which attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over Goa.
SRI SHARVANI DEVASTHAN, ADVALPAL
Location: Advolpale, North Goa Presiding Deity: Goddess Shravani Main Festivities: Vardhpan Day, Divja Jatra Day & Annual Jatra Day Complex comprises of temples of Jagrut Swayambhu, Goddess Sharvani, Mahadev and Vetal with his life image of stone and other deities. Situated in scenic surroundings at Advolpale in North Goa, 2½-km from Assonora on the Pirna main road. The temple was shifted from Salgaon, Bardez, first to Ajgaon, Sawantwadi at the end of the 16th century and then to this place during Portuguese regime. Salgaonkars, both Brahmin and Non-Brahmin Petkar families are 'Mahajans'. Goddess is known for fulfilling vows of her devotees through 'Kaul Prasad'. Devotees also perform "Tulabhar" to propitiate her. Thousands of devotees throng on "Vardhpan Day", "Divja Jatra Day" and annual Jatra Day on Margashirsh Shukla, 3 in November/ December when procession of Goddesses is taken out in decorated chariots.
SRI VITHAL TEMPLE
Location: Sanquelim, Goa Re-Build In: 1942 AD From Kansarpal one can proceed to Sanquelim, the hometown of the Ranes of Satari who played key role in Goa's freedom struggle. The ancestors of the present Rane family, who are believed to have migrated to Goa from Udaipur about 600 years ago, built the famous Sri Vithal temple situated on the bank of Valvanta River. The temple was reconstructed in 1942 AD, incorporating the North India style of temple architecture though sanctum-sanctorium was left untouched. The main festivities at the temple are held during the nine days preceding "Chairtra Purnima". An exquisitely carved wooden chariot symbolising the chariot of Arjuna of Mahabharata and driven by Lord Krishna is an important attraction of the temple complex.
Location: Tambdi Surla, 69-km From Panaji, Goa Presiding Deity: Lord Shiva Built In: 12th Century Architecture: Yadava Style Architecture Style During the reign of Kadambas, in the 13th century, the Goan territory thrived in all directions due to benign administration of the enlightened rulers. Several temples were built for all the gods of Hindu Pantheon, like Nageswar, Vithal, Santadurga, Mahalaxmi (also spelt as Mahalakshmi), Ramnath, etc. Unfortunately, most of them were razed to ground by the aliens, who are aliens to culture and refinement. After more than 400 years of darkness, some of the surviving shrines opened their doors to carry on activities for public benefit. On account of foreign impact, many temples seem to be putting on a veneer of western civilization, but deep examination shows, that the core of Hindu culture remained untainted, immaculate and dynamic. Keeping Intact The Hindu Cultural Heritage: In the temples renovated or built afresh, as in the past, "Agamic Puja", with all rituals, is being conducted demonstrating that the
much-adorned Hinduism has not lost its vitality, nor has bartered away its glory during the foreign rule. The Mahadev temple at Tambdi Surla where ancient traditions are followed serves as an example to this. Situated in West Goa, the Mahadeva Temple in Tambdi Surla is the state's only prominent reminder of the pre-Portuguese temple architecture. Maintained by the ASI (Archeological Survey of India), this 12th century temple boasts of some fine relief's on the 'Shikhara' (spire) depicting a plethora of gods and goddesses. It was built in the Yadava style of architecture with all the necessary parts, like Garbha Griha, Mukhamandapa, Mini-shrines, etc. and presents an extremely grand look. Do not miss the impressive carved wall near the entrance, and the chiselled monolith pillars. HOW TO GET THERE Road: The temple site lies 69-km off Panaji, in the Sangham Taluk at the feet of the Western Ghats and is accessible by four wheelers.
Goa with its marvelous, unspoilt expanses of palm fringed beaches, warmed by the sun and the local hospitality, relaxed lifestyles enlivened by the love of music and dance and tantalizing cuisine, makes a heady mixture too good to resist. More than 450 years of Portuguese rule proceeded by Hindu and Muslim supremacy have made "Sunny Goa" an exciting amalgam of cultures. Imposing churches, forts perched on high promontories, delightful old mansions and villas and picturesque whitewashed villages set amidst velvety paddy fields are all a part of this exciting heritage.
Location: 18-km From Panaji, Old Goa Built By: Portuguese Built In: 1609-1612 Houses: The Central Jail And A 19th Century Lighthouse A spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that called there, giving it the name "Aguada" (meaning 'water' in Portuguese). On the northern side, it provides a harbour for local shipping. The fort, at present, houses the central jail. A 19th century built lighthouse is situated inside the fortress. Immediately south of Candolim, a long peninsula extends into the sea, bringing the seven-kilometre white sandy beach to an abrupt end. Aguada Fort, which crowns the rocky flattened top of the headland, is the best-preserved Portuguese bastion in Goa. Built in 1612 to protect the northern shores of the Mandovi estuary from Dutch and Maratha raiders, it is home to several natural springs, the first source of drinking water available to ships arriving in Goa after the long sea voyage from Lisbon. PRIME ATTRACTION On the north side of the fort, a rampart of red-brown laterite just into the bay to form a jetty between two small sandy coves. This picturesque spot is known as Sinquerim Beach. Fort Aguada resorts, among the most expensive hotels in India; a lord over the beach from the lower slopes of the steep is deed peninsula.
The ruins of the fort can be reached by road; head through the Taj village, and turn right when one sees the sign. Nowadays, much of the site serves as a prison, and is therefore closed to visitors. It's worth a visit, though, if only for the superb views from the top of the hill where a four-storey Portuguese lighthouse, erected in 1864 and the oldest of its kind in Asia, looks down over the vast expanse of sea, sand and palm trees of Calangute Beach on one side, and across the mouth of the Mandovi to Cabo Raj Bhavan or The Cabo Palace, and the tip of the Marmagoa peninsula, on the other. .
CATIGAO WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Location: 1-km Southeast of Chaudi, Canacona District, and South Goa Coverage Area: 86-sq-km Established In: 1969 Main Attractions: Gazelles, Sloth Bears, Porcupines, and Panthers & Hyenas The Cottage Wildlife Sanctuary, 10-km southeast of Chaudi, was established in 1969 to protect a remote and vulnerable area of forest lining the Goa- Karnataka border. Encompassing 86-sq-kms of mixed deciduous woodland, the reserve is certain to inspire tree lovers, but less likely to yield many wildlife sightings: its Tigers and Leopards were hunted out long ago, while the Gazelles, Sloth Bears, Porcupines, Panthers and Hyenas that allegedly lurk in the woods rarely appear. Visitors however, stand a good chance of spotting at least two species of Monkey, a couple of Wild Boar and the Odd Gaur. The sanctuary is best visited between October and March months. Cottage is a peaceful and scenic park that makes a pleasant day trip from Palolem, 12-km northwest. The wardens at the reserve's small Interpretative Center will show one how to get to a 25m-high treetop watchtower, overlooking a waterhole that attracts a handful of animals around dawn and dusk. HOW TO GET THERE Road: Any of the buses running south on NH-14 to Karwar via Chaudi will drop one within 2-km of the gates. However, to explore the inner reaches of the sanctuary, one really needs one's own transport.
Location: Goa Built By: Adil Shah of Bijapur Also known As: Shahpur Nearby Attractions: Vagator Beach & Anjuna Beach The Adil Shah of Bijapur built Chapora fort on the southern headland of the Chapora River. It was also known as "Shahpur" and is now mostly ruined. It has a commanding view of the Vagator beach and is near to Anjuna beach. The Portuguese built the red laterite bastion, crowning the rocky bluff, in 1617 on the site of an earlier Muslim structure. Deserted in the 19th century, it lies in ruins today, although the views up and down the coast from the weed-infested ramparts are still superb.
CABO RAJ NIWAS OR THE CABO PALACE
Location: Opposite Fort Aguada Built In: 1540 AD Significance: Residence of the Governor of the State. Built in 1540 AD opposite Fort Aguada on the south headland of the river Mandovi, the Cabo (the Portuguese word for cape) Palace fortress housed the Franciscan monastery, which later (1594 AD) became the official residence of the Governor of Goa. Holding the most panoramic view one can witness in Goa with the Indian Ocean towards the west, the Bay of the river Mandovi and Fort Aguada on the north and the busy port of Mormugao.
Remaining unhabitated and isolated for centuries, it is believed some human habitation must have been present over here but because of its enclosure in a dense wilderness, no signs of earlier settlements found. The beauty, solitude and uniqueness and well-planned features are some of the main attractions of the Cabo. A small Chapel was constructed at the very end of the mansion dedicated to our virgin lady of the cape (Nossa Senhora do Cabo). It also served as a landmark for the seafarers. The Construction Of The Fortress: The exact date about the first construction of the fort is not known but in a recently discovered note dated 30th June 1541, there was a proposal to locate a Franciscan priest at the chapel, which already existed. In 1540, the eighth Governor, D. Estevao de Gama, proposed the idea of constructing some fortifications at the mansion site to guard the entrance to both the Mandovi and Zuari rivers. The Cabo was converted into one of the best-equipped and important fortresses over the years. Making Of The Monastery: In the meantime, the chapel caught the attention of the Viceroy D. Matias d Albuquerque (1591-97) who became one of its committed devotees. He was a protector of the reformed Franciscan friars known as "Recollects". The Viceroy decided to rebuild the chapel and also constructed a monastery beside it. He paid all the expenses involved in its construction. He even imposed a condition that the Franciscans would look after the chapel and if by any chance they have to leave the place, it would be handed over to the archdiocese for proper maintenance. The foundation of the monastery was laid started of on 5th February 1594 by Bishop de Santa Maria and was completed within the period of six months only, exactly on 14th July 1594. The whole construction was done with laterite stones, which is available at the site. The Cabo is on a rock of laterite and it was extracted from the rocky peninsula on the spot. The pits formed from the extractions of stone were then covered to form cisterns to which rainwater was carried via the sloping roofs of the edifices. This provided excellent storage tanks for water. This system was also carried out in various other forts present in Goa. The Present Raj Niwas: The Cabo Palace is now known as the Raj Bahavan, the official name given to the residence of the Governors of the States in India. It is also counted among the finest residences of Indian Governors and is indeed the oldest as no other residence of a Governor of a State in India had its origin to over four hundred years in the past. The official reception area consists area consists of a large hall called the Darbar Hall, used at the time of receptions and swearing in ceremonies and other official occasions. The Dining room has a seating capacity of over 30 persons. The living quarters of the Governor and his family are on the same floor. A glossy verandah runs along the entire portion overlooking the Mandovi Bay and the Arabian Sea giving one a feeling of being on a ship's deck. There are three suites and seven double rooms for guests. The offices of the Governor, his secretariat and staff are located on the ground floor in a separate annex. Collectibles Within The Palace: The Raj Bhavan has a fine collection o Bohemian chandeliers, Chinese porcelain, silver and furniture. The most remarkable are the beautiful pieces of antique Chinese porcelain presumably manufactured in Canton. There is also a worn-out set of crockery having a similar design with same coat of arms. All these had been specially ordered for the use of the Portuguese Governor General. There is also an excellent collection of high quality wooden furniture with exquisite workmanship. A set of intricately carved chairs is simply remarkable for the fact that Hindu Gods and Temples have been carved on them. In the later centuries complete harmony between Christians and Hindus was very evident in Goa.
Location: On Karanataka - Goa Boderside Significance: The Highest Falls in India Best Time To Visit: October To Mid-December On the border of Karnataka and Goa, the Dudhsagar Falls drop to a spectacular 600m. Believed to be amongst the highest falls in the country, these magnificent falls are located in a blissful tropical jungle with crisscrossing streams. After pouring across the Deccan plateau, the headwaters of the Mandovi River form a foaming torrent that fans into three streams, then cascades down a near-vertical cliff face into a deep green pool. Jewel Of Konkan: The Konkani name for the falls, which literally translated means "sea of milk", derives from clouds of foam kicked up at the bottom when the water levels are at their highest. Overlooking a steep, crescent-shaped head of a valley carpeted with pristine tropical forest, Dudhsagar is set amid breath taking scenery that is only accessible on foot or by jeep. The old Vasco Castle Rock Railway actually passes over the falls on an old stone viaduct, but has been closed for the past three years while track conversion work is carried out. Water Sports: The falls drop down to form a few pools, which are absolutely delightful for a swim. Take care to ensure that the pool one is going into is relatively calm. The sure-footed adventurers could try and climb up to the head of the falls through bushes, boulders and water. It's a tough climb, which takes at least a couple of hours, but the mind-blowing view from the top is well worth the effort. The best time to visit Dudhsagar is immediately after the monsoons, from October until mid-December, although the falls flow well into April. HOW TO GET THERE Rail: Take a train to the quaint Dudhsagar railway station, and then walk on the path that takes one to the viewing point of the falls overlooking the nicest pool made by them. Road: The only way to get over the waterfall site is by four-wheel drive jeep from the railway junction village of Colem. NOTE: It can be difficult to arrange transport of any kind from Molem crossroads, where regular taxis are in short supply.
Location: 35-km From Bicholem, Goa Main Attraction: Scenic Surroundings & Boating Just east of Old Goa, the lily-covered Carambolin Lake has an enormous amount of waterfowl, many Egrets and Heron, Bronze-Winged, Pheasant-Tailed Jacana and thousands of exotic species such as Comb Duck and Cotton Pygmy-Goose. Close to Carambolim is the Ciba-Geigy Chemical-Works, which has created a pleasant nature reserve. Here one may sight Open-billed Storks, Purple and Grey Heron, Little Cormorant and Marsh Harriers.
MAP OF NORTH GOA
Location: Panjim or Panajim Main Attractions: Beaches & Churches Language Spoken: Konkani, Marathi & English Best Time To Visit: October to February
MAP OF SOUTH GOA
Location: Panjim or Panaji Main Attractions: Beaches & Churches Language Spoken: Konkani, Marathi & English Best Time To Visit: October to February