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Travel To Odisha

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Travel To Odisha

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    The Golden TriangleNorth IndiaVisiting: Delhi, Jaipur, Amer, Fatehpur Sikri,Agra, Sikandra ... The Golden Triangle, as it is called, is the most popular tour of India. It is also one of the most popular tourist circuit in the world. Starting with New Delhi, the Capital of India which was laid down with broad avenues and plush green gardens  ...  View itinerary

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    Ganges: The Classical Tours of North IndiaNorth IndiaVisiting: Delhi, Jaipur, Amer, Fatehpur Sikri,Agra, Sikandra ... The Golden Triangle, as it is called, is the most popular tour of India. It is also one of the most popular tourist circuit in the world. Starting with New Delhi, the Capital of India which was laid down with broad avenues and plush green gardens  ...  View itinerary

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    Taste Of IndiaNorth IndiaVisiting: Delhi, Sikandra, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri,Amer, Jaipur, Samode ... Taste of India is literally a sampling of the cultural history of a varied region which encompasses splendid Hindu, Mughal and Colonial architectural sights. The destinations encompassed in this itinerary are: Delhi - The eternal capital of India  ...  View itinerary

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    415 €

     

    The Golden TriangleNorth IndiaVisiting: Delhi, Jaipur, Amer, Fatehpur Sikri,Agra, Sikandra ... The Golden Triangle, as it is called, is the most popular tour of India. It is also one of the most popular tourist circuit in the world. Starting with New Delhi, the Capital of India which was laid down with broad avenues and plush green gardens  ...  View itinerary

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    455 €

     

    Ganges: The Classical Tours of North IndiaNorth IndiaVisiting: Delhi, Jaipur, Amer, Fatehpur Sikri,Agra, Sikandra ... The Golden Triangle, as it is called, is the most popular tour of India. It is also one of the most popular tourist circuit in the world. Starting with New Delhi, the Capital of India which was laid down with broad avenues and plush green gardens  ...  View itinerary

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    455 €

     

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    Taste Of IndiaNorth IndiaVisiting: Delhi, Sikandra, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri,Amer, Jaipur, Samode ... Taste of India is literally a sampling of the cultural history of a varied region which encompasses splendid Hindu, Mughal and Colonial architectural sights. The destinations encompassed in this itinerary are: Delhi - The eternal capital of India  ...  View itinerary

    8 Days Onwards

    415 €

     

    The Golden TriangleNorth IndiaVisiting: Delhi, Jaipur, Amer, Fatehpur Sikri,Agra, Sikandra ... The Golden Triangle, as it is called, is the most popular tour of India. It is also one of the most popular tourist circuit in the world. Starting with New Delhi, the Capital of India which was laid down with broad avenues and plush green gardens  ...  View itinerary

    8 Days Onwards

    455 €

     

    Ganges: The Classical Tours of North IndiaNorth IndiaVisiting: Delhi, Jaipur, Amer, Fatehpur Sikri,Agra, Sikandra ... The Golden Triangle, as it is called, is the most popular tour of India. It is also one of the most popular tourist circuit in the world. Starting with New Delhi, the Capital of India which was laid down with broad avenues and plush green gardens  ...  View itinerary

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Profile

Orissa is situated on the coast along the Bay of Bengal. Different parts of modern orissa was anciently known as Utkal, Kalinga, Udra, Koshala and Kodanga In the history of mankind Orissa always stands for great stand for human value and glory for superb intelligence. Orissa has gifted with nature's bounty, a 482 km stretch of coastline with golden beaches, serpentine rivers, mighty waterfalls, forest-clad blue hills of Eastern Ghats with rich wild life. Orissa is quite rich in its heritage that houses many remarkable monuments of ancient times. The entire length and breadth of Orissa is marked with remarkable tourist places and each place of India has a tale to tell to its tourist. The patrons of culture and Architecture can perceive the marvelous Architecture of the temples, rock-cut caves and also the forts that once belonged to the Great Oriyan King, radiating the rich heritage of Orissa. The Architecture of edifices, like the Konrak Temple, Jaggrnath Temple, Barbati Palace, Rajrani temple, Khandagiri caves, and the Lalit Giri & Uday Giri are really remarkable. The land, while retaining its pristine glory, also offers the visitors modern amenities. Its territory formed a part of the ancient Kalinga of Mahabharat fame. In the ancient time Orissa was rose to prominence as a Kingdom under Kharavela , a great conquerer and patron of Jainism, in the second half of the Ist century B.C. Other great rulers belonged to the Keshari dynasty and the Eastern Ganga dynasty who were also great builders. At one time the vast kingdom spanned from Ganga to Godavari. The flourishing maritime trade with South-East Asian countries i.e. Java, Bornio had brought in a golden era of affluence and opulence. The Kalinga School of architecture flourished from the 7th to 13th century A.D. The most important monuments of this period can be seen in and around Bhubaneswar and Puri. The Mukteswar Temple is the finest piece of architecture of Kalinga. The Lingaraj Temple of Bhubaneswar, the Jagannath Temple of Puri above all the world renowned world heritage Sun Temple at Konark is the epitome of temple architecture and sculpture. But the modern Orissa came into existence in April 1, 1936. The Britishers declared it as a separate province. In 1948 and 1949 the area of Orissa was almost doubled and the population was increased by a third with the addition of 24 former princely states. In 1950, Orissa became a constituent state of India. It is governed by a chief minister and cabinet responsible to an elected unicameral legislature and by a governor appointed by the president of India. Utkal Gaurav Madhusudan Das was the architect of Modern Orissa and subsequently Sri Nabakrushna Chowdhury, Dr. Harekrishna Mahatab, Sri Biju Patnaik & others engineered their best efforts for catapulting Orissa to himalayan heights of fame & glory. In fact, Orissa has become a multi dimensional, multi coloured, many splendoured, vibrant & boisterous modern state all set on its journey in the present millenium to make its presence and voice felt in the nooks & crannies of the world through the Universal Cult of brotherhood, its unique cultural heritage, luxuriant forests & wild life, sprawling Chilika Lake, bountiful coastline, wide range of tribes & colourful canvass of art & culture. Orissa has been resurgent again rejuvenating and resuscitating its ancient glory, glamour & greatness. Its lush green countryside and fertile plains, tiny hamlets fringed with palm, coconut trees and mango groves offer the charm of rural beauty while the urban pockets, the four cities in particular, with the splendour of modern technology provide the amenities necessary for a comfortable stay. This wonderful land of fascinating beauty boasts of colourful festivals round the year. Orissa is also the land of unique handicrafts and other excellent artefacts.

  • HISTORY...+

    The word Oriya is an anglicised version of Odia which itself is a modern name for the Odra or Udra tribes that inhabited the central belt of modern Orissa. Orissa has also been the home of the Kalinga and Utkal tribes that played a particularly prominent role in the region's history, and one of the earliest references to the ancient Kalingas appears in the writings of Vedic chroniclers. In the 6th C. BC, Vedic Sutrakara Baudhayana mentions Kalinga as being beyond the Vedic fold, indicating that Brahminical influences had not yet touched the land. Unlike some other parts of India, tribal customs and traditions played a significant role in shaping political structures and cultural practices right up to the 15th C. when Brahminical influences triumphed over competing traditions and caste differentiation began to inhibit social mobility and erode what had survived of the ancient republican tradition.

     

    Kalinga

    Very early in Kalingan history, the Kalingas acquired a reputation for being a fiercely independant people. Ashoka's military campaign against Kalingawas one of the bloodiest in Mauryan history on account of the fearless and heroic resistance offered by the Kalingas to the mighty armies of the expanding Mauryan empire. Perhaps on account of their unexpected bravery, emperor Ashoka was compelled to issue two edicts specifically calling for a just and benign administration in Kalinga.

     

    Mahameghavahana Kharavela

    Unsurprisingly, Mauryan rule over Kalinga did not last long. By the 1st C. BC, Kalinga's Jain identified ruler Kharavela had become the pre-eminent monarch of much of the sub-continent and Mauryan Magadha had become a province of the Kalingan empire. The earliest surviving monuments of Orissa (in Udaigiri near Bhubaneshwar) date from his reign, and surviving inscriptions mention that Prince Kharavela was trained not only in the military arts, but also in literature, mathematics, and the social sciences. He was also reputed to be a great patron of the arts and was credited with encouraging dance and theater in his capital. It is known from this record that Kharavela on the premature death of his father took up the administration first as a Yuvaraja and then on completion of 24 years of age ascended to the throne as Maharaja. The Mahameghavahana dynasty continued to rule over Kalinga and Mahishaka up to the 1 st century A.D. as known from some recently discovered inscriptions of Guntupalli and Velpuru in Andhra Pradesh. The Velpuru inscription reveals the rule of one Airamaharaja Haritiputra Manasada who belonged to Mahameghavahana dynasty.

     

    The Imperial Gangas

    The Eastern Gangas who started their rule in Kalinga about the end of the 5 th century A.D. continued as a petty power till the time of Vajrahasta V who came to the throne in 1038 A.D. As mentioned above he was the son of Kamarnava II by his queen Vinaya Mahadevi. He made Kalinga independent by defeating the Somavamsis and declared himself Maharajadhiraja. He also received the title of Trikalingadhipati. He made matrimonial alliance with the Kalachuris of Kosala and also with the ruling family of Ceylone. This helped him in consolidating the political power of his family. He was succeeded in 1070 A.D. by his son Rajrajdev I born of his queen Anangadevi. Rajarajdev was faced with his enemies, the Somavamsis of Utkal in the north and the Chalukya of Vengi in the south. By 1075 A.D. his Commander Vanapati of Vengi obtained victory over the kings of Chola, Utkal, Khemundi, Kosala, Gidvisingi and Vengi. The Somavamsi king Janamejaya II was defeated but succeeded in protecting his kingdom. By that time Kulattunga was the ruler of the Chola kingdom. By that time Kulattunga was the ruler of the Choloa kingdom.

     

    Rajrajdev had a premature death in 1077 A.D. He left two young sons, the elder Chola Gangadeva being of two years in age. This young boy was crowned at Kalinganagar in February, 1078 A.D. Vira Choda, the third son of Kulattunga, was the Viceroy of Vengi till 1093 A.D. He was supporting the Gangas of Kalinga and in 1093 A.D., Chodagangadeva married Chodadevi, the daughter of Vira Choda. As a result of that Vira Choda was removed from power and expelled from Vengi by his father Kulattunga. Vira Choda was of great help to Chodagangadeva in his wars against Vengi and Utkal.

     

    He established his supremacy over the entire territory from the Ganga to the Godavarari by 1135 A.D. Chodagangadeva like his ancestors was a great devotee of Siva. He was, however, found inclined towards Vaishnavism at times. Long before the conquest of Utkal by Chodaganga, Puri (Shrikshetra) was a place of worship of Purusottama and Chodaganga constructed the gigantic temple for the Lord to respect the religious sentiment of the people of the newly conquered territory rather than to obey the dictates of the Vaishnava Acharya Ramanuja.

     

    Chodagangadeva died in 1147 A.D. and was succeeded by his eldest son Kamarnavadeva. The Ganga-Kalachuri war was continuing by that time and Kamarnava was defeated by the Kalachuri king Prithideva II, son and successor of Ratnadeva II. After the death of Kamarnava, the second son of Chodaganga named Raghava became the king in 1158 A.D. During his time poet Jayadeva is known to have composed his famous work Gitagovinda. Raghava died in 1170 A.D. and was succeeded by Rajraj II, the third son of Chodagangadeva. Next ruler was Anangnagabhimadeva II, the fourth and last son of Chodagangadeva. He was the only son of Chodaganga to have a son Rajraj III, who succeeded him after his death in 1198 A.D.

     

    Rajraj III died in 1211 A.D. and was succeeded by his son Anangabhimadeva III. During his time Ghiyathu’d-din Iawz, ruler of Bengal, invaded Orissa. Taking advantage of this invasion the Kalachuri king of Tommana also declared war and the age long Ganga-Kalachuri war continued. At this critical time Vishnu,.the General of Angnagabhimadeva III, not only repulsed the invasion of the Muslim but also decisively defeated the Kalachuris on the bank of the Bhima river and near the Vindhya hills. After his victory the Gangas occupied the Sonapur region. Anangabhimadeva III gave his daughter Chandrika in marriage to the Kalachuri prince Paramardideva. By that he could win the friendship of the Kalachuris who were of great strength to the Gangas in their war against the Muslims. Anangabhimadeva was also successful in his work in the south and his empire extended up to the mouth of the Krishna river. Anangabhimadeva established a new city at the bifurcation of the Mahanadi and the Kathajodi which was called Abhinava Varanasi Kataka. By 1230 A.D. he transferred the headquarters to this new city where he constructed a big temple of Lord Purushottama.

     

    Anangabhimadeva III died in 1238 A.D. and was succeeded by his son Narasimhadeva I. By that time Izzu’d-din Tughril Tughan Khan was the Governor of Bengal and had semi-independent status. Narasimhadeva, apprehending danger from him, mobilized his forces against his territory. Izzu’d-din Tughril probably anticipated this attack and in the war that took place he obtained initial victory but subsequently the Muslims were completely defeated with heavy loss. Izzud’d-din himself fled away from the battle to save his life. On his request the Sultan of Delhi sent Qamaru’d-din Tamur Khan, the Governor of Oudh to help the army of Bengal but before the arrival of Oudh army the War at Bengal hnd already ended. The next year (1244 A.D.) Narasimhadeva invaded Bengal for the second time and the Orissan army attacked Lakhnor, the headquarters of Radha, and killed the Muslim commander and a large number of his troops. Narasimhadeva I was successful in his campaigns against the Muslims and humbled the pride of his enemy. Like his father he was a devotee of Lord Purushottama. He is remembered in history as the builder of the world famous temple at Konarka.

     

    In 1264 A.D. Narasimhadeva I was succeeded by his son Bhanudeva I born of queen Sitadevi. During his time Narahari Tirtha the disciple of Ananda Tirtha (Madhdavacharya) had great influence in Orissa. He was even appointed as a Governor of Kalinga. During the rule of Bhanudeva, Chandrikadevi, the daughter of Anangabhimadeva I, constructed the Ananta Basudev temple at Bhubaneswar in 1278 A.D. That year Bhanudeva died and his son Narasimhadeva II was an infant. Narahari Tirtha worked as regent for long twelve years. Narasimhadeva II is known to have fought against the Muslims of Bengal the results of which were indecisive. His long reign from 1278 to 1306 was peaceful and eventless. He was succeeded by his son Bhanudeva II. R.D. Benerji states that one Purushottamadeva ruled Orissa up to 1312 A.D. making Bhanudeva II a prisoner in his palace. This is however not a fact. Purushottamadeva ruled over southern part of Kalinga as a feudatory of Bhanudeva II.

     

    Narasimhadeva III succeeded Bhanudeva II in 1328 A.D. Very little information is obtained regarding his political activities. He was succeeded by his son Bhanudeva III in 1352 A.D. In 1353 Shamsud’-din Ilyas Shah invaded Orissa but he retreated after obtaining few elephants. It was by that time that Prince Sangama, the nephew of Bukkaraya I of Vijayanagar, invaded Orissa and defeated Bhanudeva III. As a result of this victory Bukkaraya occupied souther portion of the Ganga kingdom. In 1361 A.D., Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq invaded the Ganga kingdom. He defeated the forces of the Gangas and occupied Varanasi Kataka. Bhanudeva III fled away and took shelter with his family and courtiers in an island probably inside Chilika lake. Sultan Firuz Shah destroyed the temple of Purushottama built by Anangabhimadeva III and disgraced the idols. Bhanudeva III made a treaty with the Sultan by offering twenty big elephants and agreeing to give annual tribute. Thus during Bhanudeva III the prestige and power of the Gangas greatly declined. He died in 1378 A.D. and was succeeded by his son Narasimhadeva IV. He was succeeded by his son Bhanudeva IV in 1414 A.D.

     

    The Suryavamsi

    Kapilendradeva belonged to the Solar dynasty. His ancestors were feudatory Chiefs under the Gangas. When he usurped the throne in 1435 A.D. many feudatory Chiefs challenged his authority. At the time of this internal danger Sultan Ahmed Shah of Bengal invaded Orissa but he was defeated by Minister Gopinath Mahapatra while Kapilendradeva suppressed the internal rebellion with strong hands. By 1443 A.D., Kapilendradeva succeeded in consolidating his power over the newly acquired kingdom but in 1444 he had to fight against the combined army of the Reddy of Rajamundry and king Devaraya II of Vijayanagar who invaded the southern part of his territory. Just by that time Mahamud shah, the Sharqui Sultan of Jaunpur invaded from the north. Faced with these two invasions Kapilendradeva gave his wholehearted attention to drive out Muslims from the north neglecting the south. Mahamud Shah was defeated and retreated from northern Orissa after which Hamvira, the son of Kapilendra, fought against the Reddy’s of Rajahmundry and scored a victory over them. Thus Kapilendradeva could occupy almost the entire seaboard of Vijayanagar up to the Kaveri. His entire career was spent in wars and he acquired many enemies both inside and outside his kingdom. He chose Purushottam, his youngest son, to be his successor. So his heroic son Hamvira revolted against him. Kapilendradeva was a great devotee of Jagannath and constructed the outer walls of Jagannath temple. He died in 1468.

    After the death of Kapilendradeva his son Purushottam born of a Brahmin lady called Parvatidevi succeeded to the throne. After becoming king, Purushottam tried to get back Kondapalli and Rajahmundry from the Bahmany Sultan. He also tried to occupy the territory snatched away by Saluva Narasimha during the civil war. Purushottamdeva with a view to restore the lost territory mobilized his army against Sultan Mahmad Shah III Bahmany. He besieged Rajahmundry but without fighting any battle made an alliance with the Sultan. After that the relation between Bahmany and Vijayanagar became very bitter and stray battles took place between the forces of these two kingdoms. In 1481 Sultan Mahammad died and was succeeded by his young son Mahmad Shah. When the Bahmany kingdom was in chaotic condition Purushottam mobilised his forces and occupied Rajahmundry and Kondapalli. He further sent his army to occupy Udayagiri which had been taken away by Saluva Narasimha. Udayagiri was occupied and Saluva Narasimha was taken captive. Thus Purushottam could restore his power and glory during his last days and then devoted his attention for promotion or religion and culture. He died in 1497 A.D. and was succeeded by his son Prataprudradeva.

    Prataprudradeva inherited a vast kingdom which was however fast declining. By that time the kingdom of Vijayanagar was rapidly rising as a rival of Orissa. In 1509 when Prataprudra led a campaign against Vijayanagar, Krushnadeva Raya had just succeeded to the throne of other kingdom, but before a decisive battle was fought Sultan Allauddin Hussan Shah of Bengal invaded Orissa and advanced as far as her capital. So Prataprudradeva was forced to give up war with Vijayanagar and rushed back to his capital. Sultan Hussan Shah was defeated and was driven back beyond the borders of Orissa. But in the south Krishnadeva Raya acquired an easy victory over Orissan army.

    The last war Krishnadeva Raya with the army of Orissa was fought in 1519 and this time also he came out victorious. Durinmg this last war he is said to have burnt the city of Katak.Subsequently a treaty was concluded between Orissa and Vijayanagar in August 1519. According to the treaty the river Krishna formed the southern boundary of Orissa. Krishnadeva Raya married Jaganmohini, the daughter of Prataprudradeva.

    Prataprudradeva succeeded in retaining his kingdom from the Ganges to the Krishna inspite of military defeats. During his rule Orissa made great advancement in the sphere of religion and culture. Sri Chaitanya who came to Orissa in 1510 preached the gospel of Vaishnavism and had a great impact on the religion and culture of Orissa.

     

    Govinda Bidyadhar

    After the death of Prataprudradeva his two sons named Kaluadeva (Ramachandradeva) and Kakharuadeva (Purushottamdeva) succeeded one after the other and ruled for less than two years. Both these brothers fell victim to the conspiracy of the minister Govinda Bidyadhar who occupied the throne in 1534 A.D. and founded the rule of the Bhoi dynasty. In 1540 A.D. the Sultan of Golkonda occupied Rajmahendri. Govinda Bidyadhar made a treaty with him and recognized river Godavari as the boundary between Golkonda and Orissa. Govinda Bidyadhar died in 1549 at Dashasvamedha Ghat of the Baitarani river. He was succeeded by his son Chakrapratap. He was a weak and cruel ruler and was very unpopular among the people. He died in 1557 A.D. He was probably murdered by his son Narasimha Jena who succeeded him and ruled for about a year. He was murdered by Mukunda Harichandan who placed Raghuram Jena, a son of Chakrapratap, on the throne and himself became the virtual ruler. Mukunda Harichandan captured the Minister Janardan Bidyadhar by an intrigue and impriosoned him in the Barabati fort where he died subsequently. Mukunda Harichandan declared himself as the ruler of Orissa in 1559 A.D.

     

    Mukundadeva

    Mukundadeva belonged to the Chalukya family. He came to the throne in 1559 by treachery and blood-shed. In 1560 Sultan Ghiyasuddin Jallal Shah of Bengal invaded Orissa and marched up to Jajpur. Mukundadeva defeated him and drove him out of Orissa. About that time one Afghan Chief named Suleiman Karrani occupied Bengal and became the Sultan. His rival Ibrahim fled to Orissa and got shelter under the protection of Mukundadeva.

    By that time Akbar was planning to conquer Bengal and made alliance with Mukundadeva for that purpose. Mukundadeva received the Mughal ambassador and sent his own emissary to the Mughal court. Thus Mukundadeva became an enemy of Suleiman Karrani, the Sultan of Bengal. In 1567 when Akbar was busy in the invasion of Chitor, Sultan Karrani invaded Orissa. The Mughal Governor of Bihar, Munim Khan became indifferent and Mukundadeva resisted the invasion of Bengal singlehanded. He was defeated by the Sultan and took shelter in the fort of Kotsima, where Sultan Karrani besieged him. In the meantime, Bayazid, the son of the Sultan, led his army to Cuttack which was occupied by him. At that critical moment Ramachandra Bhanja, the feudatory of Sarangagarh, rose in rebellion. Mukundadeva made a treaty with Suleiman Karranim and marched against Ramachandra Bhanja. A battle took place in Gohiri Tikira near Jajpur where Mukundadeva lost his life at the hands of Ramachandra Bhanja. After that Ramachandra was defeated and killed by Bayazid and Orissa passed to the hands of the Afghans of Bengal in 1568 A.D.”

     

  • GEOGRAPHY ...

    Location Goa is a state located in the South western region of India.

    Geographic Coordinates  Located in the Northern Hemisphere, the Country lies between latitudes 5°55′ and 9°51′ N and longitudes 79°41′ and 81°53′ E and has a maximum length of 432 km and a maximum width of 224 km.

    Indian Standard Time GMT + 05:5

    Area  3,702 sq. km

    ISO 3166 Code IN-GA

    Border States It is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its western coast.

    Coastline  101 km.

    Climate Goa features a tropical monsoon climate under the Köppen climate classification. Goa, being in the tropical zone and near the Arabian Sea, has a hot and humid climate for most of the year. The month of May is the hottest, seeing day temperatures of over 35 °C (95 °F) coupled with high humidity. The monsoon rains arrive by early June and provide a much needed respite from the heat. Most of Goa's annual rainfall is received through the monsoons which last till late September.

    Goa has a short winter season between mid-December and February. These months are marked by nights of around 21 °C (70 °F) and days of around 28 °C (82 °F) with moderate amounts of humidity. Further inland, due to altitudinal gradation, the nights are a few degrees cooler.

    Terrain  The Central Highlands have a highly dissected terrain consisting of a unique arrangement of plateaus, ridges, escarpments, intermontane basins, and valleys. The plain that surrounds the Central Highlands does not have an entirely flat and featureless terrain. To the north and northeast of the highlands, the plain is traversed by low ridges that decrease in altitude as they approach the coast. The western and southwestern parts of the plain feature alternating ridges and valleys running parallel to the coast and increasing in elevation toward the interior to merge imperceptibly with the highland mass. Elsewhere the flatness of the plain is sporadically interrupted by rocky buttes and mounds, some of which reach elevations of more than 1,000 feet. The plain is fringed by a coast consisting mostly of sandy beaches, spits, and lagoons. Over a few stretches of the coast there are rocky promontories and cliffs, deep-water bays, and offshore islets.

    Natural Resources Limestone, graphite, mineral sands, gems, phosphates, clay, hydropower, arable land, etc.

    Natural Hazards Occasional cyclones and tornadoes.

    Environment - Current Issues Deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by poaching and urbanization; coastal degradation from mining activities and increased pollution; freshwater resources being polluted by industrial wastes and sewage runoff; waste disposal; air pollution in Colombo.

    Environment - International Agreements  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands.

    Geography - Note Strategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes.

    Download various maps of India Air Routes & Road, Outline, Physical, Political, Population, Rain fall, Railway & Sea Routes, North-Goa, South-Goa, Soil, Tourist.

  • PEOPLE ...

    • Population  Sri Lanka's provisional population, as on 1 July 2015 stood at 20,966,000 (10,151,000 on males and 10,815,000 females).
    • Population Growth Rate The average annual exponential growth rate stands at 0.9 per cent during 2011-2015.
    • Birth Rate The Crude Birth rate was 16.0 in 2015.
    • Death Rate The Crude Death rate was 6.3 in 2015.
    • Life Expectancy Rate 68.8 years (Males); 77.2 years (Females) in the period 2000-2002.
    • Sex Ratio 103.5 males per 100 females according to 2014 census
    • Nationality Sri Lankan(s)
    • Ethnic Groups All the five major racial types -Sinhalese 74.9%, Sri Lankan Tamil 11.2%, Sri Lankan Moors 9.2%, Indian Tamil 4.2%, other 0.5% (2012 est.)
    • Religions  According to the 2012 census, out of the total population of 1,028 million in the Country, Hindus constituted the majority with 80.5%, Muslims came second at 13.4%, followed by Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and others.
    • Languages  Sinhalese and Tamil are the two official languages of Sri Lanka. The Constitution defines English as the link language. English is widely used for education, scientific and commercial purposes. Members of the Burgher community speak variant forms of Portuguese Creole and Dutch with varying proficiency, while members of the Malay community speak a form of Creole Malay that is unique to the island.
    • Literacy According to the provisional results of the 2015 census, the literacy rate in the Country stands at 92.6% per cent, 93.6% for males and 91.7%  for females.

     

  • GOVERNMENT ...

    Country Name State of Goa

    Government 

     • Governor

     • Chief Minister

     • Legislature  Unicameral (40 seats)

     • Parliamentary constituency  2

     • High Court  Bombay High Court – Panaji, Goa Bench

    Capital Panaji

    Administrative Divisions The state is divided into two districts: North Goa and South Goa. Each district is administered by a district collector, appointed by the Indian government.

    Panajiis the headquarters of North Goa district and is also the capital of Goa. North Goa is further divided into three subdivisions – Panaji, Bicholim, and Mapusa and five taluks – Tiswadi (Panaji), Bardez (Mapusa), Pernem, Bicholim, and Sattari (Valpoi),

    Margao is the headquarters of South Goa district. South Goa is further divided into four subdivisions – Margao, Mormugao (Vasco da Gama), Quepem and Ponda; and seven taluks – Mormugao, Salcete (Margao), Quepem, Canacona (Chaudi), Sanguem, Dharbandora and Ponda. (Ponda Taluka shifted from North Goa to South Goa in January 2015). Goa's major cities include Vasco da Gama, Margao, Panaji, Mapusa and Ponda.

    Panaji is the only Municipal Corporation in Goa. There are thirteen Municipal Councils: Margao, Mormugao (including Vasco da Gama), Pernem, Mapusa, Bicholim, Sanquelim, Valpoi, Ponda, Cuncolim, Quepem, Curchorem, Sanguem, and Canacona.

    Independence  4 February 1948 (From the British Colonial Rule)

    Constitution  Sri Lanka  had several previous Constitution; latest adopted on 16 August 1978, and certified on 31 August 1978; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016).

    Law Drug Offences Strict anti-narcotics laws prevail in Goa. Drug related offences are a special category of Cognizable and Non-Bailable offences and are prosecuted under The Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1985. The punishment under this Act ranges from 6 months to a maximum of 30 years depending upon the nature of the offence. There is a provision for preventive detention and also a provision for forfeiture of property. There is also a provision for death penalty for certain offences after previous convictions, under this Act. The cases are registered and investigated by officers of the rank of Police-Sub Inspector and above. There is also a special Narcotics Cell to aid its investigation.

    Special Provisions For those unable to afford Legal Aid, there is a provision for Free Legal Aid. To prevent gender discrimination, only a policewoman can arrest a woman suspect. There is a new Women's Police Cell that deals with crimes against women.

    Child Abuse The Goa Children’s Act of 2003 outlines the penalties for child abuse both physical and sexual which can result in being behind bars for anything between 3 and 10 years.

    How you can help If you have been a witness or a victim of a crime, you have an obligation to report it to the Police Control Room or dial 100. If necessary, please proceed with your information or complaint to the nearest Police Station or Outpost. Your complaint will be registered. If it is a Cognizable Offence it will be called as the FIR (First Information Report). The investigation then begins. In case it is a Non-Cognizable Offence, you will be given a receipt of your complaint.

    The Police Service The organization of Police Services in Goa is very similar to that in the rest of India. The management cadre at the higher level is provided by the elite Indian Police Service (IPS). The headquarters of the Goa Police is in Panaji opposite the Azad Maidan. It is the site of the Old Military Barracks. The Chief of Police is the Director General of Police (D.G.P).

    OFFENCES If you encounter any difficulty or resistance while registering your complaint at the local Police Station, please contact the Police Inspector in Charge of that Police Station. You can also proceed up the hierarchy and contact the Sub Divisional Police Officer (Dy SP) or the District Superintendent of Police or the Deputy Inspector General of Police. Their telephone numbers are displayed at each and every Police Station.

    A Cognizable Offence includes murders, rape, kidnapping, abductions, robberies, drug related crimes etc. In every case of a cognizable offence, the police are required to register it in the First Information Register (F. I. R.) and investigate the offence. In its investigation, the Police are empowered to arrest a person without a warrant. Cognizable Offences are again categorized into Bailable and Non-Bailable offences.

    In a Bailable offence, the accused is normally entitled to bail, provided sureties and or the bail amount document is made available to the authorities concerned.

    In a Non-Bailable offence, it is only the court which is empowered to grant bail to the accused. Any arrested person shall be produced by the Police before the nearest Magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest. The complainant/accused person is entitled to avail legal advice during the process. If arrested, one is entitled to get information about the reasons of the arrest and the search of one's premises. This information is obtainable from the Investigating Officer.

    A Non-Cognizable offence includes petty offences such as committing public nuisance, abusing, slapping, quarrels within the family or with neighbors, etc. In case of a Non-Cognizable offence, police have no authority to either investigate the matter or to arrest the persons concerned without the prior permission of the local Magistrate.

    State symbols of Goa

    Animal  Gaur

    Bird  Yellow-throated bulbul

    Tree  Matti

    Formation  30 May 1987

  • Passport / Visa ...

     

    Two types of visa - e-Tv and Online

    e-Tourist Visa (Enabled by ETA)

    Government of India has introduced e-Tourist Visa enables by ETA to facilitate foreign travelers visiting India. This new e-Tourist Visa is based on the Mission Mode Project – IVFRT which has the objective of facilitating legitimate travelers while strengthening security. e-Tourist Visa is the most sought after way to tourists as they are not required to go through the tiresome process of visiting the embassy and then waiting for the approval.

    Instructions for e-Tourist Visa (Enabled by ETA)

    1.  Applicants of the eligible countries may apply online minimum 4 days in advance of the date of arrival with a window of 30 days. Example: If you are applying on 1st Sept then applicant can select arrival date from 5th Sept to 4th Oct.
    2. Recent front facing photograph with white background and photo page of Passport containing personal details like name,date of birth, nationality , expiry date etc. to be uploaded by the applicant. The application is liable to be rejected if the uploaded document and photograph are not clear and as per specification.
    3. e-Tourist Visa fee is US$ 60/- per passenger excluding interchange charge for credit/debit cards.The fee must be paid 4 days before the expected date of travel filled by you otherwise application will not be processed.
    4. e-Tourist Visa fee once submitted is non refundable.
    5. Applicant should carry a copy of ETA along with him/her at the time of travel.
    6. Biometric details of the applicant will be mandatorily captured at Immigration on arrival in India.
    7. The validity of visa will be 30 days from the date of arrival in India.
    8. Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) is valid for entry through 9 designated Airports i.e. Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai & Trivandrum.
    9. This facility is in addition to the existing Visa services.
    10. e-Tourist Visa is allowed for a maximum of two visits in a calendar year.
    11. e-Tourist Visa once issued on arrival is non-extendable, non-convertible & not valid for visitingProtected/Restricted and Cantonment Areas.
    12. Applicants can track the status of their application online by clicking visa status.
    13. For any assistance call 24 * 7 Visa support center at +91-11-24300666 or send email to indiatvoa@gov.in

     

    e-Tourist Visa Facility is available for holders of passport of following countries:

    Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Belgium, Bolivia, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Island, Chile, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Colombia, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Guyana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Montenegro, Montserrat, Myanmar, Malta, Malaysia, Mongolia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue Island, Norway, Netherlands, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Macedonia, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Slovenia, Spain, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Sweden, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, Taiwan, Tanzania, Turks & Caicos Island, UAE, Ukraine, USA, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City-Holy See, Vietnam, Venezuela, East Timor

     

    Eligibility for e-Tourist Visa

    1. International Travellers whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment or casual business visit.
    2. Passport should have at least six months validity.
    3. International Travellers should have return ticket or onward journey ticket,with sufficient money to spend during his/her stay in India.
    4. International Travellers having Pakistani Passport or Pakistani origin may please apply for regular Visa at Indian Mission.
    5. Not available to Diplomatic/Official Passport Holders.

     

    To apply for e-Tourist Visa please click on the following link: Click Here

    For those countries who are not eligible for e tourist visa the following link will be applicable: www.indianvisaonline.gov.in

     

    e-Visa Application

    All foreign nationals entering India are required to possess a valid international travel document in the form of a national passport with a valid visa obtained from an Indian Mission or Post abroad. All Individual visa seekers are requested to apply for the Indian Visa through Online application link, in order to make an application for getting the Indian visa. The duly signed physical copy of the application form completed in all respect and submitted successfully, is to be submitted at the concerned Indian Visa Application Center (IVAC) or directly to Indian Mission/Post, on the scheduled date of interview along with the requisite supporting documents. The instructions for filling the form and scheduling the appointment can be seen at Instructions for Online VisaApplication. Important technical information for filling online Indian visa application can be referred at Technical Instructions.

    The applicants are also requested to visit website of the Indian Mission concerned for detailed information about Indian visa.

    The documents along with an application form needs to be uploaded on the official website and the e-Visa would be delivered on your email within 96 hours. The payment can be electronically made via debit/credit card.

     

    Applicants can process their Indian e-Visa in 4 easy steps:

    1. Apply online: Upload photo and Passport Page
    2. Pay Visa Fee online: Using Debit/Credit card
    3. Receive ETA online: ETA will be sent to your e-mail
    4. Fly to India: Print ETA and carry at the time of travel

     

    To apply for e-Visa please click on the following link: www.indianvisaonline.gov.in

     

    Documents required to be submitted online along with application for e-Visa & e-Tourist Visa

    1. Scanned First Page of Passport. e

    The digital photograph to be uploaded along with the Visa application should meet the following requirements:

    1. Format – JPEG
    2. Size
    3. The height and width of the Photo must be equal.
    4. Photo should present Full face, front view, eyes open.
    5. Center head within frame and present full head from top of hair to bottom of chin.
    6. Background should be plain light colored or white background.
    7. No shadows on the face or on the background.
    8. Without borders.
    9.  

    For countries that do not have e-Tourist Visa facility can apply for a Regular Visa

     

    For those countries who are not eligible for e tourist visa the following link will be applicable: www.indianvisaonline.gov.in

     

    Regular Tourist Visa Application

    How to Apply

    Step 1:

    Apply online for the right category of visa based on the purpose of your visit (please refer to Documents and Forms). The website for filling up the online form is www.indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa. The online application can be filled at the Visa Application Centers as well.

    Step 2:

    Please submit the completed application form at the nearest Visa Application Center with the following: Print out of the completed application form. Two photographs (4cm x 4cm), showing the face clearly, against a light background. Passport with a minimum validity of six months from the date of application and at least two blank pages. Supporting documents (please refer to Documents and Forms). Prescribed fees in cash (please refer to Documents and Forms).

    Step 3:

    At the time the visa application is processed at the visa center, an email is sent to the applicant giving the Application Reference Number. Applicants can track their visa application through the website link. Click Here. You can also track the latest update by contacting the Visa Application Center.

    Step 4:

    The visa application is processed at the Embassy within 4-5 working days. Once the Embassy of India processes the visa application for delivery, an e-mail is sent to the applicant requesting him or her to collect the passport from the Visa Application Centre.

    Step 5:

    At the time of collection of passport, please carry the Invoice cum Receipt issued by the Visa Application Center. If a representative is designated to collect the passport, then the representative needs to produce an authorization letter signed by the applicant, Invoice cum Receipt and a photographic Identity card of the representative. Applicants should check their visa upon receipt and report any inaccuracies immediately.

     

    Documents and Forms

    Please note the following:

    • The validity of the visa (e.g. 6 months, 1 year) begins from the date of issue and not from the date of travel.
    • Change of visa category is not permitted after reaching India.
    • All foreigners who intend to stay in India for more than 180 days continuously should register themselves with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in India. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section for further details.
    • Tourist Visa cannot be extended at all. Other categories of Visa holders seeking extension are advised to apply well in advance of the expiry of the visa at the FRRO.
    • Passports can be collected from the Visa Application Center only and not from the Embassy.
    • Visa fee is accepted only in cash and is not refundable. Visa fees vary according to nationality of the applicant. You can seek more information from the Visa Application Centers.

     

    Visa Application Forms

    Please click on the following link for the visa application form: www.indianvisaonline.gov.in

  • Transportation ...

    There are many options for you to get around in Goa. Public transport largely consists of privately operated buses linking the major towns to rural areas.

    Hired forms of transport include unmetered taxis and, in urban areas, auto-rickshaws. A popular mode of transportation in Goa is the motorcycle taxi, operated by drivers who are locally called ‘pilots’. These vehicles transport a single pillion rider, at fares that are usually negotiated. Other than buses, ‘pilots’ tend to be the cheapest mode of transport. You can also rent out a motorcycle and explore the many contrasts that Goa has to offer around every twist and turn.

    River crossings in Goa are serviced by flat-bottomed ferry boats. Crammed with people and vehicles, they go about their task in an unhurried manner. They are extremely reasonable and run from dawn till late in the evening.

    You can book taxi or vehicles through Indior Tours which would ensure you a hassle free transport.

     

    Hire geared or non-geared bike ‘per day’ basis

    1. Save on the exuberant travelling costs with this service
    2. It is easily available near all the main parts of the towns in Goa, even in villages
    3. The price range is Rs. 200 to Rs. 350 per day depending on the kind of bike
    4. There are geared bikes as well ranging from Rs. 400 to Rs. 1000 per day

     

    Use the Pilot service (Motorcycle rickshaws)

    1. You can also avail the affordable motorcycle rickshaws called Pilots
    2. The motorcycle rickshaw can only accommodate one person at a time
    3. Can be used for long or short distances, charges are about Rs. 15 to Rs. 20 (1 km or little more)
    4. The govt. has allotted the price of Rs 5 for the first kilometer and Rs 2.50 thereafter

     

    Use the local bus service

    1. Local private buses in Goa have a wide network even in the remotest areas
    2. It is a cheaper mode of transport than others, they charge about Rs. 10 for 2 to 3 kilometers
    3. There are bus stops everywhere & the names of the places they will stop at is written in the front side of the bus
    4. There is also a state transport service called Kadamba Transport Corporation. These buses do not stop at all stops but only main cities, for example Mapusa to Panaji and Panaji to Margao.

     

    Auto rickshaws or Cabs

    1. The least cost effective way to travel is by private taxis or auto rickshaws – no meter system and you can be charged more
    2. The fixed price allotted by the govt. for rickshaws of Rs. 7 per km and cabs of Rs 8 per km is most often not followed
    3. You can avail the pre-paid taxi service from the airport that follows a standard amount based on number of kilometers.
    4. Also available at some railway stations.

     

    Women Taxi services

    1. “Brand New” Toyota Etios “A/C” Car
    2. Travel Hostess trained as “Tourist Guide”
    3. "GPS Monitored” for Safety & Convenience
    4. Govt. Approved “Fare Rates”
    5. “Metered” Taxi Services with printed bill

     

    Ferry

    1. A very convenient & cost effective way to travel in Goa but not available everywhere
    2. Only a few locations in Goa have the ferry service
    3. Betim to Panaji, Old Goa to Divar Island, Querim to Tiracol & Cavelossim to Assolna
    4. The most romantic and enjoyable mode of transport in Goa.
    5. It’s free for pedestrians and two wheelers and minimal charges are applicable to cars.
  • CuisinE ...

    Goan cuisine is a blend of different influences the lobster_newGoans had to endure during the centuries. The staplefood in Goa is fish, both among the Hindus as well as the Catholics. On other fronts however, there is a vast difference in the foods of these two communities, the main reason being that the Christians also eat beef and pork which are taboo in most Hindu households. While Hindu Goan food does not seem to have picked up any Portuguese influence, the Christian food has been influenced not only by the Portuguese, but also by its overseas settlments. However, it has not been a oneway transfer. An example is canjade galinha, which is a type of chicken broth with rice and chicken pieces, and is originally a Goan recipe. Another is arroz doce, which is a Portuguese adaptation of pais or kheer (sweetened rice) found in India.

  • FESTIVALS ...

    Goans truly enjoy themselves. The best part of the celebrations are that they are enjoyed without any caste or religious barriers. The biggest celebrations are at Panjim and Margao. Besides the traditional festivals there are also village feasts – each village in Goa has a patron saint who has his/her own feast day – which are quaint, colourful and charming local events.

    Christian Festivals

    6 January – Feast of three Kings at Reis Magos, Cansaulim and Chandor.

    2 February – Feast of Our Lady of Candelaria at Pomburpa.

    February/March – Mardi Gras Carnival.

    Monday after 5 th Sunday in Lent – Procession of the Franciscan Order at Old Goa.

    1st Sunday after Easter – Feast of Jesus at Siridao.

    16 days after Easter – Feast of Our Lady of Miracles at Mapusa.

    24 August – Festival of Novidades.

    1st fortnight of October – Fama de Menino Jesus at Colva.

    3rd Wednesday of November – Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

    3rd December – Feast of St Francis Xavier in Old Goa. World Pilgrimage takes place every 10 years, when the Body of St.Francis Xavier, the spanish priest is exposed for public veneration.

    8th December – Feast of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception at Panaji and Margao.

    25 December – Christmas. X'mas Carol Singing at Kala Academy, Campal, Panjim

     

    Hindu festivals

    January – Shantadurga Prasann is celebrated at Fatorpa village, south of Margao. Drawing a crowd of lakhs, a night-time procession of chariots bearing the goddess is the prime attraction. During the colourful Umbrella Festival, at Cuncolim, south of Margao, a solid silver image of Shantadurga is carried in procession over the hills to the original temple site. The Shri Bodgeshwar zatra, or temple festival, takes place south of Mapusa.

     

    February – the 3-day Shri Mangesh festival takes place in his temple in the Ponda district. In Panaji, the Maruti festival is another crowd-puller.

     

    March – In Goa, the full-moon festival of Holi goes by the name of Shigmo. It is celebrated with big parades and crowds, drums and dance groups competing with huge floats. It's marketed as the "Hindu carnival" and festivities occur in the main towns in the state, much in the same manner as they do for the Mardi Gras Carnival.

     

    May – Igitun Chalne is celebrated when dhoti-clad devotees of the goddess Lairai enter trances and walk over hot coals at the village of Sirigao, Bichloim.

     

    August – Janmashtami is observed in Goa. Ritual bathing in the River Mandovi, off Diwadi Island, to celebrate the birth of Krishna.

     

    August – Bonderam arrives on the fourth Saturday of August. A sort of carnival on the island of Divar in the Mandovi river. Bonderam means the festival of flags, as colourful processions and mock battles are staged in a recollection of the property wars that raged on this island till a century ago.

     

    Sep/Oct – There are nine days of festivities in Dussehra when effigies are burned on bonfires, and children perform episodes from the life of Rama. Ganesh Chaturthi is also one of the biggest festival celebrated.

     

    Oct/Nov – Diwali Narkasur, the five-day Hindu "festival of lights" features processions all over the region, often accompanied by fireworks, burning of effigies and the exchange of sweets by neighbours, regardless of their faith.

     

    Muslim Festival:

    Urus of Shah Abdullah at Ponda – 17th Feb.

  • ACTIVITIES ...

    Trekking: The quaint village of budruk xelop comes alive mid July with all 4 falls within a circle of 3 kms coming alive and gushing full force. You can also appreciate peacocks doing the rain dance and water buffaloes soaking in mudpits.

    Fishing: Trawling fishing in Goa is an adventure that you should experience firsthand. Get on a boat, sail into the vast open sea and catch fish. It may sound so simple, but it requires a lot of patience. Once you haul in the fish, the long wait will be worth it. Fishing in Goa is an activity that locals and foreign tourists are encouraged to try, particularly trawling fishing. Catching fish may be done off the shore by casting a small net/rod, but trawling is a lot more exciting and can make any fishing trip very memorable. You will be amazed at the number and different kinds of fish that you can catch when fishing in Goa. There are the snapper, grouper, barramundi, threadfin salmon, reef cod, croaker, perch, wahoo, bonito, barracuda and a lot more. We at will make sure you have the best trawling fishing adventure ever. We have professionals who will guide you every step of the way. We have top-of-the-line fishing equipment, the finest boats and know the perfect spots where you can catch a wide variety of fish from. So, if you are planning to go fishing in Goa, book a trip with us and experience the excitement and thrill of trawling fishing the professional way.

    Kayaking: Kayaking is one of the most alluring water sport that gives many adventure sport lovers the chance to have an up close and personal experience with the rivers, coasts and backwaters of Goa. For those who love and appreciate scenic routes and natural ecosystems such as mangroves, coves, mudflats, backwaters and mini bays, kayaking is definitely for you. Photography buffs and recreational camera users will delight in the splendor of these largely rural yet picturesque waterways. Being an activity than can only be done in pairs, Kayaking is more suited for couples searching for romantic getaways as well as friends and families seeking quality time in the solitude of nature. Top of the line kayaking equipment, safety gear and trained personnel make for a memorable and safe kayaking experience. Kayaking brings you closer to nature and gives you a deeper appreciation for the natural beauty that surrounds us. The charm of the mangroves, the sights and sounds of the many creatures living in the serenity of the water as well as those dwelling in the neighboring forests is an experience worth cherishing. For more information, do contact us today.

    World Heritage Site:

    Churches and Convents of Goa

    The churches and convents of Goa, the former capital of the Portuguese Indies – particularly the Church of Bom Jesus, which contains the tomb of St Francis-Xavier – illustrate the evangelization of Asia. These monuments were influential in spreading forms of Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque art in all the countries of Asia where missions were established.

    Jet Ski:

     If you have the need for speed then you definitely have to try riding a jet ski during your holiday in Goa. Jet skiing is one of the most exciting and thrilling watersports activities being offered in Goa. It is perfect for those vacationers and tourists seeking adventure as well as those who want to just have a fun experience with family and friends. Our fleet of Jet Skis are regularly maintained and are very safe to use. They pack around 100 to 135 hp, which gives you the chance to cut through waves at high speeds. They are also very easy to maneuver and beginners wont have any difficulty trying to learn how to ride one. Those who are riding the jet ski in Goa for the first time will be coached by our team of certified instructors. Here we offer the best jet skiing adventure at an affordable price. We will ensure you have the best time riding our powerful jet skis as well as explore the nearby areas of the beach with your family and/or friends during your stay in Indias sunshine state: Goa.

    Catamaran Boat Sailing:  Known as the Rome of the East, Goa is the smallest state of India. Cerulean water that is ideal for Catamaran Boat sailing surrounds this boating destination. Catamaran boats are famous for their colorful banana-shaped hulls. They are designed in order to work without the use of dagger boards. Because of their uniquely shaped hulls, Catamaran boats can operate in the sea without any kind of obstruction. Catamaran sailing in Goa is perfect for locals as well as tourists who want to enjoy the beautiful Goan waters. Take a break from your usual day to day activities. Experienced personnel will accompany you as you try one of the most exciting yet relaxing water activities in Goa. Enjoy sailing in Goa with your friends and family. Have fun in the sea like never before with these magnificent boats. This sailing experience is available for children as young as five years, provided they are accompanied by an adult. Book a sailing session today and enjoy what could turn out to be the most fun 30 minutes of your life. Whether you are an adult or a kid, you will surely enjoy Catamaran Boat sailing.

    Bumper Ride: A exciting water adventure is not complete without a Bumper Ride in Goa. If you have had your fill of jet skiing, snorkeling, parasailing and other such water sports, then the bumper ride is for you. Enjoy this thrilling ride in which you are placed in a large air filled rubber tube and dragged by a speed boat into the open sea. Also known as Tubing, the main aim is to hang on as long as you can while the speed boat zips across waves in an attempt to throw you off. Riding these doughnut shaped tubes is not for the faint hearted; it is for the adrenalin junkies who love the buzz and frenzy attached with this ride. Though a little intimidating for beginners, its a wonderful opportunity for thrill seekers to showcase their skills as they attempt to ride this one-of-a-kind tube without falling off it. Life jackets like safety gear are necessary to enjoy this addictive ride to the max without having to worry about accidentally injuring yourself. Concentration, dexterity and love for adventure are necessary to appreciate this ride with your friends and/or family. It helps to increase your concentration level as you try and stay glued to the tube whilst taking in the sights, smells and sounds of the sea.

    Banana Boat Ride: Goa vacationers coming with their family and friends who look for a fun watersports activity should try the Banana Boat Ride. It is an inflatable boat that is shaped just like a banana and connected to a speedboat, which pulls it along the water at high speeds. Everyone riding the banana boat must hold on as tight as possible as the speedboat attempts to flip the inflatable boat thereby dropping its passengers into the water (youd be really lucky to hold on). The banana boat ride is a fun and exciting activity that both children and grownups can enjoy. Our banana boat in Goa can accommodate around 4 to 6 people. You dont have to worry about your children on this ride as they are given life jackets for safety. The minimum age to ride the banana boat is above 10 years. We havg the most competitive banana boat ride rates for you, your family and friends. Be adventurous and have the most unforgettable vacation in Goa with different exciting watersports activities to choose from. Going on a banana boat ride in Goa is truly a great way to take a break from your everyday routine as it is exhilarating, fun and very safe.

    Crab catching: Crab catching in the backwaters is an ideal water activity if you are looking for some peace and quiet. Backwaters are peaceful and have no currents, which is why it is perfect to lounge on a boat while trying to catch crabs. Head over to the boat jetty before the start of the fishing tour. Once you are there, your guide will take you to the backwaters to start your crab catching experience. One of the best attractions in Goa is crabbing. This activity lasts from 3 oclock in the afternoon until 7 oclock in the evening. You and your family are sure to enjoy this one-of-a-kind crab catching experience as you get to experience firsthand the thrill of catching crabs on your own. Your guide will provide you with nets to catch the crabs as well as the bait. Your drinks while on this trip are also provided. You can also view different bird and bat species while on your boat. Once you are done with catching crabs, you can enjoy a sumptuous crab dinner prepared by our chefs later in the evening.

    Parasailing: There are so many fun beach activities you can take part in during your vacation in Goa and one of them is parasailing. To satisfy the adventure junkie in you, it doesnt get grander than parasailing in Goa. While being suspended high up the air, one gets to enjoy the majestic view of the sea and the stunning beach landscapes. This type of watersports is also called sky gliding, where you are attached to a very safe and specially designed canopy, which in turn is pulled by a speed boat. It is easy as it requires no special skills to enjoy this type of beach activity. Parasailing in Goa is very safe because here we double-check every equipment including our parasail-wings before our customers use it. All you have to do is have fun gliding over the sea and enjoy this amazing experience. Its fun to be adventurous once in a while and try different watersports activities when you are in Goa. We offer the most competitive rates for our sky gliding/parasailing activity. You can parasail alone or bring someone with you to share this fun experience. There are so many exciting activities that you can try on the beaches of Goa but you definitely shouldnt miss this one!

    Snorkeling: Your island experience in Goa will never be complete without snorkeling. It is one of the most popular activities that tourists partake in whilst on an island trip. We offer a complete package that makes for a breathtaking experience under the sea. Enjoy a once in a lifetime interaction with diverse marine life and be mesmerized by sightings of the famous humpback dolphin in the serenely blue waters of Goa. Make the most of your stay in Goa by enjoying the abundance of the sea through some relaxed fishing. Whats better than getting to cook / eat the fish you catch for dinner? Taste for yourself the sumptuous fish freshly caught from the sea, marinated in delicious Goan spices and herbs. Once done, relax your senses with the calming whisper of the ocean breeze while sipping on a pint of chilled beer. Make your snorkeling experience safe and hassle free as we are equipped with top of the line facilities and gear. Our tour organizers and trainers are all certified to ensure your safety. A first time snorkeler? Not a problem. Our activities are first timer-friendly, while our accommodating staff take no half-measures while guiding / training you with the utmost care.

    Dolphin Safari: Dolphins are adorable and endearing to watch. With their synchronized twirls and dynamic bodily movements, dolphin sighting should always be a part of everyone's water activities in Goa. Atlantis Watersports offers a once in a lifetime Dolphin trip that allows you to experience the surreal feeling of watching these dolphins dance along with the waves.

    Increase the possibility of seeing dolphins in the months of October to May when they are more visible. Plan your dolphin trip ahead of time and make sure to bring your camera with you. On your dolphin trip, be ready to be left at awe with an amazing scenery of dolphins twisting their bodies in the air while splashing the crystal blue waters of Goa. Atlantis Watersports will take charge in organizing your dolphin trip so expect a hassle free and comfortable experience.

    Have a safe dolphin sighting only with Atlantis Watersports. We are armed with complete and up to date equipment that you will need in order to complete your trip safely and comfortably. We also offer cost competitive rates. After seeing the picturesque view of these splendid creatures, you will definitely realize that it is all worth it.

    Cycle to the Islands: -Start from the Ferry Ramp at Ribandar, just outside the capital, Panaji.

    -Take the traditional Goan Ferry across the Mandovi River to the riverine island of Divar.

    -Drive through this village still relatively untouched by urbanization.

    -Have breakfast (on us) at a traditional bakery or eatery.

    -At the other end of the island, take a ferry to Narvem, then to a backwater where birds of all kinds gather.

    -Then pedal through the riverine island of Chorao, before taking yet another ferry back to Ribandar.

    -Pedal back to Panaji.

    Birding: Tour Itinerary

    Day 1:

    Pick up and transfer to Nature's Nest.

    Evening birding at Tambdi Surla in Bhagwan Mahavir WLS

    Day 2:

    Morning Birding at Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary

    Evening Birding in Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary

    Day 3:

    Morning Birding in Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary

    Evening Birding in Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary or Tambdi Surla

    Day 4:

    Boat Safari in River Zuari followed by Birding at Maina/ Carambolim Lake.

    Followed by drop to Margao Bus Stand.

    Hot Air Ballooning: -A hot air balloon flight is a wonderful experience for absolutely everyone.

    -The rides provide a relaxing experience with the opportunity to enjoy spectacular 360 degree aerial views and amazing sunrises and sunsets.

    Rappelling: Rappelling, also known as Abseiling is a unique skill used for controlled descent from a high vertical faces. Climbers use this method when the slope is too steep and dangerous to descend or want to save time. To climb down such vertical drops safely they use specialized ropes and rappelling equipment for protection. Our friendly team will ensure that you have a safe and fun experience of this adventure. Well-trained instructor will brief you the techniques of rappelling in detail. If you crave for an adrenaline rush, then this activity is just perfect for you. Get away from the mechanical urban life and be part of this thrilling escapade to refresh yourself. If you are willing to try out something new then this is the perfect thrilling activity to venture into. Wall Climbing is done on the artificially constructed wall with the help of safety-rope. There will be climbing holds for grip that are placed on the wall surface randomly as well as in specific route. The grips for hands and feet are placed strategically on the walls to challenge the skills of the climber. Climbing these walls requires great focus and stamina. If you crave for an adrenaline rush, then this activity is perfect for you. Get away from the mechanical urban life and be part of this thrilling escapade to refresh yourself. People venture into this stimulating activity for amusement. If you are willing to try out something new then this is the perfect thrilling activity to venture into. This activity is safe and is held in the supervised environment.

    Zip Line: If you crave for an adrenaline rush, then this package is perfect for you. Zip-lining is a thrilling sport where you hold onto a cable and ride down at high speed. Though, this amazing sport was initially used as a necessary means of transportation in the hilly areas, today it is one of the major adventure sports. People venture into zip-line rides for fun and excitement. This is exactly what we offer for you in abundance. This activity will allow you to explore the lush green fields of the farm. The entire zip-lining setup is built with the most advanced technology and is of international standards. You can experience the skyline and the beauty of the surrounding nature while riding. Feel the thrill of weightlessness at high speeds. This is a perfect venture for an adventure fanatic.

    Spice plantation tour: In the cities where greenery is a mirage, you can breathe in fresh air and explore the rare and long forgotten plants in our plantation. In this guided tour, you will get a chance to spot black pepper, turmeric, nutmeg and chilies etc. You will also find cashew, mango, coconut, arecanut and banana orchard along your path. You can admire the local vegetable and fruit cultivation. If you are visiting during the season (March-May) then you will get hands-on experience on harvesting cashew fruits, juice extraction and feni distillation. After the information tour amidst nature, you can refresh yourself with a dip into the cold water pond. At the end of the trip, enjoy with a sumptuous Goan cuisine. Here you will also find astrological equivalent from the biodiversity in our Zodiac Garden.

    Casinos: Goa is synonymous with fun, adventure, frolic and nightlife. The erstwhile Portuguese state has emerged as one of the most visited tourist destination in India and offers a broad spectrum of activities including gambling. The Casinos of Goa are reflective of the fun and vibrant nightlife. Goa is home to some of the finest casinos in India and offers best of casino gaming, both on land and off shore. Goa enjoys the luxury of an International airport and has direct flights from many popular cities all across the world. Casino industry is the latest addition to the lifestyle of Goa.

  • Best time to visit ...

    Mid-November to Mid-February: These are the best months to visit the party capital since the weather is pleasantly cool and comfortable. It’s the perfect time to relax on the beaches amidst other tourists who make the most of these three months in Goa. December is the time when Goa witnesses one of its most popular festivals, Sunburn, besides extensive Christmas and New Year celebrations and is home to lakhs of visitors from across the world. You might want to book your hotels in advance since this is the peak season and prices of accommodation go way higher than you would imagine.

    March to May: This is the season when the temperature rises, the sea becomes rougher and the weather turns hot and humid. Not many people visit Goa between the months of March and May since there are not many activities to indulge in. However, the prices of hotels and home stays become way too reasonable in case you want to visit Goa for a three-to-four day break with your beloved, looking for peace and calm.

    Mid-June to October: Mid-June to October is the time when the rains hit the beautiful Goa. There are parties across the length and breadth of Goa to welcome the rains. If you love the monsoon and the lush green countryside that the rain Gods turn Goa into, July to September is a great time to visit. One of the reasons to visit Goa during monsoons is also due to the festival of Sao-Joao (the fertility feast of Saint John the Baptist) that is held during late June. It’s an interesting event where men jump into wells that are overflowing to fetch bottles of the local alcohol called feni. You might get a good bargain at the hotels during this season.

  • language ...+

    Oriya is the principal and regional language of Orissa. Oriya language is belongs to the Aryan family of languages and is closely related to Assamese, Bengali and Maithili as a direct descendant of eastern Magadhi. Under the influence of neighbouring regional languages of the Aryan and Dravidian families, as also that of the Austric group of languages current among the tribal groups, Oriya has developed many linguistic variations, such as Baleswari (Balasore), Bhatri (Koraput), Laria (Sambalpur), Sambalpuri (Sambalpur and other western districts), Ganjami (Ganjam and Koraput), Chhatisgarhi (Chhatisgarh and adjoining areas of Orissa) and Medinipuri (Midnapur district of West Bengal).

    Besides, hilly regions of north and south Orissa have their own local versions of Oriya with many linguistic peculiarities. The first dated, inscription in Oriya goes back to 1051 AD discovered at Urajang. But recent discoveries of Sanskrit inscriptions with Oriya words thrown in, reported from Orissa and Andhra Pradesh areas of the ancient Kalinga empire, push back its lineage to the 6th century AD. During the Surya dynasty(1435-1523), Oriya literacy activities were remarkable and the great epics and almost all the Puranas and some Upanishads were translated and often reinterpreted. The Oriya script, descending from Brahmi script, has been given the round or Dravidian finish, probably during the reign of the Ganga kings. The shape was admirably adopted to writing on processed palm leaves with an iron stylus.

     

    History of Oriya Language

    Oriya, Bengali and Assamese all come from the same Eastern Magadhi Apabhramsa and are considered to be sister languages. In the 16th and 17th century Oriya fell under the spell of Sanskrit. However, during the 17th and 18th centuries it followed a new line of approach. Oriya has its origins in the 10th century.

    The history of Oriya language is divided into Old Oriya (10th century-1300), Early Middle Oriya (1300-1500), Middle Oriya (1500-1700), Late Middle Oriya (1700-1850) and Modern Oriya (1850 till present day). Oriya literature upto 1500AD mainly covers poems and proses with religion, gods and goddesses as the main theme. The earliest use of prose can be found in the Madala Panji or the Palm-leaf Chronicles of the Jagannatha temple at Puri, which date back to the 12th century. The first great poet of Orissa is the famous Sarala-Das who wrote the Chandi Purana and the Vilanka Ramayana, both praising the goddess Durga. Rama-bibha, written by Arjuna-Das, is the first long poem in Oriya language.

    The next era is more commonly called the Jagannatha Dasa Period and stretches till the year 1700. The period begins with the writings of Shri Chaitanya whose Vaishnava influence brought in a new evolution in Oriya literature.

    Balarama Dasa, Jagannatha Dasa, Yasovanta, Ananta and Acyutananda were the main exponents in religious works in Oriya.

    The composers of this period mainly translated, adapted, or imitated Sanskrit literature. A few prominent works of this period include the Usabhilasa of Sisu Sankara Dasa, the Rahasya-manjari of Deva-durlabha Dasa and the Rukmini-bibha of Kartikka Dasa.

    A new form of novels in verse evolved during the beginning of the 17th century when Ramachandra Pattanayaka wrote Haravali.

    Other poets like Madhusudana, Bhima, Dhivara, Sadasiva and Sisu Isvara-dasa composed another form called Kavyas or long poems based on themes from Puranas. The language used by them was plain and simple Oriya.

    However, from the turn of the 18th century, verbally tricky Oriya became the order of the day. Verbal jugglery, obscenity and eroticism became the trend of the period between 1700-1850, the most notable poet being Upendra Bhanja (1670-1720). Other poets turned up in hordes to imitate him but none could fit into his shoes, with the exceptions of Bhima-Bhoi and Arakshita Dasa. Family chronicles in prose and literature relating religious festivals and rituals also covered a large portion of this period.

    The first Oriya printing typeset was cast in 1836 by the Christian missionaries. The actual Oriya script closely resembled Bengali and Assamese scripts but the one adopted for the printed typesets were completely different, leaning more towards the Tamil script.

    Three great poets and prose writers, Rai Bahadur Radhanatha Ray (1849-1908), Madhusudana Rao (1853-1912) and Phakiramohana Senapati (1843-1918) settled in Orissa and made Oriya their own. They brought in a modern outlook and spirit into Oriya literature. Around the same time the modern drama took birth in the works of Rama Sankara Ray beginning with Kanci-Kaveri (1880).

    20th writers in Oriya include Nanda-kisora Bal, Gangadhara Mehera, Chintamani Mahanti and Kuntala-Kumari Sabat Utkala-bharati (quite tongue-twisting!), besides Niladri Dasa and Gopabandhu Dasa (1877-1928). The most notable novelists were Umesa Sarakara, Divyasimha Panigrahi, Gopala Praharaja and Kalindi Charana Panigrahi. Sachi Kanta Rauta Ray is the great introducer of the ultra-modern style in modern Oriya poetry. Others who took up this form were Godavarisa Mahapatra, Dr Mayadhara Manasimha, Nityananda Mahapatra and Kunjabihari Dasa. Prabhasa Chandra Satpati is known for his translations of some western classics apart from Udayanatha Shadangi, Sunanda Kara and Surendranatha Dwivedi. Criticism, essays and history also became major lines of writing in the Oriya language. Esteemed writers in this field were Professor Girija Shankar Ray, Pandit Vinayaka Misra, Professor Gauri Kumara Brahma, Jagabandhu Simha and Hare Krushna Mahatab. Oriya literature mirrors the industrious, peaceful and artistic image of the Oriya people who have offered and gifted much to the Indian civilization in the field of art and literature.

  • Recommended Reading ...

     A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of Goa

    By P Killips

    Pp.70 (1998)

    Rs.195 or $9

    A handy, glossy book cataloguing the exotic species of Goa's fascinating wildlife. Every known bird, butterfly, animal, reptile, plant and flower photographed.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A Road Guide To Goa

    By P. Poovendran (Ed.)

    Pp.16 (1996)

    Rs.40 or $3

    A road guide with a map.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A Treasure Trove of Goan Mango Dishes

    By Nilima M Kamat

    (2000) Pp 125

    Rs.80 or $5

    Whether you are a diehard fan of mangoes, or one who is yet to discover the delights of this delectable fruit, this book is for you! A treasure trove of divers Goan mango dishes, which enhance the flavours of this luscious fruit.

     

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    An Historical and Archaeological Sketch of the City of Goa

    By Jose Nicolau da Fonseca

    Pp. 350 (1994) HB

    Rs.595 or $25

    A most comprehensive history of Goa in a format associated with gazetteers. Also carries important statistical information including charts about population, marriages, births and deaths in the year 1877 when it was first written. Reprint.

     

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    An Historical Sketch of Goa

    By Denis L. Cottineau de Kloguen

    Pp. 120 (1988) HB

    Rs.165 or $8

    Rare book, reprinted. Originally published in the early 19th century.

     

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    An Illustrated Guide To Bombay And Goa

    By Myriam Kaye

    Pp.198 (1990)

    Rs.100 or $5

    Kaye ventures beyond the sunny beaches to explore Goa's natural grandeur, stately homes, ethnic cuisine and Latin fiestas. The merry tour also negotiates through Bombay's high rises and into the teeming bazaars, forgotten villages and ancient temples.

     

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    Angela's Goan Identity

    By Carmo D'Souza

    Pp. 148 (1994)

    Rs.35 or $3

    A novel set in Goa. Deals with the "clash of cultures" and the Goan response to meeting with other people back home.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Aquaworld: The Environment and Ecosystems of Coastal Goa

    By Therese Almeida

    Pp.267 (1998) LF

    Rs.270 or $12

    A Resource Book and Activity Guide for Teachers. Excellent for environment education classes in schools.

     

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    Areawide Environmental Quality Management (AEQM) Plan For The Mining Belt of Goa State

    By Tata Energy Research Institute

    Pp.300 (1998) HB

    Rs.1100 or $35

    The first full length study of the impact of mining on the Goan environment, by a team headed by Ligia Noronha of TERI.

     

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    Baroque Goa

    By Jose Pereira

    Pp. 177 (1995) HB

    Rs.850 or $30

    Photographs, illustrations and history of Baroque architecture and the various edificial types in Goa.

     

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    Bibliography of Goa and the Portuguese in India

    By Henry Scholberg

    Pp.414 (1982) HB

    Rs.500 or $21

    Literature listed here covers the nearly five centuries of Portuguese rule in India including its meteoric rise, its sustained presence, and its sudden and final decline leading to its evacuation in 1961.

     

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    Cabinet Government In Goa: 1961-93

    By Aureliano Fernandes

    Pp. 194 (1997)

    Rs.250 or $11

    A new, chronological analysis of 30 years of government and politics in Goa in the post-Liberation period.

     

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    Classic India: Goa

    By Amrita Kumar (Ed.)

    Pp.57 (1997) HB

    Rs.95 or $5

    A book on Goa generously illustrated with colour pictures.

     

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    Demographic Transition In Goa

    By V.A. Pai Panandiker & P.N. Chaudhuri

    Pp. 46 (1983) HB

    Rs.75 or $4

    By 1971 Goa had already achieved a birth rate of 21 per thousand compared to the national average of 35 per thousand. What were the factors responsible for such low fertility? Any lessons?

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Draft Report Of The Subcommittee On Offshore Banking In Goa

    By Planning Board of Goa

    Pp.25 (1997)

    Rs.25 or $2

    A report related to one aspect of the proposed Free Port of Goa.

     

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    Economics of the Goa Jesuits

    By Charles J. Borges

    Pp.215 (1994)

    Rs.300 or $13

    Seeks to trace the growth and collapse of the Jesuits during their stay in India.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Exploring Goa

    By Centre for Environmental Education

    (2001) / Pp 88

    Rs.65 or $4

    A Teachers’ Handbook of Environmental Education activities for trial and discussion. Developed in the course of interaction with teachers and environmental activists in Goa.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ferry Crossing: Short Stories From Goa

    By Manohar Shetty (Ed.)

    Pp.268 (1998)

    Rs.250 or $11

    An anthology of 27 Goan short stories from Konkani, Marathi, Portuguese and English penned by wellknown writers, mirroring Goa's rich history and ethnic traditions.

     

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    Flora of Goa, Diu, Daman, Dadra & Nagar Haveli

    By Rolla Seshagiri Rao

    2 Vols. Pp.545 Total (1985)

    Rs.250 or $11

    An exploration-with a historical dimension-of plant life in the country region of Goa, Diu, Daman, etc. Includes maps, photographs and locations."

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa

    By John Oliver(Ed.)

    Pp. 80 (1997)

    Rs.325 or $14

    Candid photographs of Goa's grandeur in every mood, with text by Anil Dharkar

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa

    By Sir J.M. Richards

    Pp. 144 (1995)

    Rs.95 or $5

    Sir Richards studies the fascinating mix of traditions and images that together gives Goa its almost magical aura. The author celebrates people, culture, buildings, bazaars and beaches

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa

    By Mario Cabral e Sa & Jean-Louis Nou

    Pp. 111 (1986)

    Rs.550 or $23

    Goa's top notch contemporary chronicler explores the past, maps the salient features and strips away the stereotypes created around Goa by superficial observers. Contains 60 lavish pictures

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa

    By Asif Currimbhoy

    Pp. 112 (1993) HB

    Rs.150 or $7

    A play on Goa that once played at Broadway.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa Acts and Rules: Vol 1: Goa Municipalities Act 1968

    By Subodh S. Kantak(Compiled By)

    Pp.992 (1999) HB

    Rs.700 or $27

    A very handy law reference for members of the Bar, Bench, Government and the general public featuring the Municipalities Act 1968, with all updated, connected material

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa and her Khajans

    By Cosme Jose Costa

    Pp. 16

    Rs.15 or $2

    Khajans- a saga of constant reclamation of land from the sea to produce fertile rice fields- are Goa's unique ancestral heritage with an unwritten history of hard labour of several centuries

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa and Portugal- Their Cultural Links

    By Charles J. Borges & Helmut Feldmann (Ed.)

    Pp. 320 (1997) HB

    Rs.450 or $19

    A collection of 21 papers on the theme: "Intercultural Relations: Portugal and Goa". Covers aspects like 16th century life in Goa, contacts with Japan and Mozambique, and aspects of art, music and literature.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa And The Blue Mountains Or Six Months Of Sick Leave

    By Richard F. Burton

    Pp.368 (1991) HB

    Rs.365 or $16

    A British officer of the 1850s who spends time in Goa, Malabar, Calicut and the Nilgiris, leaves behind his impressions.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa and the Revolt of 1787

    By Joaquim Heliodoro da Cunha Rivara

    Pp. 292 (1996) HB

    Rs.400 or $17

    The eminent historian unshrouds the legends cloaking the conspiracy known as "The Revolt of the Pintos" and other incidents relating to Goan nationalism.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa Dourada: The Indo-Portuguese Bouquet

    By T.P. Issar

    Pp. 177 (1995) HB

    Rs.800 or $29

    A visual delight. It celebrates the mingling of Indo-Portuguese cultures, manifested in architecture, artefacts, carpentry, 'blue tiles' and textiles of golden Goa.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa Into The Mainstream

    By R.N. Saksena

    Pp.147 (1974) HB

    Rs.20 or $2

    Attempts to study the problems of emotional and national integration of Goans.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa Liberation Movement And Madhu Limaye

    By Champa Limaye (Ed.)

    Pp.170 (1996) HB

    Rs.350 or $15

    The late Madhu Limaye was a noted writer and Parliamentarian. His thoughts, emotions and contribution to the Goan freedom movement from his diary.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa Police

    By Dr. N. Dilip Kumar

    Pp.280 (1999)

    Rs.395 or $17

    In this first book of its kind, a serving police officer attempts to provide a historical account of the police systems prevailing in Goa, and how the military and civil police helped the Portuguese suppress the freedom movement.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa Remembered: Vignettes Of Fading Traditions

    By Angelo Pereira

    Pp. 100 (1995) HB

    Rs.300 or $13

    A major book on Sangolda village, illustrated profusely. The things described here about life in a Goan village will make Goans yearn with nostalgia.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa To Me

    By Teotonio R. de Souza

    Pp. 176 (1994) HB

    Rs.250 or $11

    The 10 essays-with an autobiographical introduction- are a search for self identity which the distinguished Goan historian sees as inseparable from the history of his land and people

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa! The Rome of the Orient

    By V.C. Mowli & V.J. Narasimha Rao

    Pp. 120 (1997)

    Rs.80 or $4

    A question and answer format makes easy reading for those who want general information on the 'pearl of the East'.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa's Struggle for Freedom

    By P.P. Shirodkar

    Pp. 347 (1988) HB

    Rs.175 or $8

    The most comprehensive study of the fight of the Goans, their brethren in the country and the Indian govt. to knock Portuguese colonialism out of Goa.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa- Cradle of my Dreams

    By Nora Secco de Souza

    Pp.136 LF

    Rs.60 or $4

    A collection of assorted articles.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa- Images and Impressions

    By Thomas Vaz

    Pp. 70 (LF)

    Rs.290 or $13

    A quality coffee table book on Goa, filled with nostalgic and exquisite colour photographs of Goa today

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa: An Economic Update

    By Prabhakar S. Angle

    Pp 150/ (2001)

    Rs.175 or $9

    A follow-up to the book Goa: An Economic Review, this book looks at Goa from the perspective of socio-economic development.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa: Concepts and Misconcepts

    By Prabhakar S. Angle

    Pp.98 (1997)

    Rs.120 or $6

    The author sets out "to correct the misconception" that Goa is a culture different from the rest of India

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa: Paradise Lost

    By Alexyz Fernandes

    Pp. 160 (1999)

    Rs.50 or $3

    The cartoonist brings together his entire collection of environmental cartoons

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa: Personalities 1996- Who is Who in the Future

    By Gil Bastos Vieira

    Pp.140 (1996) HB

    Rs.100 or $5

    English-Portuguese, bilingual book. A Brazilian journalist's word-sketches of prominent Goans today.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa: The Rachol Legacy

    By Teresa Albuquerque

    Pp. 120 (1997) HB

    Rs.1260 or $39

    Albuquerque delves into the splendid spiritual and cultural heritage, and unique sixteenth-century monastic baroque architecture of Rachol.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa: Your Travel Guide

    By MRM Publications

    Pp 74/ (1999)

    Rs.65 or $4

    History, Sightseeing, culture, festivals, shopping, food and accommodation for tourists in Goa.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goa:Images and Perceptions

    By Celsa Pinto

    Pp.147 (1996) HB

    Rs.250 or $11

    A collection of 10 essays that shows Goa alive and throbbing in the 16th century. Discusses issues like: women's inheritance rights, the cotton trade, etc.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goan Cookbook

    By Joyce Fernandes

    Pp. 70 (1994)

    Rs.75 or $4

    The book that placed Goan cooking on the world map.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goan Dishes

    By Sudha Amonkar

    Pp.140 (1996) Fourth Reprint

    Rs.70 or $4

    -

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goan Mango Dishes

    By Nilima M. Kamat

    Pp. 125 (1998) PB

    Rs.80 or $5

    The author offers recipes of delectable pickles, chutneys, drinks and desserts.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goan Society Through The Ages

    By B.S. Shastry (Ed.)

    Pp.286 (1993) HB

    Rs.300 or $13

    23 papers on pre- and post-colonial Goa. Subjects range from Christian folk-songs to the status of women in Portuguese Goa, the tobacco trade, and other interesting insights into yesterday.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Goans of Kenya

    By Teresa Albuquerque

    Pp. 102 (1999)

    Rs.150 or $7

    Albuquerque delves into the saga of a segment of Goans, driven by economic circumstances to venture into Africa at the turn of the century. Besides attaining eminence in public life, some of them played a significantly role in Kenya's freedom struggle.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Gram-Panchayats in Goa: A Critical Study

    By Tanaji Halarnkar

    Pp.212 (1990) HB

    Rs.250 or $11

    Dr Halarnkar's book is the first scholastic study of village governance.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Guide To Goa

    By A.C. Khanna, K.K. Sawhney, S.R. Vashist (Ed.)

    Pp. 64 (1998)

    Rs.50 or $3

    Everything you would like to know while vacationing in Goa. Includes a handy tourist map of the State.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Health and Hygiene In Colonial Goa: 1510-1961

    By Fatima da Silva Gracias

    Pp.300(1994) HB

    Rs.450 or $19

    Investigates the medical scenario during Portuguese rule. Da Silva Gracias discusses the roles of traditional Goan medicine vis-a-vis modern medicine and finds that the public health conditions during the period were quite abysmal.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Houses of Goa

    By Gerard da Cunha, Heta Pandit and Annabel Mascarenhas

    Pp.208 (1999)

    Rs.1900 or $51

    This book is the result of an extensive study of over 150 Goan houses, with a foreword by an exponent of natural architecture, Gerard da Cunha. The book covers all elements of style found in Goa's architecture, with 200 gorgeous, colour pictures by photographer Ashok Koshy

     

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    Kaleidoscope of Women In Goa

    By Fatima da Silva Gracias

    Pp.166 (1996) HB

    Rs.250 or $11

    A fine historian provides a picture of the life-styles of women-both Christian and non-Christian-including their customs, traditions and rituals during colonial rule.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Law of Town and Country Planning in Goa

    By Shantaram Naik (Ed.)

    Pp.583 (1994) HB

    Rs.200 or $9

    An attempt to bring out the entire law on the subject in one handy volume.

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Legal Systems In Goa

    By Dr. Carmo D'Souza

    Vol. 2 Pp.305 (1995)

    Rs.150 or $7

    Comprehensive study of the history of Goa's legal system. Volume 2 deals with laws and legal trends.

     

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    Legends of Goa

    By Mario Cabral e Sa

    Pp. 119 (1998)

    Rs.395 or $17

    Cabral e Sa shares with readers a treasure chest of historical legends of Goa, from the earliest times till the end of the colonial rule. Illustrated by Mario.

     

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    Major Crops of Goa

    By Olavio Fernandes & Ulhas Kakode (Ed.)

    Pp.132 (1997)

    Rs.40 or $3

    Viable technologies on various aspects of Goa's agricultural and horticultural crops like rice, groundnut, coconut palm, mango, cashew, jackfruit and others.

     

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    Of umbrellas, goddesses and dreams: Essays on Goan culture and society

    By Robert S. Newman

    Pp. 292/(2001)

    Rs.225 or $10

    In a series of essays, written over a period of three decades, an American anthropologist looks at Goan culture and society from a variety of unconventional standpoints. Shamans, mystics, gangsterish politicians, goddesses, postage stamps and other unexpected things come together in this collection which celebrates Goa's syncretic, harmonious religious traditions, wherein people of different faiths live together in complete amity.

     

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    Profile of Eminent Goans

    By J. Clement Vaz

    Pp.347 (1997) HB

    Rs.400 or $17

    A painstaking survey of the glorious achievements of an array of great Goans, past and present, and their various contributions to human progress.

     

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    Saloni in Goa

    By Loveleen Kacker

    Pp.88 (1995)

    Rs.50 or $3

    Short story for youngsters. Set against the backdrop of Goa, drug dons et al.

     

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    Society In Goa

    By S.R. Phal

    Pp.104 (1982) HB

    Rs.50 or $3

    The author focuses on traditional social institutions like those of the comunidade and the mundkar, the life-style of the Kunbis, and life in modern Goa as well.

     

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    Statistical Pocket Book of Goa 1993-1997

    By Statistics Department, Govt of Goa

    Pp.246 (1996) Small Size

    Rs.70 or $3

    All the basic statistics on Goa you need, at a glance. Official version. Pocket size.

     

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    Tales From Golden Goa

    By Anita Pinto

    Pp.36 (1998)

    Rs.50 or $3

    Lovely tales for children with typical, rustic characters and colourful illustrations. The narrative takes the reader from one Goan village to another.

     

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    The Best of Goan Cooking

    By Gilda Mendonsa

    Pp. 105 (1997)

    Rs.175 or $8

    Mendonsa dishes out well-tried recipes of both Goan and Portuguese origin.

     

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    The Conspiracy of 1787 In Goa

    By Carmo de Noronha (Ed.)

    Pp.28 (1994)

    Rs.25 or $2

    A pamphlet that contains a brief commentary on the first major indigenous conspiracy against Portuguese rule.

     

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    The Construction Of A Political Community: Integration And Identity In Goa

    By Arthur G. Rubinoff

    Pp.173 (1998) HB

    Rs.295 or $13

    Details the hassles and the response of Goan ethnic and social groups to the process of integration with India after Liberation.

     

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    The Essential Goa Cookbook

    By Maria Teresa Menezes

    Pp 371/ (2001)

    Rs.295 or $13

    A well-produced compilation of over two hundred Goan recipes. Showcases an entire range of Goan food, with special attention to fish, prawn, pork and chicken. Recipes include favourites like Bebinca, Chorico (the Goan sausage), Sorpotel, Vindaloo and many, many others.

     

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    The Goa Law Reference

    By Goa Foundation

    Pp. 226 (1997) HB

    Rs.350 or $15

    A formidable arsenal of information for members of the bench and bar, researchers, litigants and members of the public, compiled by the Goa Foundation. Contains the full text of the Goa Law Commission Report plus all laws applicable in Goa, local and central.

     

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    The Rape of Goa

    By Patrick Ferdinand

    Pp. 72 (1988)

    Rs.100 or $5

    A thought-provoking tragedy in five acts, bristling with cameos of cruelty, avarice and corruption in the wake of Portuguese invasion of Goa and the subsequent Inquisition.

     

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    The State of Goa’s Health

    By Vikram Patel et al.

    Pp 62/ (2001)

    Rs.60 or $4

    A comprehensive report on health issues in Goa.

     

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    The Transforming of Goa

    By Norman Dantas(Ed.)

    Pp.212 (1999)

    Rs.175 or $8

    Selected essays by eminent writers, who focus on Goa and the Goan identity between the tradition-bound Portuguese period and the present India-oriented, development-driven democratic times. The book provides a much needed counterpoint to the considerable mythification that Goans are subjected to.

     

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    Unwanted Guest: Goans v/s Du Pont

    By Claude Alvares (Ed.)

    Pp.190 (1991)

    Rs.75 or $5

    A full report of the House Committee set up by the Goa Assembly to investigate the controversial Du Pont project which was unceremoniously kicked out of Goa.

     

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    Village Goa

    By Olivinho Gomes

    Pp. 432 (1996) HB

    Rs.550 or $23

    Gomes has produced a scholarly, detailed sociological study of the village of Chandor in South Goa

     

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    Winds of Fire: The Music and Musicians of Goa

    By Mario Cabral e Sa

    Pp.373 (1997)

    Rs.595 or $25

    Profiles some outstanding Goan musicians and vocalists both in the Indian and Western idioms.

     

  • Churches ...

     The Magnificent Symbols of Christianity

    One of Goa's important institutions, Goa's famous and magnificent churches are largely a legacy of Portuguese colonization

    Church building was one of the main occupations of the early Portuguese and in fact one of Vasco da Gama's main missions for finding the sea route to India was to "seek Christians and spices".

    Christianity was forced upon with religious fervor by the Portuguese during the period of the "Inquisition" with wide scale destruction of temples and this continued till the official end of the "Inquisition" in Goa in 1812. Most of Goa's churches were built on the very site of former temples. The confiscated lands of the temples were handed over to the church and the communidades. In fact, the first Hindu temple allowed to be constructed by the Portuguese in 300 years was in 1818 at Panaji.

    With a significant population of Goans being Christians for many generations today, the Church is an important factor in Goa's social, cultural and religious life. For example, the contribution of the Church to education in Goa is immense. Today the churches are all part of the Archdiocese of Goa and function with its help, many are also protected sites.

    The architecture of Goa's churches has undergone notable changes with the passage of time and the fashion of the era that they were built in.

    The church architecture can be broadly broken down to the following periods

     

    The Early period - From 1510 - 1550 AD

    The oldest surviving Church in Goa today is the Church of Our Lady of Rosary on Monte Santo, Old Goa. It was built on the site of Alfonso de Albuquerque's hill of Victory soon after he conquered Goa in 1510. The style of Churches during this time period is termed as "Manueline" after King Emmanuel of Portugal.

     

    This style is an amalgamation of Gothic and Renaissance and is a style peculiar to Portugal of that time. The decorative motifs of this style centered on Portuguese dominance of seamanship and included cables and anchors with seashells etc.

     

    This type of construction was largely not suited for Goa's weather and a number of these Churches were subsequently rebuilt or remodeled and only one or two survives to this day. This was the period that saw wide spread destruction of Hindu temples with new Churches constructed on their sites.

     

    Some notable churches of this era include the Church at the Cabo near Panaji and the Church on the Island of Divar off the coast of Old Goa. Most others are in ruins, especially in Old Goa.

     

    The Baroque period - From 1550 - 1660 AD

    This period coincides with the Renaissance period in Europe and also coincides with the period of "Golden Goa" and the influx of Missionaries to Goa including St Francis Xavier. Church building during this time reached a fever pitch with styles and plans that are totally European.

    The great churches of Old Goa including the Basilica of Bom Jesus and the Se Cathedral, and the Church of St Cajetan and the largest of them all, the Augustine Church of Our Lady of Grace, now in ruins, belong to this time period and style.

    The other notable churches outside of Old Goa built in this period include the Rachol Seminary, and the then newly rebuilt Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, at Panaji. The architecture of this period was a mixture of Tuscan, Doric, Ionic and Corinthian styles.

     

    The Indian baroque period - From 1660 - 1760 AD

    The churches of this period represent the local contribution to church building in terms of style and design. The most important being the design of the outer facade and the ceiling with inclusion of flowers, tropical motifs, etc.

    The prominent churches of this period include the Church of St Francis of Assisi at Old Goa, The Church of Holy Spirit at Margao and the Church of St Ana at Talaulim and The Church of Our Lady of Compassion at Divar.

     

    The Rococo period - From 1760 - 1899 AD

    The churches of this period are characterized by their rather small size but with an accent on exquisite and ornate finishing on the inside with local motifs and paintings. Another element was the use of Stucco on the exterior facade. The style reflected to a large extent the relaxation of the religious fervor of the Portuguese. This was also the period of the New Conquests. One of the classical examples of this style is the Church of St. Stephen's at San Estevan near Panaji. Others include the Church of Our Lady of Immaculate conception at Moira, the Church of St Alex at Calangute and the Church of Our Lady of Rosary at Margao.

     

    The modern period - From 1900 onwards

    This period dates from the early nineteenth century onwards. There is a multitude of different styles and represents the freeing of the rigid structure of the past. Some examples include the Church of Nossa Senhora at Saligao built in the gothic style.

     

    Most of the churches are functioning institutions and can be seen and prayed in. Most are revered by both Hindus and Christians alike because of their past.

     

    Old Goa

     

    Once the administrative capital of the Portuguese empire in the East, Old Goa is blessed with churches, chapels and convents of unsurpassed architectural beauty, befitting its label as 'Golden Goa' or 'Rome of the East'. The conquest of Goa by Afonso de Albuquerque in 1510 saw the advent of several religious orders like the Franciscans, Jesuits, Augustinians, Dominicans and Carmelites, who left their stamp with the many monuments they built in Old Goa.

     

    Basilica of Bom Jesus

    Built in the 16th century, this magnificent edifice is the most popular and famous of all the churches in Goa. The mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, kept in a silver casket, are enshrined here. The casket was wrought by Goan silversmiths in 1636 - 37. Dedicated to Infant Jesus, this church is now a World Heritage Monument.

     

    Timings : Sunday : 10.30 to 18.30 hrs. Weekdays : 9.00 to 18.30 hrs Masses: Sundays : 08.00 & 9.15 hrs. Weekdays : 7.00 & 8.00 hrs.

     

    The Bom Jesus Basilica, perhaps Goa's most famous church and among the most revered by Christians worldwide, is partially in ruins but still a model of simplicity and elegance, and a fine example of Jesuit architecture.

     

    This is the only church in Old Goa, which is not plastered on the outside, the lime plaster having been stripped off by a zealous Portuguese conservationist in 1950.

    Located at Old Goa, 10 kilometers east of Panaji, the Bom Jesus Basilica is a World Heritage Monument.

     

    The foundation stone of this remarkably large church was laid on 24 November 1594 and the church was consecrated by Fr. Alexia de Menezes, the Archbishop of Goa and Primate of India consecrated it when it was completed on 15 May 1605. In 1946 it was raised to the status of a minor Basilica.

     

    The Order of Jesuits was suppressed in 1759 and its property confiscated by the Portuguese State. The church was, however allowed to continue services.

     

    This magnificent edifice stands as a superb example of Baroque architecture in Goa.

     

    The church is called "Bom Jesus" meaning 'good Jesus' or 'infant Jesus' to whom it is dedicated. The façade has on it, at the top, the letters, "HIS" which are the first three letters of Jesus in Greek.

     

    The imposing facade built out of black granite in an exquisite combination of the Doric, Corinthian and composite styles, is remarkable for its simplicity. It measures 183 ft in length,55 ft in breath, and 61 ft in height. The main altar is 54 ft high and 30 ft broad. The pillars and detail are carved from basalt which was brought from Bassein, some 300 kilometers away. The interior of the church is built in Mosaico-Corinthian style and is remarkable for its charming simplicity.

     

    The roof was originally tiled. The church is cruciform on plan. The flying buttresses on the northern side of the church are recent additions. A single storied structure adjoining the church on its southern wing connects it with the Professed House.

     

    The three-storied facade of the Church shows Ionic, Doric and Corinthian Orders, and has a main entrance flanked by two smaller ones, each having Corinthian columns supporting a pediment. There are two chapels, a main altar and a sacristy besides a choir inside the Church itself. There is a belfry is at the back.

     

    As one enters, beneath the choir, to the right is an altar of St. Anthony and to the left is an exceedingly well-carved wooden statue of St. Francis Xavier. In the middle of the nave on the northern wall is the cenotaph of the benefactor of this church, Dom Jeronimo Mascarenhas, the Captain of Cochin, who died in 1593, bequeathing the resources out of which this church was built. The two columns supporting the choir bear slabs inscribed in Portuguese and Latin the dates of beginning of construction and the consecration.

     

    Opposite the cenotaph, projecting on the southern wall is a profusely carved wooden pulpit with a canopy on top. The pulpit has on its three sides the figures of Jesus, the four evangelists and four doctors of the church. The bottom of the pulpit depicts seven figures as though supporting it.

     

    A projecting gallery, which was intended for the use of dignitaries on solemn occasions, runs along the two longer sides of the Church.

     

    The main altar at the end of the nave is flanked by two decorated altars in the transept, one dedicated to Our Lady of Hope and the other to St. Michael. The richly gilded main altar has the figure of infant Jesus and above it is a large statue of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the order of Jesuits, gazing with fervour at a medallion on which is inscribed "HIS". Above the medallion, the Holy trinity - the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are depicted. In the transept on the northern side is the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.

     

    On the southern side in the transept is a chapel with gilded twisted columns and floral decorations of wood, where the sacred relics of the body of St. Francis Xavier are kept. The interior of this chapel is richly adorned with wooden carvings and paintings, depicting the scenes from the life of the Saint.

     

    A beautiful silver statue is kept in front of the casket. The silver casket, which serves as a reliquary containing the sacred relics of the body of St. Francis Xavier, is exquisitely carved, and was once studded with precious stones. The casket is divided on each side into seven panels, each of which has two plates representing in relief important incidents in the life of the saint.

     

    Adjoining the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier is a corridor that leads to the sacristy, entered through an exquisitely carved wooden door. It is an oblong vaulted structure with an apse at the end. Alongside the walls are kept the portraits of various saints above delicately carved chest of drawers. In the altar at the apse in an iron chest containing a golden rose blessed by the Pope Pius XII and gifted to this city in 1953. At the foot of the altar is the grave of the founder of the vestry, Balthazar da Veiga who died in 1659. A painting giving a fair idea as to the state of the body of St. Xavier about a hundred years ago is displayed near the altar.

     

    Inside the basilica the layout is simple but grand. A simple wooden one has now replaced the original vaulted ceiling. To the left of the door as you enter the basilica is a statue of St. Francis Xavier, but the visitor's attention is drawn to the huge and ornate gilded reredos which stretches from floor to ceiling behind the altar.

     

     

     

    Professed House

     

    The Professed House of the Jesuits located next door to the Basilica is a two storey laterite building covered with lime plaster which actually predates the Basilica, having been completed in 1585 despite strong opposition to the Jesuits. Jesuit missions to the eastern regions were planed and organised from here.

     

    Completed in 1589 under the able supervision of Br. Domingos Fernandes, the Cassa Professa or the "Professed House" according to Jesuit law is one which is intended for the exercise of the ministries of the Society and should be conspicuous for the exactness of the Jesuit way of life.

     

    There is an extremely interesting story behind the construction of the Church. The Jesuits faced strong opposition from the Senate, the Santa Cassa da Misericordiaa and the Franciscans for their planned construction in the spacious square called Terreiro dos Gallos. However on the night preceding the day on which they were to be legally restrained from building the site, two fathers and one brother converted a small house into a temporary church and on its door inscribed the word 'JESUS'.

     

    The next morning the Church was thrown open and a bell rang to call the surprised people from the neighbourhood to celebrate mass. After that the opponents were never able to dislodge the occupants.

     

    The ravages of time and the raging flames of the great fire in 1663 destroyed some of its lengthy corridors and spacious apartments but it was rebuilt in 1783. One more storey on the top was demolished between 1886 and 1887.

     

    Today there's a modern art gallery attached to the Basilica.

     

    Se Cathedral

    The most imposing of all the churches at Old Goa, its vaulted interior overwhelms visitors with its sheer grandeur. This Cathedral has five bells, among them the famous Golden bell, the biggest in Goa and one of the best in the world. The church is dedicated to St.Catherine of Alexandria.

     

    Masses - Sunday 7.15 a.m. 10.00 a.m. and 4.00 pm Weekdays : 7.30 am and 6.00 pm.

     

    One of the most ancient and celebrated religious buildings of Goa, this magnificent 16th century monument to the Roman Catholic rule in Goa under the Portuguese is the largest church in Asia. The Cathedral is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria on whose feast day in 1510 Alfonso Albuquerque defeated the Muslim army and took possession of the city of Goa. Hence it is also known as St. Catherine's' Cathedral.

    The Cathedral was commissioned by the Portuguese Viceroy, Redondo to be "a grandiose church worthy of the wealth, power and fame of the Portuguese who dominated the seas from the Atlantic to the Pacific". The final edifice is bigger than any of the churches in Portugal itself.

    The construction of this imposing edifice began in 1562 during the reign of King Dom Sebastião (1557-78) and substantially completed by 1619. The main altars however were not finished until the year 1652. It was consecrated in 1640. The Cathedral was built for the Dominicans and paid for by the Royal Treasury out of the proceeds of the sale of the Crown's property.

    The Cathedral stands to the west of the great square called Terreiro de Sabaio and has its façade turned to the east. Its beautiful courtyard is approached by a flight of steps. The building is Portuguese-Gothic in style with a Tuscan exterior and Corinthian interior. The church is 250 ft in length and 181 ft in breath. The frontispiece stands 115 ft high.

    There were originally two towers, one on either side of the façade, but the one on the southern side collapsed in 1776. The exterior of the cathedral is notable for its plainness of style built in the Tuscan tradition. The loss of one bell tower, which was never rebuilt, has given the building a unique look.

    The Sé Cathedral has five bells. The existing tower houses a famous bell, one of the largest in Goa and often referred to as 'Golden Bell' on account of its rich tone which has been immortalized in a Portuguese poem. The main altar is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, and old paintings on either side of it depict scenes from her life and martyrdom.

    The Cathedral has been built on a raised plinth of laterite, covered over with lime plaster. There is a long nave, two aisles and a transept. A bell tower is located to the southern side of the façade. The nave is barrel-vaulted while the crossing is rib-vaulted. Massive pillars support the vault in the nave and the choir, while the chapels on either side are separated by internal defenses. The building is oblong on plan but has a cruciform layout in the interior.

    The main entrance in the façade has Corinthian columns on plinths supporting a pediment containing an inscription in Latin recording that, in 1562, in the reign of King Dom Sebastiao, this Cathedral was ordered to be erected, the Archbishops and the primates being administrators and that the succeeding kings continued the same at the cost of the Royal Treasury.

    There are four chapels on either side of the nave, two of which have perforated wooden screens across the entrance. The screens have a high degree of filigree carving which has transformed wood into most delicate insinuations of foliage. Of these two screened chapels, the outstanding Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament has a magnificently gilded and beautifully decorated wall and ceiling, in complete contrast to the sober look of the cathedral's interior.

    On the right of the nave, is the other screened chapel, the Chapel of the Cross of Miracles. A vision of Christ is said to have appeared in 1919 on this huge, plain, cross. Towering above the main altar is the huge gilded reredos. Scenes from the life of St Catherine, to whom the cathedral is dedicated, are carved on its six main panels. The Saint was beheaded in Alexandria and among the images here are those showing her awaiting execution and being carried to Mount Sinai by angels.

    The two small statuettes inset into the main pillars supporting the choir are that of St Francis Xavier and St Ignatius Loyola. To the right is a chamber containing the baptismal font made in 1532, perhaps brought from the old Cathedral. St Francis Xavier is said to have baptized thousands of Goan converts using this font. A large painting of St. Christopher is hung beneath the choir.

    To the left of the entrance are four chapels dedicated to Our Lady of Virtues, St. Sebastian, the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady of Life. To the right, again are four chapels dedicated to St. Anthony, St. Bernard, the Cross of Miracles and the Holy Ghost.

    In the nave are two wooden pulpits projecting from two columns on the right. In the transept are six altars, three on either side of the main altar. The altars on the right side are those of St. Anna, Our Lady of Doloures and St. Peter, while those on the left are those of Our Lady of Sorrows, Our Lady of Three Necessities and Our Lady of Hope.

    The arches accommodating four of these altars are decorated with paintings depicting scenes from the lives of the saints. On either side of the nave is a niche in which are kept the wooden statues of St. Paul and St. Peter.

    In the nave, near the altar, to the right is a projecting gallery on which is kept an 18th century organ. In the nave near the altar are seats for the canon and a throne for the archbishop. There is also a richly carved ebony stand, which was originally in the Church of St. Francis of Assisi.

    To the right is a door that leads to the sacristy, which is a barrel-vaulted structure with gilded altar showing a church modeled after St. Peter's Church in Rome.

    The adjoining convent has been turned in to an Archeological Museum and is open to the public. Just behind the cathedral lies a two storied edifice, the Palace of the Archbishop, which is no longer in use. The Franciscan church lies to the west of the cathedral.

     

    The Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assisi

    To the west of the Se Cathedral is the former palace of the Archbishop that connects the Se Cathedral to the Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assisi. The structure is built of laterite blocks and is lime-plastered.

    The church faces west and has a nave with three chapels on either side, a choir, two altars in the transept and a main altar. To the north of the main altar are belfry and a sacristy. The convent, which forms an annexure to the church, now houses the Archaeological Museum.

    The exterior of the Church is of the Tuscan Order while the main entrance is in Manuline style. The main altar is Baroque with Corinthian features. There are no aisles but only a nave, which is rib-vaulted.

    The internal buttress walls, separating the chapels and supporting the gallery on top, have frescoes showing intricate floral designs.

    In a niche on the façade, stands a statue of our lady of miracles brought from Jaffna in Sri Lanka. A wooden statue of St. Francis of Assisi adorns a pedestal bearing the insignia of the Franciscans. A wooden pulpit, richly carved with floral designs is to the left as one enters.

    Beneath a ribbed vault with frescoes showing floral decorations, is the main altar, which is gilded and has a richly carved niche with a tabernacle supported by the four evangelists.

    The tabernacle was used for displaying the holy sacrament. Above the tabernacle, in the main altar, is a large statue of St. Francis of Assisi and an equally large statue of Jesus on the cross. Beneath the two figures are inscribed the three vows of the Saint - poverty, humility and obedience. On either side of the main altar, in the nave, are beautiful large paintings on wood, depicting scenes from the life of St. Francis of Assai.

    The origin of this church and the attached convent can be traced to the humble beginnings made by eight Franciscan friars, who, on their arrival in 1517, secured from the then Governor a few houses that belonged to a deceased Thanadar. By their persistent efforts they constructed a small chapel with three altars and a choir.

     

    A church consecrated to the Holy Ghost was built in 1521 and was later pulled down and the present church was built on the same spot in 1661 retaining only the entrance of the earlier church.

     

    The Reis Magos Church

    The small hamlet of Reis Magos lies on banks of the Mandovi river and is home to two famous landmarks of Goa - the Reis Magos fort and the Reis Magos Church. It is also one of only three places in Goa, where the unique Feast of the Three Wise Men is held.

     

    Reis Magos lies off the main road, which passes through the fishing and boat-building villages of Betim and Verem on the way to the more famous tourist spots of Calangute and Candolim beaches. At the Verem Bazar, a turning past a Hindu tree shrine takes the traveller to Reis Magos.

     

    The Church, whose whitewashed gabled facade is visible from across the river in Panaji, was built in 1555. Fransiscan friars, who were in charge of missionary work for the area, took over the church and founded a small seminary here.

     

    The church, which was built shortly after the fort above it, was dedicated to St Jerome. Historians have found evidence to support the fact that the Church was built on the ruins of an old Hindu temple. Two typical symbols of the Hindu Vijayanagar temple architecture - bas-relief lion figures can be seen on the flanks, at the start of the steps going up to the Church.

    Not long after its construction, the Church and the Seminary became a well established site for learning and its prominence can be gauged from the fact that the Portuguese royal coat of arms is imprinted below the crucifix at the top of the gable. Two of Goa´s former Viceroys are actually buried here, their tombstone inscriptions in Por4tuguese and Latin still clearly legible.

    One of the tombs is that of Dom Luis de Ataide, who gained fame all over the Portuguese empire for his spirited defense of the colony of Goa, when just with a force of 700 men, he managed to keep at bay 10,000 Muslim attackers supported by 2000 elephants for a period of ten long months.

    The Church interiors are quite colourful and impressive, with the highlight being the multi-coloured wood relief showing the Three Wise Men (Reis Magos) bearing gifts to the baby Jesus, which is the centerpiece of the elaborately carved and painted reredos behind the high altar.

    Every year on the 6th of January, Reis Magos comes alive with the colourful Festa dos Reis Magos, when the story of the three Kings is re-enacted by local youth playing the parts of the Magi. The locals celebrate the journey of the three kings who went to worship the holy Infant Child with a procession which starts from the Church and goes around the village.

     

    The Church of Our Lady of The Rosary

    Not far to the west of the Basilica of the Bom Jesus is the Holy Hill at the extremity of which is the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. Built of laterite and plastered with lime mortar, it has a two-storeyed portico. The portico as well as the façade of the church has rounded towers on either side with the cross on top. The roof of the church is tiled, supported by wooden rafters.

     

    The Chapels And Altars

    There are two chapels and three altars. The main altar is dedicated to our Lady of the Rosary. The church, with windows near the roof and with rounded towers giving an impression of a fortress church, is Manuline in style though Gothic influence can be seen in the rib-vault at the portico.

     

    Cenotaph of Dona Catarina

    To the right of the main altar is a marble cenotaph commemorating Dona Catarina whose marriage with Viceroy Garcia De Sa was performed by St. Francis Xavier.

    The cenotaph slightly projecting from the wall is artistically decorated with carved miniature pillars and inscriptions in Portuguese and has a triangular pediment crowned by a shell moulding. The foliage and other decorations emanating from a vase closely resemble those on the tombs of Gujarat, thus suggesting influence of a regional art-style.

    This votive chapel was built in fulfillment of a vow taken by Afonso de Albuquerque while reviewing the battle between his forces and those of the Bijapur sultan from the same spot, on which the church stands. The vow, however, could be fulfilled only after his death, since this church was built in 1544-49.

     

    Church of St Anne, Talaulim

    Of all the churches in Goa, the most ostentious and notable for its excellent architecture is that of St Anne. It was reconstructed by Mons Francisco do Rego with his own funds and with the contributions of some villagers. Unfortunately he could not complete the task thus the onus befell on Fr Antonio Francisco da Cunha for its completion which he did 1965. The main altar is consecrated to St Anne.

    There is a belief that the main altar is pledged to this beloved Saint due to certain reasons as narrated By Fr F de Souza in his ‘Oriente Conquistado’ - In the island of Goa (Tiswadi) in the year 1577 some devotees purchased the site which came to be known as ‘Quinta de Sant Ana’ where every week the students of ‘Colegio de S Paulo’ used to indulge themselves in some leisure activities.

    The priest who was residing at the local was entrusted for the conversions of the villagers of Moula and Talaulim decided to construct a small hermitage though he failed to consecrate the same in honour of any known saint.

    However a ‘Gaokar’ Bartalomeu Marchon said that he saw an old woman coming down

    the hill with a walking cane and a hat and claimed that the hermitage was her abode and wanted to set her residence therein.

    Not knowing the name of this lady the priest propagated in the village this reported instance. On hearing about this incident, an old Brahmin lady, claimed that when she was seriously ill the same old lady appeared to her in her dreams and held her hand to rise from her stricken bed and said that her name was Anne and wanted a house in the village.

    The result of this dream was her miraculous cure and subsequent conversion which precipitated the priest to avow that the glorious St Anne had to be revered in theta village as such the Church was consecrated to St Anne.

    The festivity of St Anne which falls on July 26 is celebrated throughout Goa, but more with aplomb in the tiny village of Talaulim (near Goa Velha) where it is known as ‘Touceachem Fest’ (Cucumber Feast). It is a recorded fact that though the Portuguese introduced their Christian festivals to Goa, Goans with their characteristic ingenuity modified these festivals to befit their seasons without altering the dates.

    The ‘Touceachem Fest’ is a well attended festival by people of all walks of life and communities who beseech the venerable saint with various offerings to comply with their most ardent wishes. The most common ones being: ‘Senhora, Tomai Colher, dai me mulher’ - pertinent to the bachelors who pledge with a wooden spoon to appeal for a wife; the females intone - ‘Senhora, tomai urido (Dhal type - phaseolus max) dai me marido’; the newly weds supplicate - ‘Senhora, tomai pepino (cucumber) dai me menino’. Devotees say that the boons in most of the cases are granted.

    It is notable to mention that the Church of St Anne follows the Indian architecture amalgamated with Western propensities to adopt the 5x5 scheme appropriate the Indian way to a grand temple but modifies the proportions of the pilasters according to the native flavour, forsaking the European fixedness, while molding the shafts in consonance to the rural needs.

    The Church of St Anne at Talaulim can be termed as the master-piece of the Indian Baroque style. It is poignant to note that this admirable church is in a fairly derelict state at the present time.

     

    St. Augustine's Tower

    One of the most spectacular of all monuments in Goa, reproduced on innumerable travel brochures and advertisements is the St Augustine tower in Old Goa. This highly visible landmark, a 46m-high tower served as a belfry and formed part of the facade of a magnificent Church.

    Out of the more than twenty fabulous churches which once existed in the old city of Velha Goa, only ten remain today. And of these four are actually chapels. The churches were located on and between seven hills around the Velha Goa region.

    The Monte Santo (Holy Hill) at Velha Goa was the site for the monastery of the Augustinian order, attached to which was the enormous church of Nossa Senhora da Graca (Our Lady of Grace). The Tower and Church were built in 1602 by the Augustinian friars who arrived in Goa in 1587.

    The tower is one of the four towers of St. Augustine Church that once stood at the site. Initially built of laterite and colossal in size, almost forty-six meters high, it had four storeys. The Tower was meant to serve as a belfry and the Church had eight richly adorned chapels and four altars and a convent with numerous cells attached to it.

    The construction of the building began more than 400 years ago and was finished between the years 1597 to 1602. The name of the designer of this magnificent piece of construction is not known, but he is thought to have been Italian.

    Incidentally, the construction was begun in the same year as the arrival in Goa of Julio Simao (1565-1641) who was himself influenced by the great Spanish architect Juan de Herrera (1530-1597). Simao was the chief architect of the Indian colonies of Portugal having been appointed by Philip II, ruler of Spain and Portugal between 1580 - 1598.

    When it was completed in the 16th century, the grand Nossa Senhora da Graca Church was recognised as one of the three great Augustinian churches in the Iberian world, the other two being the Basilica of the Escorial in Spain, St. Vincente de Fora in Lisbon.

    On entering the church, the visitor would have a glimpse of the grand retable of the high altar, with its large gilt tabernacle sheltered within an arch, through a screen of arched piers. Vestiges of most of these piers were visible until recently; they supported a spacious choir which could have accommodated a large number of Augustinian monks.

    The nave of the Church now lies open to the sky, under whose broken arches locals sometimes gather and talk. Covering the vast nave was a barrel vault, whose enormous weight unfortunately hastened its collapse.

    The church was abandoned in 1835 due to the repressive policies of the Portuguese government, which resulted in the eviction of many religious orders from Goa.

    The church fell into neglect and the vault collapsed in 1842. The church's demise began with the collapse of this vault. The body of the church was soon destroyed, but the facade remained intact.

    The tower's huge bell was moved in 1871 to the Church of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Panjim, where it remains and can be seen and heard today. In 1931, the facade and half the tower fell down, followed by more sections in 1938 leaving only half the tower that is seen and visited by thousands of tourists today.

    This remnant, the renowned St. Augustine's tower is all that remains of what was once one of the largest buildings in Goa - The Augustinian Monastery.

     

    The Convent of St. Cajetan and Church of Divine Providence

    The large and beautiful Church of St. Cajetan, lies about half a kilometer away to the north east of the Se Cathedral, and quite near the ruins of the Vice regal Palace. This church, which is said to have been modeled on the original design of the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome, is architecturally Corinthian both externally and internally while the gilded altars with rich carvings are in rich Baroque style. The Church building itself is built of laterite blocks which are lime plastered.

    The Church of St. Cajetan as it is popularly known, (originally called The Church of Our Lady of Divine Providence) and the Convent of St. Cajetan were built by Italian friars of the Order of Theatines, (known in Portuguese as Clérigos Regulares da Divina Providência). Although the church altar is dedicated to Our Lady of Divine Providence, the church is named after the founder of the Theatine order, St. Cajetan, a contemporary of St Francis Xavier.

    In 1639, three Italians of the Order of Theatines were sent by Pope Urban VIII to the kingdom of Golconda (near Hyderbad) to preach Christianity. They were D. Pedro Avitabili, D. Francisco Marci and D. Antonio Maria Ardizone. The friars were not permitted to work in Golconda, so they came to Goa on 25th October 1640.

    In their new abode, they began the construction of a hospital but the local Viceroy stopped their activities in 1643 and asked them to leave Goa in 1645. However, D. Pedro Avitabili, their courageous leader went all the way to Portugal to explain to the King, Dom João IV, that it would be in the interest of Christian religion if they were allowed to work in Goa together with the Portuguese priests.

    Impressed by the determination of the Italian friar, the King gave permission to build the hospital in 1650. In 1655, the Theatines managed to obtain permission to build the Church and also a Convent. The construction of the Church was completed in 1661. Although built around the same time, the Convent was much smaller in size and was enlarged only later.

    The grand façade of the Church has two towers on either side to serve as belfry. There are Corinthian columns and pilasters supporting a pediment, and four niches in which are kept the statues of the apostles.

    Inside a clever use of internal buttresses and four huge pillars has turned the interior into a cruciform. The main body of the church forms a Greek cross on plan internally and oblong externally, with a nave ending in an apse and aisles marked by four massive piers faced by Corinthian pilasters. These piers also form the base for supporting, at the crossing, a circular dome that rests on a drum and was crowned by a lantern. The inscription around the inside of the base of the dome is a verse from St Matthew's gospel.

    The ribbed vaults of the nave and aisles are of varying height and are coffered with different floral designs. Two-octagonal rooms with domed roofs on either side of the main altar serve as the sacristy.

    There are six altars besides the main one dedicated to Our Lady of Divine Providence. Profusely carved and gilded in Baroque style, these altars have twisted shafts dominated by figures of angels. The altars also have Italian school paintings on canvas, some depicting scenes from the life of St. Cajetan. The niches running along the sides of the vault have wooden statues of saints.

    The composition of baroque reredos is different from those of the neighbouring churches since it tapers gracefully towards the ceiling, with large carvings of angelic figures near the base and the whole crowned with a symbolic sun.

    As one enters the Church, there are three altars on the left side dedicated to the Holy family; Our Lady of Piety and St. Clare, while to the right are those of St. John, St. Cajetan and St. Agnes. The largest of the altars on the right hand side of the church is dedicated to St Cajetan himself.

    There is a decorated wooden pulpit projecting from one of the piers. In the crossing is a square raised platform, which serves as a pulpit. Underneath the beautiful cupola, in the middle of the nave, there is a well which remains covered. The presence of the well has led to the conjecture that the site was once the setting of a Hindu temple.

    The building which housed the Theatine Monastery near the Church is currently the setting for Diocesan Pastoral Centre. In the grounds of the Church are the remains of the doorway that once was the entrance to an Islamic palace belonging to Adil Shah, the ruler of Goa before the Portuguese took control.

     

    The Church and College of St. Paul

    Unfortunately all that remains today of this once massive structure is the façade of the Church built in Doric style. By the year 1827 the College and the Church were already in a pretty devastated state. This was finally completely demolished in 1829 by the Government except for the façade and the material was taken to Panjim to be utilized for new constructions. The remaining arch of the façade of the Church lies on the road from Old Goa to Ponda just a short distance from the Gandhi Circle, on the left side of the road among a cluster of trees.

    It was started as a seminary of the Holy Faith for training young converts by two priests Diogo de Borba and Miguel Vaz who had established the Santa Fé confraternity. The construction began in November 1541 and completed on January 25, 1543, the day of feast of Conversion of St. Paul to whom the church was dedicated.

    The College of St Paul was among the largest in India. Beside elementary instruction, higher education in Music, Latin, Arts and sciences was also imparted, capped with lectures in Philosophy and theology. Even the degree of Master of Arts and the Doctorate were conferred here.

    In 1548, when Fr Borba passed away, the seminary was handed over to St. Francis Xavier who had recently arrived in Goa and was residing at the Hospital Real (Royal Hospital). The College of St. Paul's was the first house of the Jesuit Order in Goa. After some years, the old college building was demolished and the two separate buildings were constructed, Both connected to each other by a passage. Seminário de Santa Fé was for the students and the other building called Colégio de São Paulo was for the residence of the Jesuits.

    In 1556, King Dom João III issued an ordinance by which the College was opened for secular studies. By 1568 around three thousand students from India and other parts of Asia were enrolled at the college.

    Besides the Seminary of Santa Fé, the following institutions were attached to the College: a novitiate, a professed house, a hospital and a house for the newly converts. The College had a large library and the first printing press in Asia was set up in this College, through which came the first printed publications.

    In 1560 the Church was demolished on account of its weak condition and the foundation stone for a larger Church with three naves was laid on 25th January, 1560. It was twenty years later that one of the walls developed cracks and three arches of magnificent dimensions covering the existing road were built as support under the supervision of Jesuit João de Faria. As such it was popularly known as São Paulo dos Arcos (St. Paul of Arches).

    It was for the first time that Santos Passos (dramatic representation of Passion of Christ) were introduced in Asia in this institution. The penitential procession was characterized by public self-flogging. There were booths erected in different places to provide first aid. The tradition of spreading or throwing flowers on the occasion of the feast of Our Lady of Mount originated here. Above all, the greatest honour that this institution received was the presence of Francis Xavier whenever he was in Goa and the first public exposition of his incorrupt body after his death. The martyrs of Cuncolim were also buried here.

    In 1570 there was an epidemic and the Jesuits acquired some houses belonging to Pedro de Faria on the hill of Nossa Senhora do Rosário in 1578 for the residence of the Convalescents. The complex was named as Colégio de São Roque (1580). All the departments of studies from College of S. Paul were transferred to College of S. Roque which was also known as Colégio de São Paulo-o-Novo (St. Paul, the New).

    The construction of a new building in this place met with a stiff opposition of Augustinians and nuns from Santa Mónica. The Jesuits had some other enemies too, who set fire to the building four times between 1591 and 1675. Once, the Rector of the Colégio de Dom Jerónimo Xavier, a relation of Francis Xavier was the victim of these flames. There was a surplice of Francis Xavier deposited in a silver box in this College which was later taken to Basilica of Bom Jesus.

    The printing press from the old college was also transferred to College of St. Paul. The new and the third edition of Purana of Fr. Thomas Stephen were printed here, in 1654. The Hospital Real functioned here from 1760 to 1764 after the closure of the college. Today there is nothing left for the visitor to admire, not even the stones.

     

    Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception Church, Panjim

    The church was one of the first to be built in Goa, certainly being there by 1541.

    The early church was completely re-built from its foundations in 1619 and this was even considered, taking account of the still negligible population of the area and the size of the new church, is a striking commentary on the religious climate of the time and the wealth available to the churches.

    The interior of the church is relatively simple by the standards of the time although the backdrop to the main altar, dedicated to Mary Immaculate, is impressive enough.

    However, it is the two flanking altars that catch the eye, on the left dedicated to Jesus Crucified and that on the right to Our Lady of the Rosary.

    Each is a riot of heavily gilded, deeply carved ornamentation, yet compact and controlled, a fine example of the period. At the side of each is a marble statue, one of St Peter and one of St Paul.

    In the south transept to the right of the main altar is a Chapel of St. Francis Xavier, whose glass-encased statue occupies the centre of the reredos.

  • Temples ...

     The royal heritage and architecture of edifices, like the Puri Jagnnanth Temple, Barbati fort, Lingraj temples, KhandaGiri & UdayaGiri caves, Sun temple of Konark, and the world heritage sites of Buddhism at Dhauli and Lalitigiri are really remarkable.

     The royal heritage and architecture of edifices, like the Puri Jagnnanth Temple, Barbati fort, Lingraj temples, KhandaGiri & UdayaGiri caves, Sun temple of Konark, and the world heritage sites of Buddhism at Dhauli and Lalitigiri are really remarkable.

     

    | Lord Jagannath Temple | Narshima Temple | Srilokanath Temple | Gundicha Mandir | Narendra Sarovara | Sakshi gopala Temple | Konark-Sun temple |Lingraja Temple | Dhauli Hill | Muktesvara temple | Raj rani Temple | Ghategaon | Gopinath Temple | Ananta - Vasudeva Temple | Bhaskareswar | Bindu Sarovara | Brahmeshwar Temple | Kedareshwar Temple | Megheshwar Temple | Mohini Temple | Parasurameshwar Temple | Paschimeshwar Temple | Ram Mandir | Siddheshwar Temple |

    Sisireshwara Temple | Sri Krishna Balaram Temple | Swarnajaleshwar Temple | Uttareshwar Temple | Yameshwar Temple | Astashambhu Temple | Dhabeleswar | Bhattarika | Gupteswar | Nilamadhaba | Dhavaleswar | Sixty-Four Yoginis Temple of Hirapur | Panchalingeswar | Harishankar | Nrusinghanath | Bhadrakali | Baba Akhandalamani | Taratarini | Huma Temple | Cuttack Chandi Temple |

     

  • Mosques ...

    Jama Masjid

    Situate 26 kms from Margao at Sanguem and built in the last century, the Jama Masjid was completely renovated in 1959. The new structure is remarkable for its harmonious proportions and elegant simplicity with its four minarets.

     

    Safa Masjid

    One of the only two sixteenth-century Islamic monuments which managed to survive the excesses of the Inquisition, the Safa Masjid lies 2 km west of the centre of the town of Ponda, in a district known as Shahpur. The elegant structure was built in 1560 by Ibrahim Adil Shah, the Sultan of Bijapur.

    The mosque was the focus of attention in a fairly extensive complex of gardens and fountains which lies in ruins today. The rectangular prayer hall of the mosque rests above a high base and is capped with a pointed terracotta tile roof.

    There are elegant Islamic arches decorating the walls. Remnants of octagonal pillars can be seen all around the mosque; perhaps these supported a covered courtyard to provide shade to worshippers.

    There is a well-constructed water tank with small chambers with 'meharab' designs nearby which is located to the south of the prayer hall unlike most mosques where it is located outside the main entrance.

    This has led to speculation that the tank may have been part of another religious structure which once stood there. Local legend also has it that there are hidden tunnels in the walls of the tank which connect it to a nearby water reservoir.

    This mosque is a venue of celebration during festivals of Id-Ul-Fitr and Id-Ul-Zuha, by the local Muslim community. There are rickshaws available at the main Ponda bus stand which can take you to the site of the Safa Masjid.

     

    Namazgah

    This mosque is located in the Ponda area through the attractive countryside a further 2 or 3 km from the Safa Masjid.

    This is one of the areas of great natural wealth laden ore-barges, seen chugging down river on their way to Vasco, are filled with ore from here. Viewed from the height from Bicholim is spread out below and in the distance are the sivalik mountains with the mines to the left, and behind.

    A short distance to the right there is a small structure set on the crest of a bleak hillside. This is Namazgah mosque, an interesting diversion to see a tiny remnant of Muslim history this mosque was built by Prince Akbar, to commemorate a battle which he and the Marathas, led by Sambhaji, fought against the Portuguese in 1683.

    It was an unlikely alliance which came about after Prince Akbar had rebelled against is father the Emperor. High above Bicholim on this bare hillside with extensive views to the east, the mosque is of most unusual design and interesting layout.

  • Eco-Tourism ...+

     There are many tourists whose moto of travelling is to interact with nature and to get solitude from the busy and polluted world. In Orissa there are many Eco Tourism places where one can get completely devoted to natures beauty and have a peaceful mind when one goes back. Some such places are TikarPada, Gahirmath Turtle santuary Chilika Lake, River Beds ,national Parks , and Debrigarh Eco-tourism .

  • Beaches ...+

     Orissa beaches are represented by vast stretches of golden sandy land, deep blue sea and pleasant weather. The beautiful sea side beaches of Orissa provide the tourists with a wonderful opportunity to experience the natural scenic beauty of the place. The sea beaches of the state draws several tourists from far and wide who are enthralled and enchanted by the captivating sight of the places.

    The tumultuous waves of Bay of Bengal coupled with the cool sea breeze make the beaches of Orissa an ideal place to spend some time with close family and friends. The sea side beaches of the state serve as the health resort for many tourists who visit the places to regain lost health and vigor.

    The state government of Orissa has taken steps to improve the tourism prospects of the sea beaches. The tourists can swim across the high waves of Bay of Bengal or enjoy sunbath on the sandy beaches of the sea side. Puri, Chandipur, Golpalpur and Talasari are some of the prominent beaches of the state that are always flocked by tourists.

    The Puri Festival of Puri is a special attraction for the tourists. The Puri Festival displays the rich cultural heritage and traditional legacy of the state through the brilliant performances of the artists of Odissi dance and classical music.

    Far from the maddening crowd and hustle bustle of the city life, the serene and calm surrounding of the beaches of Orissa relieves the tourists from the stress and strains of daily mundane life. The beaches are easily accessible by good roads and well laid railway tracks from all parts of the country.

     

    Aryapalli Beach

    One of the prominent Odisha beaches, Aryapalli is located at a distance of 6 km and 30 km from Chatrapur and Berhampur respectively. The golden sandy beaches, deep blue sea and salubrious weather represent the beautiful place of Aryapalli. An important place of tourist interest, the enchanting beach draws several visitors through out the year who are absolutely thrilled with the captivating beauty of the place.

    Aryapalli beach provides the tourists with a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the natural splendor of Orissa. The sunrise and sunset on the beach casts a magical spell on the spectators who are bewitched by the captivating beauty of Aryapalli. The tourists can enjoy a sunbath on the clean beach of the place. Those who want to add a bit of adventure in their trip to Aryapalli can swim in the tumultuous water of the sea.

     

    Balaramgadi Beach

    Balaramgadi of Orissa offers the tourists with a wonderful opportunity to experience the convergence of the mighty River Budhabalanga with the deep blue sea of Bay of Bengal. One of the notable Orissa beaches, Balaramgadi is situated at a stone's throw distance of just 2 km from the beach of Chandipur.

    Golden sandy beaches, turbulent water of the sea and the cool sea side breeze represent the exotic beach of Balaramgadi. A natural health resort of the state, the fresh and pollution free air relieves the tourist from the stress and strains of daily mundane life. The sunrise and sunset on the beach casts a magical spell on the tourists. A walk on the sand rejuvenates the visitors with renowned energy and vigor.

    The clean beach offers the tourists with a unique scope to experience sunbath on the sandy beaches of Balaramgadi. A swim in the tumultuous water of the sea fills the tourist with an utmost sense of excitement and thrill.

     

    Balighai Beach

    Balighai beach of Orissa is situated at a stone's throw distance of just 8 km from the famous place of Puri. A well known tourist destination, Balighai provides the tourists with a wonderful opportunity to experience the convergence of the calm river with the tumultuous sea.

    An ideal place to spend time with family and friends in the midst of nature, Balighai is frequented by several tourists from far and wide who are absolutely awed by the natural splendor of the place. The salubrious weather, exotic sea beach and confluence of the swift flowing river with the turbulent sea represent the beautiful place of Balighai.

    The tourists can enjoy a pleasant sunbath on the neat and clean sea side beach of the area. One can explore the bounty of nature by riding on the boat. The interested tourists can swim across the turbulent waves of the sea and refresh their mind, body and soul with renewed energy and vigor.

     

    Baliharachandi Beach

    Baliharachandi beach of Orissa is situated at a short distance of just 27 km from the famous place of Puri. Salubrious weather, vast stretches of sandy beach and turbulent sea represent the picturesque landscape of Baliharachandi.

    One of the worth seeing Orissa beaches, Baliharachandi is famous for the revered religious shrine of Goddess Harachandi that draws several devotees from far and wide who visit the holy monument to seek divine blessings and eternal happiness. The sea side beach offers the tourists with a wonderful opportunity to experience the natural splendor of Orissa.

    The vast coastline appears awesome during the sunrise and sunset that casts a magical spell on the tourists. The tourists can enjoy sunbath on the quite and isolated sea beach of Baliharachandi. A swim across the tumultuous sea is a real delight for those tourists who want to add a bit of adventure in their trip to the enchanting place.

     

    Chandipur Beach

    Chandipur is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. The sea beaches of Chandipur have succeeded in attracting tourists from all over the world. The Chandipur beach has its own unique character which sets it apart from all other beaches of India.

    The most interesting feature of the sea at the Chandipur beach is the way it retreats almost 5 Kilometers twice a day. As the sea recedes back, the horizon broadens and the soft, moist, tempting sand becomes an ideal place for the tourists to sit back and enjoy the tranquil aspect of nature. The rare sight of the waves caressing towards the shore and the dazzling sun light are sure to captivate any body who visits this place. The hide and seek of the sea is complimented by the musical swing of the casuarina trees which are an integral part of the Chandipur beach and borders the sea shore all through.

    There are a number of interesting places that one can visit from the Chandipur beach, these include:

    • The Khirachora Gopinath Shrine in Remuna
    • Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary
    • Jagannath Temple in Nilagiri
    • Bhudara Chandi Shrine in Sajanagarh
    • Shivalinga,
    • Panchalingeswar
    • Simlipal National Park
    • Shakti Shrine of Deokund

     

    Chandrabhaga Beach

    The Chandrabhaga beach in Orissa is one of its biggest asset both from the aspect of the tourism industry and the history of the place. The beaches of Orissa play a dominant role in their history and Geography and the Chandrabhaga beach in Orissa is intrinsically linked to the past of the region. The golden sand and the casurina trees add to the natural glamor of the beach. But the biggest claim to fame of the Chandrabhaga beach is the Konarak Temple or the Sun Temple.

    Originally, the waters of the Chandrabhaga beach used to flow towards the celebrated sculpted wheel on the Konarak Temple but today, the Sea has shifted and it is almost 2 Kilometers away from the Temple. Being the site of such a historical and religious monument, the Chandrabhaga beach in Orissa attracts a lot of tourists who come to get a glimpse of this architecturally beautiful and antique piece of history.

     

    Gopalpur Beach

    Located at a distance of 186 Kilometers from the capital city of Bhubaneshwar, the Gopalpur beach in Orissa is an ideal place to relax amidst a natural surroundings. The serene atmosphere and the pristine beaches creates the perfect tranquil atmosphere for rejuvenating ones mind and soul.

    A paradise for marine lovers, the Gopalpur beach is the site of an ancient Sea port and the ancient light house on the beach stands as a memento of the bygone era. The biggest asset of the Gopalpur beach is its virgin nature. Still largely unexplored, the Gopalpur beach in the Southern part of the state of Orissa is a hub of local fishermen. It is probably this natural setting of the Gopalpur beach and the vibrant local life style, that captivates the tourist most.

     

    Astaranga Beach

    On the beautiful coast of the vast Bay of Bengal lies the Astranga Beach. It is located around 91 km from the city of Puri in the state of Odisha, India. Devi River is right on the entrance of the beach.

    The Astaranga Beach is a lovely little fishing centre of Puri. Visitors here are attracted to the sand, which is ordinarily white but the sunset turns the color to golden. In the early morning, one can watch the fishing business and the boatmen, who carry fresh fish to the market in their traditional boats.

    One can stroll down the sandy beach in the evenings and witness the spectacular display presented by the setting sun.

     

    Talsari Beach

    The Talsari beach is located on the Bay of Bengal, close to the Subarnarekha River. The beach is in the Balasore district of the state of Odisha, India. It is around 6 km from Digha, which lies on the Odisha-Bengal border.

    The beach is a lesser known place, so there is not much rush here. The place is famous for its red crabs, which are small in size and look quite attractive.

    There are many things that you can indulge in on the Talsari beach. You can take long walks on the beautiful beach and enjoy the vicinity of nature. One can also take a boat ride in the calm waters. Then there is the Chandaneshwar Temple, which is worth visiting.

     

    Pata Sonapur Beach

    The Pati Sonapur Beach is right on the confluence of the mighty Bay of Bengal and the river Bahuda. It is located in the district of Behrampur in the state of Odisha, India.

    One can visit the ruined custom houses of the past, as the place was once the chief shipping center in the 18th century. If you wish, you can also visit the lighthouse which is around one km away and was built in 1871. The main attraction is the beach itself, which is worth spending the day at.

    The beach is a calm and quiet place to relax or enjoy a day with friends or family. One can indulge in water sports like paddle boats, water scooter, etc. Various stalls and small shacks can be seen offering a variety of food items.

     

    Malud Beach

    Malud is a small place situated in the district of Puri in the state of Odisha, India. It takes 2 to 3 hours to reach Puri from Malud. The place is an important beach that faces the Bay of Bengal.

    Although it is a small place, the beach of Malud is one that will definitely capture your attention. The beach is pristine and the white sands are have a silky and clean look. One can spend the evening watching the sun set with its rich colors. The temple of Dadhibamana Dev here is very famous and has many devotees visiting it.

    The water here is calm; therefore, one can enjoy swimming here. Lots of watersports are also coming up so if you love the waters, you can take anyone from the boat rides, paddle boats, etc.

     

    Satapada Beach

    Satapada is located around 50 km from Puri in the state of Odisha, India. It comprises seven villages, and thus the name Satapada (sata = seven, pada = village). The beach is located at the meeting point of the Bay of Bengal and the Chilika Lake.

    The most important thing here is the beach, which is also famous for its Chilka dolphins. One can also visit the small island called Rajahamsa that is 18 km from Satapada. Once can also find migratory birds in the bird sanctuary here.

    The beach provides lots of recreational facilities. One can enjoy canoeing, boating, kayaking, etc. if you love swimming, you can swim to your heart's content here as the water is calm. People come here to watch the dolphins, which are found in large numbers.

     

    Baleshwar Beach

    The Baleshwar beach is a very popular beach that is located around 15 km from Puri in the state of Odisha, India. It is situated on the shores of the Bay of Bengal.

    Baleshwar is visited for its extraordinary beach and the shrine of Lord Shiva that attracts hordes of devotees to this place. The sand and the sunset attract tourist in vast numbers. The sea here is calm and the beach is long and wide, helping you relax and unwind.

    Baleshwar is a popular picnic spot, which is why you see lots of activity going on the beach. Water sports of all sorts can be enjoyed here. You can also stroll on the beach, with the soft white sand under your feet. Or you can watch the sun set as it slowly fades and twinkling stars appear in the sky.

     

    Paradip Beach

    Paradip is located in the Jagatsinghpur district in Odisha, India. It is near to major cities like Cuttack (94 km) and Bhubaneshwar (125 km). The latter is the capital city of Odisha.

    Paradip is quite an attractive beach by itself. Some of the attractions here are the light hours, marine aquarium, Jagganath Temple, Nehru Bungalow, Bhitarkanika National Park, Baladeva Temple, etc. The place is quite a busy one, as it is one of the best beaches in the country.

    Here you can experience miles and miles of paradise that comprises pristine beaches and the blue sea. The place also has rare white crocodiles and lizards, migratory birds, etc. One can also enjoy water sports like boating and swimming.

     

    Gahirmath Beach

    The Gahirmath beach is located in the coastal region of the Bay of Bengal, and is in the district of Kendrapara, Odisha. Between the Bay of Bengal and the Bhitarkanika mangroves is the beach, which is very important, being the nesting place for the Olive Ridley sea turtles. The Gahirmath Beach is adjacent to the famous Bhitarkanika National Park and is around 35 km long.

    Gahirmath is declared as a turtle sanctuary, where you can see thousands of Olive Ridley sea turtles mass-nesting on the beach. The turtles provide a great sight in such vast numbers. Besides, you can visit the national park that is considered as the second in mangrove ecosystem of the country. Here you can watch crocodiles, kingfishers, creeks as well as canals. The 9th century Shiva temple is another attraction here.

    It is a good weekend destination as you can watch the sea, sand and the sunset, which provide for the best view. Besides visiting the marine turtle sanctuary here, you can take a trip to the national park as well.

     

    Puri Beach

    The Puri Beach lies in the city of Puri, Odisha, on the coastal region of the Bay of Bengal. The capital city of Bhubaneshwar is around 60 km from Puri.

    Puri is best known as the ancient and modern city. Here you can find temples, monuments, landscapes, and of course the famous beach of Puri. The golden sands are very inviting. It is famous as a pilgrimage center as well.

    If you visit the beach during the Kartik Purnima, then you will witness the five-day-long beach festival, which is in the month of February. The Jagannath Temple is the most popular temple here. Then there are other ancient temples that are visited by thousands of devotees all the year round. One can also enjoy water sports on the beach.

  • Caves ...

    Arvalem Caves

    These caves are also called the 'Pandavas Caves' as folk tales say that the Pandavas stayed here during their exile. These caves were encarved in the 5th or 6th century A.D.

    The celebrated caves of Arvalem, found in a remote area but not far from the temple of Rudreshwar, are of great archaeological interest. Cave No. 2 has a Shivalinga with a circular top with Sanskrit and Brahmi characters dating back to the 7th century A.D.

    They have 5 compartments among which the middle compartment holds the 'Linga' which is till today regarded with great respect

     

    Rock Cut Caves of Khandepar

    These caves were encarved way back in the 12th century and were rediscovered in 1970. These caves are found 36 kilomters from Panaji in village called Khandepar in the Ponda Taluka.

    The 4 caves are situated in close vicinity, with the 1st and the 2nd one being almost linked, the 3rd is just at a distance of one meter and the 4th is opposite the first cave. The 4th cave was probably used for meditation and prayers and has the pedestal to hold the 'Linga' in it.

  • Waterfalls, Springs and Lakes ...

    Arvalem Waterfalls

    Descending from the temple of Rudreshwar, one catches sight of a majestic waterfall cascading from a height of about 70 ft. to form a sizeable lake at the bottom-a tempting sight to seasoned swimmers.

    A short distance from the regional town of Bicholim, along the road from Mayem Lake, lies the village of Sanquelim. This is the place where the colonial government settled its Rajput mercenaries (known as the 'Ranes') in the mid-1700s and where the same mercenaries staged their successful uprisings during the 19th century.

     

    Of interest near Sanquelim are the Arvalem Caves, about a mile from the south-eastern end of Sanquelim. A short 10-minute drive from the caves, the Harvalem Waterfalls are worth visiting after the monsoon (in October) when they cascade noisily through the surrounding trees, but through the dry winter the flow is reduced to a trickle.

     

    This waterfall, which cascades down from the mountains from a height of 50 meters, is not as awe-inspiring as the Dudhsagar Waterfalls spectacle, but is interesting all the same.

     

    This waterfall is set amidst charming surroundings, with the Rudreshwar temple in its vicinity. The temple holds importance for the Hindus who believe in releasing the soul on the 12th day after death. The Rock cut caves are just situated nearby. The Government has also developed a park from which the view of the waterfall can be peacefully relished.

     

    Sanquelim can be easily reached by bus from Mapusa, but you will have to walk for about half an hour or take a motorbike taxi to get out to the caves or the falls.

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    Dudhsagar Waterfalls

    The magnificent Dudhsagar Waterfall is perched in the high peaks of the Western Ghats and is a sight to behold especially in the monsoons when it is in full and furious flow. From a distance, the waterfall appears like streams of milk rushing down the mountainside. The exhuberent and spectacular waterfall is located in the Sanguem taluka.

     

    Measuring a mighty 600m from head to foot, this waterfall on the Goa-Karnataka border, attracts a steady stream of visitors from the coast into the rugged Western Ghats. After pouring across the Deccan plateau, the headwaters of the Mandovi River form a foaming torrent that splits into three streams to cascade down a near-vertical cliff face into a deep green pool.

     

    The Konkani name for the falls, which literally translated means "sea of milk", derives from clouds of milky foam which rises up at the bottom of the falls. Dudhsagar is set amidst breathtaking scenery overlooking a steep, crescent-shaped head of a valley carpeted with pristine tropical forest, which is only accessible on foot or by train.

     

    Like most places in Goa, the Dudhsagar waterfall too has a legend attached to its name. The legend tells the story of this powerful and wealthy king who ruled a kingdom in the Western Ghats. His lavish and opulent palace in the hills was surrounded by vast gardens which were full of deers and gazelles.

     

    The King had a beautiful daughter, who used to enjoy taking a bath during the hot summers, in the picturesque lake near the forest on the edge of the King's palace grounds. It was her habit to finish her bath and have a jug full of sugared milk in a jug made of pure gold.

     

    One day when she was finishing her usual jug of milk, she found herself being watched by a handsome prince standing amongst the trees. Embarrassed by her inadequate bathing attire, the resourceful Princess poured the sugared milk in front of her to form an improvised curtain to hide her body, while one of the maids rushed to cover her with a dress.

     

    Thus was the legend born. The sugared milk (dudh) poured down the mountainside and continued to flow in torrents as a tribute to the everlasting virtue and modesty of the Princess of the Ghats. The Dudh Sagar (Sea of Milk) continues to flow to this day and attracts thousands of visitors to one of the most popular and famous tourist spots in the state of Goa.

     

    A number of private operators offer special trips to the Waterfalls and the tours operated by GTDC (Goa Tourism Development Corpn) also have Dudhsagar Waterfalls as one of the tour stops.

     

    The falls can also be reached by a train journey from Vasco or Margao. At Collem, in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary near Mollem, there is a railway station where the train stops to pick up passengers for the journey to the waterfalls. There are two trains a day that stop at Dudhsagar Station and it's possible to catch a morning train up and spend several hours at the falls before taking an afternoon train back.

     

    Near the top of the falls, the railway line from Vasco to Londa crosses the mountainside, with excellent views from the train. There also a couple of pools that you can swim in, making Dudhsagar a great place for a day full of fun and frolic. The alternate way of reaching the falls is only advisable between January and May, when the level of the water in the rivers abates enough to permit jeeps to approach the base of the falls.

     

    A popular destination for hikers and trekkers, the waterfall is also accessible by jeep through the sanctuary. However, one needs to obtain permission in advance from the Department of Forests at Junta House, Panaji.

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    Kesarval Spring

    The spring at Kesarval is located 22 kilometers away from Panaji, near the Verna plateau, off the main National highway road which goes on towards the town of Margao. The spot can be reached soon after crossing the bridge on the Zuari river and passing through the village of Cortalim.

     

    There is dense undergrowth surrounding the site and above its gorge the hills stretch out in the east and south. A little further down the slope of this ridge to the east, surrounded by the tropical woodlands and waving betel-nut palms is the celebrated spring of Kesarval.

     

    The word "Kesar-val" is derived from the Indian word for eagles that used to maintain a colony here among the magnificent forested slopes. Unlike earlier when a stony zigzag trail was the only route to reach the spring, steps were built in the 1950s below the hill so that bathers could reach the spring without difficulty.

     

    The spring has a reputation among the locals and the bathers who come from faraway places, of having medicinal properties in its waters. It is a very popular spa, where bathers go to wash out ailments once a year by a course of "healing waters."

     

    Many middle-aged people are seen giving a "pep-up" to their ailing bodies with a good bath. Some folks still swear that the spring waters have magical curative properties, which can heal skin and eye ailments.

     

    The Tourism Department has designated the Kesarval spring as a tourist spot. The spring is at its resplendent best, during the monsoon when it tumbles forward in a dashing cascade. But during the sweltering Goan summer in April-May, when the hills above are parched for water, the flow of the spring is broken and weak.

     

    Kesarval, with its rolling terraced hills, running down to the forested countryside is a place where time stands still.

     

    Mayem Lake

    This is the most famous lake in Goa and also one of the most popular tourist destinations on the itinerary of all the conducted sight-seeing tours.

     

    The lake is located in Bicholim taluka in north Goa, east of the market town of Mapusa. The region, in which the lake is located, is mostly unspoilt countryside full of sleepy villages.

     

    The lake itself sits on wooded shores in a landscape of low hills. Birdlife is plentiful here, with a variety of birds making their home on the shores of the lake.

     

    The placid waters of this lake are ideal for boating. Small pedal operated boats are available for a charming boat ride on the lake.

     

    The lake has in its grounds a shady park which boasts of an excellent cafeteria and several other stalls, the most popular of which are the soft drink ones.

     

    The GTDC-run Mayem Lake Resort offers inexpensive accommodation in self-contained cottages and dormitories.

     

    A short drive away from the lake is the residence and chapel of the erstwhile count of Mayem. En route is a small water fountain built in 1927 as the plaque indicates which still supplies water to neighbouring residents.

     

    Worth visiting nearby in the picturesque village of Mayem is the Kumbharwado where villagers belong mainly to the farming community. But they do not till the lands until after the celebration of the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.

     

    They are engaged in an activity of an entirely different kind. Most families of the Kumbharwado locality make Ganesh idols out of terracotta which are shipped all around Goa for the festival. The idol making is an art passed on from generation to generation and produces some of the most beautiful and colourful idols in the state.

  • Rock Art ...

    The discovery of rare Stone Age rock carvings at Kajur, Panasaimol of Pirla village in Sanguem Taluka and Mauxi in Sattari Taluka has opened new vistas and thrown up new challenges to historians and archaeologists. The State Museum of Goa in Panaji has created a model of this entire site of Panasaimol.

  • Forts ...

     Sentinels of the Past

    Compared to Indian standards, Goan forts are very small in size. Nonetheless, these are historic specimen of immense military, political and economic importance in a land crisscrossed by rivers and canals and bordered by sea on the west. The old monuments, now in ruins are mute testimony to the joys and sorrows, and colourful and dark events of a bygone era.

    Some are awesome in sheer size like the Ruins of the St. Augustine's Tower, while others are marvelous pieces of architecture, such as the Gate of the Adil Shah's Palace at Old Goa.

     

    There are quite a few old Portuguese forts dotted around Goa, most of them on the coast. Most of them are in reasonable state of preservation and are worth a visit if you have the time.

     

    Goa has several imposing forts, though most of them lie in ruins today. One marvels at the massive effort which was involved when the huge laterite stones were lifted to the top of inaccessible hills, to erect the forts.

     

    Sans cement, steel or mortar, the giant walls have stood the vagaries of nature for centuries, and would have gone on to last for several centuries more were they to be looked after properly.

     

    The Portuguese found the need to raise the fortresses at several strategic points facing the river mouths to defend their new acquisitions in the East. Of course, they also acquired forts built by the neighbouring chieftains, when the latter's lands were annexed by the Conquistadores. However, once the defense priorities receded, the forts too were abandoned by the Portuguese.

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    Aguada Fort

    This is the largest and the best-preserved Portuguese bastion in Goa and was built in 1609-12, to control the entry into the river Mandovi and to protect Old Goa from potential enemy attacks.

     

    A freshwater spring - from where the fort derives it's name - within the fort provided water supply to the ships that called there. Ringed by thick battlements, the heart of the fort was protected by two hundred cannons and a deep dry moat, which one still has to cross to get inside.

     

    Strategically located at the estuary of the river Mandovi, this fort was constructed in 1612 as a guard against invasions from the Dutch and the Marathas. The walls of this fort are 5 meters high and 1.3 meters wide. Little surprise is that, the only fort that was not conquered by any invaders during the 450 year long rule of the Portuguese empire.

     

    The area around the fort housed a large well and a number of springs that provided fresh drinking water to the voyagers that arrived by ship. "Agua" in Portuguese means water, thus the fort derived its name "Aguada" to denote a place where water is accumulated.

     

    Steps lead down from the middle of the courtyard within to an enormous vaulted cistern capable of storing ten million liters of fresh water. The other unusual feature of the fort is a four-storey Portuguese lighthouse, erected in 1864 and the oldest of its kind in Asia.

     

    An interesting feature in the precinct of the fort is a 13 meter high lighthouse. This lighthouse, built in 1864, initially used an oil lamp. It was later renovated and modernised in 1976.

     

    This lighthouse was home to a gigantic bell that was retrieved from amongst the ruins of the St. Augustus monastery at Old Goa. However, the bell has now been moved to the Our Lady of Immaculate Conception church at Panaji.

     

    Though the entire fort is no longer intact, some buildings that are still in good shape have been converted into a prison. Interestingly, it happens to be the largest prison in Goa.

     

    En-oute to the fort, one comes across the church of St. Lawrence, the saint of the sailors. The Portuguese used to build churches on the outskirts of the forts to prevent the enemy from firing at a close range.

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    Cabo De Rama Fort

    Located in Canacona Taluka Cabo da Rama - Cape Rama -, takes its name from Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana, who, along with his wife Sita holed up here during his exile from Ayodhya. The promontory was crowned by a fort centuries before the Portuguese cruised in and wrested it from the local Hindu rulers in 1763.

     

    They erected their own citadel soon after, but this now lies in ruins; a crumbling turret still houses a couple of rusty old Portuguese cannons. Until 1955, the bastion housed a prison; now its only habitable building is a lonely government observation post occupied from time to time by a couple of young scientists from the National Institute of Oceanography.

     

    Moving south of Madgaon, a deviation from the National Highway going to Karwar at Chinchinim, a quiet bumpy road goes towards the hills on the edge of the sea. At the end of this long winding road is the lonely Cabo De Rama. The headland of Cabo De Rama had been a fortress much before the Portuguese ever reached Goa.

     

    The fortress on this site was held by various rulers for many years, and it was in 1763 that it was gained by the Portuguese from the Raja of Sonda. It was subsequently rebuilt, and what remains today, including the rusty cannons, is entirely Portuguese. Although the fort saw no real action after the rebuild, it was briefly occupied by British troops.

     

    There is little to see of the old structure beyond the front wall with its dry moat and main gate, and the small church which stands just inside the walls. The church is still used, and its pristine whitewash contrasts notably with the blackened stone of the ruined front rampart.

     

    The western side of the fortress, where the cliffs drop sharply to the sea, provides a great view both to the north and south. There is practically no sign of life on the hilltop at all, apart from a few soaring sea eagles, and the occasional monkey scampering between clumps of vegetation. Own transport has to be arranged to reach the fort.

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    Chapora Fort

    Located 10 kilometer from Mapusa, the red-laterite bastion was built by the Portuguese in 1617 on the site of an earlier Muslim structure. Intended as a border watchpost, it fell to various Hindu raiders during the 17th century, before finally being deserted by the Portuguese in 1892.

     

    Today, the fortress lies in ruins, although you can still see the heads of two tunnels that formerly provided supply routes for besieged defenders, as well as a scattering of Muslim tombstones on the southern slopes of the hill, believed to be relics of pre-colonial days. However, the main incentive to climb up here is the splendid view of nearby Anjuna and Vagator beaches.

     

    Though Bardez in North Goa was ceded to the Portuguese in 1543, the security of !he territory continued to be threatened by several enemies- the Bahamani kings from the north, Maratha horsemen from the east and the local chieftains in the area itself. As a result, the Portuguese built a series of fortifications including the one in Chapora. It was constructed in 1617 only five years after work began on Fort Aguada. Frequent buses ply from Mapusa to Anjuna and Vagator with stopover near the fort.

     

    In 1684, the Portuguese troops surrendered to the courageous Maratha ruler, Sambhaji. But the locals were not too pleased with this. They had a number of conflicts with the Marathas and finally in 1717, the Marathas withdrew their force. The Portuguese then took over again and rebuilt the fort. The new structure of the fort was equipped with underground tunnels that ensured a safe getaway in case of an emergency.

     

    But this glory was not to remain. Yet again in 1739 the Marathas captured the Chapora fort. However, two years later, in 1741, the Portuguese regained the fort when the northern taluka of Pednem was handed over to them.

     

    In 1892, the Portuguese completely abandoned the fort. What remains today are only ruins but one does manage to see the heads of the escape tunnels built by the Portuguese. Though, there isn't much to see, the history lingers on.

     

    Rachol Fort

    The ruins of the Rachol fort lie close to the famous Rachol Seminary, about 7 kilometers from the town of Margao. Of the fortress itself, only a single gateway remains in existence, straddling the road which leads to the seminary.

     

    The imposing fortress once encircled the hill on which the Seminary stands today. The dried-up moat can still be seen in places. The Muslim Bahmani kingdom built the fortress at the height of its power.

     

    However, the Hindu Vijayanagar kingdom under King Krishnaraya, captured it from the Sultan of Bijapur, Ismail Adil Shah, only to cede it to the Portuguese in 1520 in exchange for military help against the Muslims.

     

    The Rachol fort remained in Portuguese hands over the years, defending the area against Muslim and Hindu attackers, including a siege by the Maratha King Sambhaji in 1684. At the peak of its power, it had as many as 100 guns on its ramparts, helping it to hold the Maratha armies at bay for months.

     

    As the Portuguese empire in Goa expanded with the New Conquests, the guns found new areas of deployment and the fort fell from favour and was finally abandoned. The fort soon fell into a state of disrepair and nothing remains of it today except the stone archway which spans the road and the old moat around the hill.

     

    Reis Magos

    Reis Magos fort, surrounded by sturdy laterite walls studded with typically Portuguese turrets was erected in 1551 to protect the narrowest point at the mouth of the Mandovi estuary. The fort formerly accommodated viceroys and other dignitaries newly arrived from, or en route to, Lisbon, and in the early eighteenth century proved a linchpin in the wars against the Hindu Marathas, who were never able to take it. The bastion was used as a prison and is not open to the public.

     

    It is situated on the southeastern extremity of the tableland on the right bank of the Mandovi, in the province of Bardez, about two miles to the northeast of Fort Aguada.

     

    It was enlarged subsequently on different occasions, and finally re-erected in 1707.

     

    Though far inferior in size to the fortress of Mormugao, yet standing on an eminence, it commands, a splendid view all around.

     

    It is in a good state of preservation, and is defended by 33 guns and accommodation for a small garrison. Towards the east, at a little distance from it, flows a spring with abundance of excellent water, while at its base rises the church of the Reis Magos, ascended by a beautiful flight of stairs.

    This edifice was built on the ruins of a pagoda in 1550 by the Franciscans, with the sum allotted to them by the Government, and bears a crown on its façade, and the royal arms on its sanctuary and other places.

    The pavement is dotted with inscriptions, the most important of which, found in the sanctuary, indicated the spot enclosing the remains of Dom Luis de Ataíde, Count of Athoughia, who twice held the position of Viceroy of Portuguese India and Goa.

    This Fort stands on the north bank of the Mandovi at Reis Magos, and is very much visible from the Panaji side of the Mandovi river. It was used as a residence for viceroys and later converted to a fortress. It was occupied briefly from 1798 - 1813 by the British army. It was subsequently abandoned by the military and served as a prison until recently.

     

    Terekhol Fort

    Often mis-spelt as Tirakol or Tirakhol, situated on the Terekhol River, this fort lies on the northern tip of Goa. Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhonsle, the Raja of Sawantwadi, built this fort in the 17th century. It was then rebuilt in 1764 after the Portuguese Viceroy Dom Pedro Miguel de Almeida captured it. However, Terekhol was legally incorporated into Goa only in 1788.

    In 1825, Dr. Bernado Peres da Silva, the first Goan born Viceroy of Goa, used the fort as a base for an armed rebellion against the Portuguese.

    The outcome however, was not very fruitful and the Portuguese took over the fort once again. He never returned to Goa.

    The remains of the fort have now been converted into a hotel, the Terekhol Fort Heritage. In its courtyard is the century old Church of St. Anthony. But it is not open to the general public except on certain occasions such as the annual feast that is usually held some time in May.

    42 kms from Panaji, Terekhol fort stands at the northern most tip of Goa's shoreline, on a hillock overlooking the Arabian Sea, at the mouth of river Terekhol.

     

    Cabo Raj Niwas (Raj Bhavan)

    Cabo fort lies on the peninsula land jutting out in the Arabian Sea, at Dona Paula, 9 kilometers from Panaji. The fort was erected by the Portuguese in 1540 to guard the entrance to Goa harbour.

    The Portuguese planned a fort here in 1540, and as per long-established defense strategy, quickly built a church. Subsequently, they built a fort and the church was made into a convent.

    Since the fort’s canons were never used `in anger’, the buildings were used as temporary accommodation for the archbishop from the 1650s. The British took it over in 1798 and stayed in residence, apart from a brief break, until 1813.

    Initially during the Portuguese era, a Franciscan Convent was attached to the Fort. These days nothing remains of the old citadel.

    You can, however, see the ruins of the small military cemetery the British built at the time of their brief occupation of the Cabo during the Napoleonic wars - a move intended to deter the French from invading Goa. This later became Cabo Palace and is now the official residence of the Governor of Goa, known as the Raj Bhavan.

     

    Corjuem Fort

    This fort is situated 4km north of Pomburpa, alongside the Mapusa river near the village of Aldona. It was built in 1705 by the Portuguese.

    Built in 1705, the fort has a rather interesting story set in it. One Ursula e Lancastre, an ambitious Portuguese woman determined to succeed in a man’s world, dressed like one and travelled the world, eventually landing up here as a soldier. Finally, her secret was discovered when she was captured and stripped. But the woman was in a different league - she ended up marrying the captain of the guard.

     

    The ruins of the Fortress of Colvale

    Standing on the northern frontier of Bardez, on the left bank of the Bardez River, this fortress was erected in 1681 by the court of Alvor as a barrier against the inroads of the Marathas and Bhonsles.

    It was taken by the Marathas in 1739, and later recaptured by the Marquis of Lourical on the 13th of June 1741, and had a small garrison, besides a regiment, posted about the same time in a convenient situation.

    The regiment was removed to Mapusa in 1841, while the Fortress, which had been abandoned and neglected a few years previously, went to ruin, and now presents only a few traces of its former mig

  • Ancestral Goa ...

    Ancestral Goa - A glimpse into Goa of the Past

    Four centuries of Portuguese rule and that of other rulers before them has given Goa an unique life-style that consists of a blend of Indian and Western influences as can be seen in its varied culture and architecture of its towns and villages. Today Goa also boasts of glorious traditions that have been handed down to it over the ages.

    Dedicated to the preservation of art, culture and environment and inorder to preserve Goa's past and its rich traditions this magnificent project named "Ancestral Goa" is the result of a lot of meticulous research, planning and hardwork. It opened to the public in April 1995.

    Ancestral Goa is miniature Goan Village as it would have existed 100 years ago. It is located on a nine acre verdant hillock at Loutulim in South Goa, about ten kilometers from Margao.

    Graceful swans charm the entrance to the reception. Elephants carrying flowered pillars with multi-hued and decorated beams deck the entryway.

    A spacious room redolent of the Goan - Portuguese aura replete with a palanquin, sepia-toned photographs, domed lamps and a designed marble floor feeds one the anticipation of a moment when a whole treasure in the book of history will unfold. The traditional 'aarti' is performed as part of the greeted welcome by a sari-clad goan girl.

     

    An incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Parashuram shot the legendary arrow into the bosom of the Indian Ocean resulting in the emotive paradise known as Goa. The visitor is treated to a sight of Parashuram at the entrance itself, all ready with the proverbial bow & arrow.

     

    One step out of the high- ceilinged entrance, sporting a "punkah" and one moves into a landscape spread over a gently rolling hill where laterite steps lead to "Demo" (the caretaker of the landlord's property).

     

    The Ancestral Goa project, the brainchild of Goan artist, Maendra J. Alvares who has used his family's ancestral property to keep Goa's culture alive and is a place worth visiting as any lay visitor can get a glimpse of Goa in its original grandeur and authentic form.

     

    This place also gives visitors a glance of a sight other than beaches, churches and temples which Goa is famous for and imparts a culture based education about the roots and heritage of Goa. Ancestral Goa is included as one of the sight seeing spots by Goa Tourism Development Corporation's buses in their cultural tour package.

    Local feasts and festivals are celebrated with traditional style and fervour. A visit to Ancestral Goa on any of the feast days, allows for a pure experience of Goan customs and lifestyles. The Eat-out offers a menu full of traditional Goan Specialties. Local vegetables, fish and sweets are treats to be indulged in.

     

    Other places of interests

    The project is made up of various points of definition :

    The open-air museum tracing Goa’s historical evolution of “Rural” trade and culture, also depits man’s close co existence with nature.

    A spice, fruit, vegetable, medicinal and herbal garden with an ancient irrigation system on display with descriptions of the medicinal values.

    The “Legend of the Big Foot” is a footprint embedded in a rock face, where the pure of heart place their hand and are rewarded with Good Luck or Blessings.

    A bird habitat ensuring a sighting of atleast 35 varieties oflocal and exotic birds.  The majoe attraction, Natural Harmony” – India’s  longest laterite scultpure of “Santa Mira” the singing saint, 14 x 5 mtrs. in length and sculpted in a record time of Maendra Alvares.  This feat and the sculpture, itself have entered the Limca book of Records.

    Other features are : A Butterfly  - Cactus garden – A rubber plantation where rubber is tapped and processed – Various handicraft and local artifact outlets –An “Art Exhibition Centre” where many artistic ad photo exhibits are held.

     

    Open all days 9.00 am to 6.00 pm

    Entry Fee Rs.50/- per person, Rs.25/- for children from 3 to 10 years

    Tel: 2777034, 2750430   TeleFax: 2750401

    E-mail: ancestralgoa[@]gmail.com

    Web: www.ancestralgoa.com   www.bigfootgoa.com

     

    Ancestral Home: With immenso Heritage potential for tourist visit belongs to Mrs. Sara Fernandes, situated at Cotta in Chandor.

  • Museums ...

    Christian Art Museum, Old Goa

    The Christian Art Museum, the first and only one of its kind in Asia, was earlier located at the famous Rachol Seminary at Rachol near the town on Margao. However its relatively remote location had prevented it from being a popular destination for the tourists.

     

    The museum which has enriched cultural heritage and history of Goa was originally set up in 1994 with technical and financial assistance from Calouste Gulbentian foundation of Portugal and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) New Delhi.

     

    This fabulous museum is now relocated within the precincts of the convent of Santa Monica, Old Goa, in the vicinity of the Old Goa world heritage monuments.

     

    The museum houses some of the best specimens of Goa´s distinctive and exquisitely crafted church art. In the early days of Portuguese colonization, most statues to be installed in churches were brought by ship from Portugal.

     

    These were supplemented by images, furnishings and decorations crafted by local Hindu artisans who were roped in to keep up with the demand as church building activity of the Portuguese accelerated.

     

    The ground floor of the museum has an area of 350 sq. mts. It also has an upper floor gallery with an area of 150 sq. mts. The museum has in its collection beautiful artifacts like the Pelican monstrance based on the legend that in times of famine, the mother pelican plucks open her breast and feeds her young on her own blood. The artistic iconography explicitly suggests that the holy sacrament is the food for man's salvation.

     

    The collection also includes rosaries and other items made of gold and precious stone. St. Francis Xavier a popular theme is shown in silver plaques and on the panels of a silver casket. Image crowns and other rituals objects were also made in silver.

     

    The museum also possesses some beautiful ivory images. The Good Shepherd depicts Jesus as an allegorical shepherd watching his flock. He sits in a pensive posture on an elaborately carved rocky mountain.

     

    Beneath him are frolicking lambs, a fountain and St Mary Magdalene lies in the front grotto, in what is described as a pose of Indian influence, studying the scriptures.

     

    The museum is open everyday from 9.30 am to 5 pm.

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    State Archaeology Museum, Panaji

    The State Archaeology Museum was initially located in rented premises at St Inez in Panaji. It was opened for public on 29th Sept 1977. A new building was constructed on the outskirts of Panaji at the Patto Plaza, and the museum was shifted to this new building and inaugurated by the President of India on 18th June 1996.

     

    At present there are seven galleries in the museum which are the Sculpture Gallery, the Christian Art Gallery, the Banerji Art Gallery, the Religious Expression Gallery, the Cultural Anthropology, the Contemporary Art Gallery and the Western Bronzes Gallery.

     

    The museum at present has the collection of about 8000 objects, which includes Stone Sculptures, Wooden objects, Bronzes, Paintings, Manuscripts, numismatic collection, anthropological objects, clay models etc.

     

    There are also around 645 objects loaned from Institute Menezes Braganza Art gallery and the Kala Academy.

     

    Sculpture Gallery

     

    This gallery has some of the best objects of the entire collection of the museum.

     

    In the Sculpture Gallery, the stone sculptures and bronzes of different deities, Hero stones and Sati stones are displayed. This gallery also includes inscriptions or photographs thereof dating from the 4th century A.D.

     

    A significant among these is a copper plate inscription of Viravarma, the Kadamba king, dating back to 1049 A.D. The oldest object in the museum i.e. fossil bone dating 10000 B.C. is also exhibited here.

     

    Christian Art Gallery

     

    The gallery exhibits wooden statues of various Christian Saints and others including Pieta. There are also portraits of past Portuguese Governors of Goa and Prime Ministers.

     

    It also includes some rare paintings on wood, metal and canvas, some furniture pieces like a carved table and chair of the Portuguese Governor General, a sofa set with ivory inlay work, small ivory idols, chest of drawers and few chairs of western style.

     

    An interesting item is a flag which was used to commemorate the Portuguese victory over the Dutch.

     

    Banerji Art Gallery

     

    Shri S. K. Banerji, an Ex-Governor of Goa, has donated a very rich collection to the Goa State Museum. This collection is housed in this gallery named after him.

     

    It includes terracotta objects of Indus Valley Civilization, seals of Janapadas, stone sculptures of Gandhara school of Art, South Indian bronzes, wooden sculptures of South East Asia and Dhokra ware.

     

    In addition to this, Rajasthani miniature paintings of Jaipur School, Marwar School, Mewar School, etc., paintings of Mughal style, Nathdwara and patachitras of Orissa and few contemporary paintings are also displayed here.

     

    Religious Expression Gallery

     

    An ancient image of Lord Vishnu from the Gupta period is one of the most striking and valuable possessions kept in the Religious Expression gallery.

     

    This gallery reflects the varied and multi-cultural religious expressions of Goa over the years. It includes a model of "Tarang", traditional musical instruments, worship utensils, palm-leaf manuscripts and paper manuscripts of different religious texts and also few old photographs of various religious ceremonies and festivals.

     

    Cultural Anthropology

     

    Cultural Anthropology gallery displays the objects related to cultural anthropology such as household utensils, different games, weights and measures. It also exhibits a model of a sugarcane crusher, crane and agricultural implements. The most remarkable are the clay models showing different professions.

     

    Contemporary Art Gallery

     

    In the Contemporary Art Gallery, paintings and sculptures of well-known Goan and Indian artists are exhibited. There are paintings of eminent artists like R. Chimulkar, F. N. Souza, S. H. Raza, M. F. Hussain, K. H. Ara and many others received on loan from the Kala Academy and Institute of Menezes Braganza are displayed here.

     

    Western Bronzes Gallery

     

    In the Western Bronzes Gallery, replicas of the bronze sculptures of European Artists like Claude, Dalon and others are displayed.

     

    These bronzes form an important of the museum collection.

     

    A Museum Week is celebrated every year in the second week of January, during which various programmes are arranged including display of new collection. The Museum also arranges other programmes during the year such as Painting competition, Essay competitions and Quizzes.

     

    Museum is open from Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

     

    Goa State Museum

    EDC Complex,

    Pato, Panaji, Goa – 403001

    Phone: +91 – 832 - 2438006

    Website: goamuseum.nic.in

    Email: goa_museum[@]bsnl.in

     

    Smt. Radha R. Bhave

    Curator

    Phone: (O) +91 - 832 - 2437306

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    Pilar Museum, Goa Velha

    The Pilar Museum is located on the Pilar hillock where the Pilar Seminary is also located. The Museum was founded by Fr Costa, and highlights various finds on and around the Pilar hillock and now preserved in the seminary museum.

     

    The ethos of the hillock of Pilar, situated twelve kilometers to the South of Panjim, is illustrative of the rich tradition of communal harmony that Goa has had from very ancient times. Buddhist Bikshus, Hindu Rishis, Jain Acharyas and Christian pilgrims have lived together and their caves and places of worship can be seen at various places in Goa.

     

    One of the ancient capitals of Goa, known as Govapuri, was centered on the hillock of Pilar. Presently Pilar is the hub of educational activities, the Pilar Seminary being an important theological college among them. The Pilar Museum has artifacts, found around Pilar, belonging to all religions - Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Christians and Muslims.

     

    They relate to the different dynasties and rulers that held sway over Goa, the most important being the Shilaharas (765 AD to 1020 AD) and the Kadambas of Goa; the artifacts also point out the connection to the Thomas Christians (around 700 AD) and are witness to later Portuguese influences.

     

    The Kadamba dynasty started ruling from Chandrapura (modern Chandor in Salcete) in 980 AD. However, in Chandrapura the rule of Guhalladeva I, was opposed by the Brahmins and Kshatriyas because of his Jain leanings. Therefore, Guhalladeva I, and his successor Shasthadeva II went on solemn pilgrimages to the Somnath temple in Dwarka, Gujarat in order to advertise, with great pomp and fanfare, that they owed allegiance to Hinduism.

     

    However, Shasthadeva II met with an accident and was saved from drowning by the Muslim Taji (Arab) merchant Modamod, who repaired the mast of his ship. Shasthadeva II later conquered Govapuri. His son Jayakesi transferred his capital from Chadrapura to Govapuri (now Goa Velha) and appointed Saddam (Chaddam), the grandson of Modamod, as his Chief Minister.

     

    An Arab traveller, Ibn Batuta, who in his book "Travels" written in the 14th century in Arabic, reported that he found a Christian settlement on the banks of the river Zuari in Govapuri, the capital of Kadambas of Goa. The recent find of a Christian Pahlavi Cross of the 7th Century AD confirms that there were Christian settlements in Goa long before the conquest of Goa by the Portuguese. The finding of this cross in May 2001 on the banks of the Zuari near Pilar made world wide headlines and is now a prime exhibit in the Pilar Musuem.

     

    After 1313 AD the capital of the Kadambas fell preys to invasions of the Muslim Sultans of Delhi and was finally destroyed by the Nawab of Honavar in 1345 AD and was thus reduced to the relatively insignificant village of Goa-Velha.

     

    But in this insignificant village, the hillock of Pilar became the hub of educational activity, first as the Pilar Monastery of the Capuchos (1613 to 1835), then of the Carmelites (1854 to 1887). These religious orders had founded a university at this place, one of the first universities in Goa. From 1890 it has become the headquarters of the Pilar Society till the present.

     

    A cave like structure in Pilar with a granite sculpture depicting St. Mary Magdalene is a typical illustration of the Pilar tradition of communal harmony. (This sculpture is now exhibited in the Pilar Musuem). According to legend, St. Mary Magdalene did great penance in a cave in the last days of her life on earth.

     

    This sculpture shows her figure, flat on the ground with the symbols of penance and meditation around her: the scourges, a skull, a Gospel book, and a Cross surrounded by a crown of thorns.

     

    Curiously enough, the sculpture also has symbols of other religions then prevalent in Goa. The Linga (Hindu tradition) signifies the great penance of the Rishis or Bhagwans, the Bodhi tree at her feet reminds one of the Buddhist traditions. In the clouds above her is seen an angel with bread and water in the hands.

     

    The Jewish prophet Elijah was fed by an angel and with the strength of the bread and water he walked to Mt. Horeb where he encountered God and became a great prophet. And finally the half moon is shown in the form of a thick halo around her head - a symbol of Muslim religion.

     

    Among other interesting artifacts in the musuem (all found in Pilar) a seal of the Kadambas, sculptures of Jayakeshi I and Shivachita Parmadideva and his queen Kamala Devi, a Roman amphora, various ancient coins which include two Roman coins and a unique Kadamba gold coin, an eight century idol of Ganesha, a silver gem box dating to Kadamba times, the Khrista Purana (a handwritten Marathi translation of the Bible from 1609), various paintings of Portuguese times etc.

     

    The small but unique museum of Pilar has been widely acclaimed as one of the best maintained museums in Goa showing the great traditions of religious harmony that Goa is known for.

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    Goa Chitra

    Goa Chitra – a fusion of Goa – the State and Chitra meaning pictures, is a tribute by its founder to his ancestors and their way of life.  The museum is set against the backdrop  of an organic farm, and its environs highlight the traditions of the past.  It is a project to promote awareness and appreciation of the traditional agrarian lifestyle and the eco-friendly techniques that were practiced by our ancestors.  As an institution it sets and executes finite goals and activities to creat a healing environment, promote health and vitality and devising one’s own life enhancing programs aimed at creating a more harmonious environment.

     

    The goal of this museum is to assist a broad  range of visitors, from children to adults, to enjoy and become familiar with tradional indigenous implements these objects from a variety of different view points.

     

    Address:  St. John the Baptist church road, Mondo vaddo, Benaulim.

    Tel: +91-832-6570877,

    Cell: +91-9850466165

    Website: www.goachitra.com

    Email:  goachitra[@]gmail.com

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    Three Kings Heritage Village

    Situated at the foot of the picturesque Three Kings Hills, in the serene and scenic village of Cuelim, Cansaulim in South Goa.  The Three Kings Heritage Village provides an unique opportunity for the visitor to have a deeper understanding and imbibe the true spirit of this Beautiful place called GOA known the world over for its natural splendour, hospitable people and unique culture.

     

    Contact: Jose Mario Furtado on mobile +91-9850452627,  Email:info[@]greengoafoundation.com Website:www.threekingsheritage.com

     

    Visiting Hours: Every Monday & Tuesday from 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

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    Wax World Museum at Old Goa

    Wax World Museum at Old Goa is the home to India’s 2nd wax meseum.  Each figurine is carefully sculpted of paraffin wax, the hair used is natural, although  the eyes and teeth are artificial.   The museum has over 30 life-size, statues of famous persoanlities of indian culture, heritage and religion.  One of the main attractions is the sculpting of the “Last Supper” which is 22 ft. in length and weights 500 Kgs.   A guide talks to your through the statues at the musuem and explains about the  statues.

     

    There is a small gift shop where one can purchase candles of various designs and shapes and smells

     

    Entry costs Rs 30/- and Rs.10/- for cameras

     

    Address: Wax World – Goa, Gandhi Circle, Old Goa.

    Tel: +91-9970126202

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    Naval Aviation Museum

    India's one and only Naval Aviation Museum is situated along the Vasco-Bogmalo road barely six kilometers from the port city of Vasco-da-Gama.

     

    This Naval Aviation Museum established in Oct'1998 is the only one of its kind in the whole of Asia. May be perhaps, it has not received the publicity it rightly deserves and hence remained unvisited and unseen by many Goans.

     

    Situated atop a plateau overlooking the wide expanse of the Arabian Sea where from you can get to see the Bogmalo Beach, the Naval Aviation Museum is divided into two sections, one that is out-door in the open air and the other that is housed indoors.

     

    As one enters the Main Gate, one is welcomed by the site of the huge 'Super Constellation' standing like a sentinel keeping a watch over the entire place. This Aircraft was first used by the Indian airlines for transporting passengers; later on it was passed on to the Air Force for use as a transport craft. Thereafter the Navy borrowed the same from the Air Force and till now lies in their custody, though de-commissioned.

     

    As you walk into the outdoor section of the museum you are greeted on the left by the display of the various Aircraft engines like the Sea Hawk, Helicopter engine, Sealand Aircraft engine and an old Fire Engine too used by the Navy in the early 60's. As you move a little further there are the seven different aircraft on display.

     

    The seven types of aircraft are

    the Sea Harrier, a single sitter Jet Fighter used as a reconnaissance aircraft

    the Dove, a twin engine aircraft was used for light transportation and a variety of other roles the Sealand, plays a dual role of plying on land as well as on the sea

    the Seahawk, a single sitter single Engine Jet Fighter

    the Vampire, a small bodied side-by-side 2 sitter fighter trainer

    the Hughes, a two seater helicopter with side-by-side seating

    the Alize, a 3 seater carrier borne anti-submarine and reconnaissance aircraft

     

    As you enter the indoor section of the museum one gets the feeling that you are entering the aircraft carrier INS Viraat itself. Since on either sides of the corridor are neat paintings of the interiors of the Viraat thereby creating a natural ambience as though one is at sea on board the Viraat. The other rooms too are planned with the ship in mind.

     

    First on your left is the room where all armaments are on neat display. Here you come in close contact with torpedoes, bombs of varying sizes, rockets, war heads, missiles, depth chargers etc.

     

    As you come out of the armament room you are faced with the 'Sonobuoy Room'. Sonobuoys are Sensors that are used by Aircraft for detection of underwater enemy targets.

     

    The Suraksha Room has on display the various gadgets and protection gear used by the naval personnel while at sea and in air in the event of any dangers and eventuality. Items on display here are the floating dingy, the parachute, Fighter Pilot’s Ejection Seat, Pilot's outfit, etc.

     

    A little further there is the Multimedia Room, which houses the simulator. Here the children and adults too can have a first hand experience of the Jet Fighter cockpit in a simulator.

     

    While you walk along the corridor admiring the beauty of the place you notice "Shradhanjali" the granite slab adorning the wall paying tributes to all the men in uniform who laid down their lives while flying for their motherland from the year 1958 to 1997.

     

    Adjacent to this is the heart of the museum, the "Hall of Silence". This is the Meditation Room. The place is serene, cool and calm. Richly done up in granite, a beautiful painting in blue colour brightly lit adorns one wall.

     

    The bigger hall has the photo gallery where old photos are on display profiling the Naval Aviation History from 1959 onwards in pictures and footnotes. Black and White Photos of "Operation Vijay" during the liberation of Goa are also on display.

     

    On your visit to the Museum do not forget to step into the small Museum Souvenir Shop. It stocks various items from pens to key chains, leather wallets, and caps and T-Shirts too and pick up a memento or two to remind you of your visit to this beautiful landmark.

     

    The Naval Aviation Museum is worth going miles to see for it's a source of knowledge and inspiration to youngsters to instill in them the love to join the defense forces. It is best to plan the visit to the Museum in such a manner so as to wind it up with a picnic at the scenic picnic spot at 'Hollant Beach' just about two kilometers from this point.

     

    The Museum remains open from 10.00 am. To 5.00 p.m. on all days except Mondays.

     

  • Plantations ...

    A Peaceful Corner of Paradise

    Have you ever wondered where your powdered Cinnamon came from, and what is mace? Are spices for you small plastic bags with colourful powder? If 'yes' is your answer, you should visit the Spice Plantations scattered around the interior of Goa's beautiful rural landscape.

    Goa is a state which is gifted with incredible natural beauty from her beaches and gently rolling hills to her Vegetation and Animal life.

    The mild temperature throughout the year and high rainfall favours great richness and a variety of vegetation.

    Traditional Goan methods of organic farming are conducted here and crops like coconuts, betel nuts, pineapples, different kinds of spices ad much more are grown here. You can have a walk in the plantation with a local person briefing you about the crops, roots and herbs.

    One can also make a few purchase of spice during the tour. After that, experience a typical Goan Hindu Cuisine served in mud pits and banana leaves. Due to this scenic landscape and the tranquil atmosphere, these Plantations are an ideal place for those who want to forget the busy world they have left behind.

    Trekking the nature walks are most recommended. You could stumble upon ancient groves with a deity or two.

    Observe interesting organic farming techniques. Orchids, anthuriums, mushrooms, American Corn, Red Bell peppers, Cocum, Mango, Cashew and many more varieties of vegetables are grown at most plantations.

    Among the well known plantations in the state are:

    Pascoal Farms: Set in the hills of the Mandovi river is the Pascoal Spice Farm at Khandepar, rich in the abundance and diversity of its plants.

    Rustic Plantation: This is a magnificient countryside sanctuary of nearly 100 acres of rural farmland nestled in the valley beneath the foothills of Western Ghats, situated in the north east part of Goa.

    Savoi Plantation: Located near the village of Savoi Verem, 10 kilometers north of Ponda, is one of the oldest and largest tropical spice plantations in Goa situated right on the banks of the Mandovi River and is a treat to visit.

    Abyss: Also located near Savoi Verem, Abyss is set amidst sky-kissing mountains with picturesque beautiful surroundings with hundreds of medicinal herbs on the propertyy and is developed on organic farming basis.

    Sahakari Spice farm: Sahakari Spice Farm is situated amidst lush green surroundings at Curti. The taluka of Ponda in which it is located, is extremely popular amongst tourists for its rich cultural heritage and magnificently designed places of worship. The farm is used to dissipate knowledge about the different spices and their medicinal values.

    Mangal Plantation: Cradled in the foothills of the Western Ghats that run through Goa is Mangal near Quepem, in area rich in archaeological sites, ancient groves and fabulous bio-diversity.

    Tanshikar Spice Farm:  The Farm is situated in a quiet village of Netravalli, Sanguem blessed by nature is 50 km from Margao city and 32 km from Palolem beach and is away from noise and pollution.

    Tanshikar family is in this organic traditional farming since last two generations.  This farm has won an award farm  by Government of Goa.  This farm also have very good vanilla plantation.  Here you can buy various types of organic spices.  In this farm you find compost generation pit with recyling of farm waste. One can walk through deep jungle on waterfall.  Many species of birds and butterflies to watch.  One can do adventure sports by advance booking.

     

    Tel: +91-832-2608358,  Mobile helpline +91-9421184114.

    Email: tanshikarsf[@]rediffmail.com

    Website : www.tanshikarspicefarm.com

     

    Nagesh Love Forest:  Nagesh love forest is situated at Gudi in Paroda Village of Salcete Taluka in Goa covering an area of 88,000 m².  The top most portion of the hill is at a height of 200 mts. above sea level. Bounded by “Parvat” with famous temple of Chandreshwar Bhutnath towards South and North by “Chandor” or “Chandrapur” once the capital of Kadamba Dynasty.

    Age old Temple of Lord Shiva and remains of Nandi  protected site is at a distance of 3 kms., the palatial houses of 150 rooms known as “Menezes and Braganza Pereira House” is at a distance of 4 kms. Damodar Temple is at a distance of 9 kms.  Seraulim Dam with botanic garden is 18 Kms away and the famous Colva beach is at a distance of 19 Kms.   Margao Railway Station is 8 Kms.

     

    For enquiries contact: Tel: +91-832-2730577, Mob: +91-9822121824 / +91-9881361038 / +91-9850755370  Email: rajan_lotliker[@]rediffmail.com

     

    Atreya Vedic Farm : Set amidst nature’s abundance at the foothills of the Western Ghats at Molem is Atreya Vedic Farm, a truly unique ecotourism venture. It has been concieved and nurtured by environmental activist, Nirmala Sawant, who believes in greening the planet today for a better tomorrow. The 36 – acre estate comprises of sylvan forest land, wooded groves, perfumed tropical gardens, an orchard, an astrological plant park, Charak vatika – medicinal plantation, Coconut and Areca Nut Plantation, Wildlife and Birding and Restuarant, Souvenir shop. and above all, presidica Butterfly House.

     

    Address: Bondu Mol, Molem, Goa. Mob: +91-9011445736

  • Towns ...

    Balangir

      A WELL laid out town from the time of the Maharajas, Bolangir still possesses the charm and serenity of the old days fashion. It is one of the major commercial towns in the western part of Orissa.

    Ranipur- Jharial, 104 km from Balangir, houses one among the four existing Hypaethral Temples, dedicated to sixty-four Yoginis in lndia - a wonder in the world of archaeology and a cluster of other temples.

    On the southern slope of Gandhamardan hills, Harishankar, 81 km from Balangir is a place of pilgrimage and rare scenic beauty with gurgling waterfalls.

    Patnagarh, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Patna, has some unique monuments- 38 km from Balangir.

    Also Sonepur, on the confluence of rivers Mahanadi and Tel, known as Paschima Lanka in scriptures, is a nicely laid out town. 48 km from Balangir, it has a cluster of temples, each having a story of its own.

     

  • Heritage Mansions ...

    Legacy of The Past

    One legacy of the long period of Portuguese colonization which is still quite in evidence and in everyday use is the magnificent architecture of the traditional mansions of the Goan gentry. Goa can perhaps claim to be the only place on the subcontinent where houses dating back to the 1700s are still in pristine condition and still inhabited by generations of the original owners.

    Unlike the other colonial powers in India, the Portuguese managed to leave a much more visible mark on the residential architecture of the area they ruled. The British and the French left their mark on the architecture of huge buildings such as assemblies and railway stations which have since become landmarks of the period.

    The Portuguese in Goa built residential houses reflecting a style which is hardly found elsewhere on the Indian subcontinent. These magnificent palatial houses inspired by European architectural style are still found in Goa today, although they are confined to the rural areas such as Chandor and Loutolim. An exception is the commercial town of Margao, which still has some fabulous houses in its Borda area.

    These mansions were built in an era which saw the Portuguese raking in a handsome profit from their trading colonies in Africa and South America. Interestingly, the owners were not usually Portuguese noblemen, but wealthy Goan merchants and high-ranking officials who were granted land by the Portuguese.

    The materials and techniques for the construction of such houses was usually local while the furnishings and decorations came from all around the world. The walls and pillars were built of red laterite stone and local wood while the roof was overlaid with terracotta roof tiles from Mangalore. Inside there was fine porcelain from China and Macau, cut glass and mirrors from Venice, chandeliers from Belgium and tapestries from Portugal. The exquisite furniture was carved from rosewood by the local craftsmen.

    The exterior facade of these mansions is not the only thing that attracts the visitors. The interiors are much more impressive, with some houses even having their own mini-chapels and dance rooms. There are long, well-preserved dining and drawing rooms usually with a magnificent collection of blue china ceramics and glass items.

    Most such houses are accessible only on special request or appointment either directly from the owner or through the nearest Tourist Office. It is also advisable to seek such an appointment well in advance and it is customary to make a small donation which helps towards the upkeep and maintenance of these superb specimens of a bygone era.

    In this section, you can find some of the more famous of the Portuguese style mansions which can be visited to have a glimpse of the lifestyle of the higher echelons of Goan society under the Portuguese rule.

     

    Salvador Costa mansion - This mansion in Loutolim, a South Goa village is famous for the many large and beautiful houses spread out in a radius of about 1 km from the nucleus of the village. The Costa mansion was built in the 19th century by two wealthy siblings and priests, Padre Pedrinho and Padre Laurence. Built in the Indian style (low pitched tiled roof, wide verandas) with European accouterments (Gothic- style windows, cluster columns), its architecture straddles both worlds just as Goa still does.

    Solar dos Colacos mansion - is at Ribandar on the left bank of the River Mandovi, mid-way between Old Goa and Panjim. It is built in baroque style with an imposing facade with a spectacular view of islands and the historical churches of Old Goa. It is, probably, the only Goan mansion that faces the river. Typical of the ambivalence of the times, Nazario Colaco II carved a sideboard of his dining room with scenes from the Ramayana. But this is counterbalanced by the strident Catholicism of the family's private chapel.

    Pinto de Rosario mansion - In Porvorim, half-way between Panjim and Mapusa, reflects more the joy of possession than reverence for style. Piled up in side-boards and cup- boards are rare pieces of cut-glass, silver, blue china, and ivory. The objects d'art is yet to be categorised and dated. But the sheer quantity and doubtless quality of most of the items are quite simply astounding with Indo-Portuguese furniture and European and Chinese knick- knacks. The Italian floor tiling is the highlight of the parlour. Above the exquisitely carved sofa is a Dutch tapestry, a replica of Rembrandt's Night Watch. The love- chair is said to be 200 years old.

    Mascarenhas mansion - in Anjuna, north Goa is classic due to its characteristic 'balcoes'(balconies). It is monumental. The riches overpower you. The seat along the length of the porch are L-shaped, of expensive wood, the glare is cut off with a mixture of brightly coloured stained glass and, as if to contrast it, light tinted flint glass "such as which is no longer made" with fine floral etchings.

    Fernandes House - Fernandes house in Chandor village is one of the oldest remaining palacios in Goa. Occupied by sara Fernandes and her son Rajeev. The house has a decided air of elegance. The original house, which exhibits a Hindu Influence, was built some 500 years ago. The portuguese influence is noticeable in the portion of the house constructed in 1821 by the Fernandes family. There is a salon in the first floor of the building that is used for receiving guests. What distinguishes this house from others is its occupants to escape in case of an attack.

    Call: 2784245 for a guided tour on the house.

    Vivian Coutinho mansion - in Fatorda at the entrance of Margao reveals the care that went into the planning of the entrance of a house. The Coutinhos had a well kept garden, the green pleasantly contrasting the red of the masonry seats. They broke the monotony of the red wash and the outer wall, interspersing decorative tiles.

    Colaco mansion - The corridor runs along the front facade and faces the Mandovi river. This is the only extant Goan mansion that faces the waterfront. The walls are washed in ox-blood colour, one of the three traditional colours of Goan exteriors, the other being white (very Portuguese) and indigo (very Indian).

    Palacio do Deao - This 213 years old mansion was built by a Portuguese noble man, who was the Dean of the Church, and founder of Quepem town. The house faces the Church he built and is on the banks of the wildly beautiful Kushavati River. It is built in an unusual style blending elements of Hindu and Portuguese architecture. The lush gardens which have managed to preserve their historical features and have, since old times, been known as the most beautiful pleasure gardens in Goa.

    Braganza House - Located in Chandor Village, Braganza House was built in the 17th century. This huge house is situated on one side of the village square. It has now separate houses, with a common entrance. The east wing occupied by the Pereira-Braganza family, has a small chapel with a relie of St. Francis Xavier, which is a fingernail. The artefacts collected by the family over a number of years, have added to the beauty of the  house. There is a Great Salon, a big ballroom with the floor made of italian marble antique chanderlier from Europe adorning the ceiling, and heavily carved , ornate rodewood furniture. What stands out among the furniture is a pair of high-backed chairs, beating the family crest, which was given to the Perira – Braganza family by King Dom Luis of Portugal. Most of the furniture dates back to the 18th Century and is made from local seeso (martel wood), lacquered or inlaid with mother of pearl by craftsman from Curtorim Village. For antique aficionados, the house holds many delighful finds. Call: 0832 - 2784227

    The west wing of the house belongs to the Menezes braganza family. Apart from its exquuisite furniture and Chinese porcelain from Macau, it also houses a collection of family portraits, dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The libbrary is believed to be the first private library in Goa .It has almost 5,000 leather bound  books collected by Luis de Menezes Braganza (1878-1938), a reputed journalist, renowned for the part he played in Goa’s independent movement.  Call: 0832 - 2784201

  • Seminaries  ...

    Pilar Seminary

    The Portuguese built four seminaries in Goa, only two which survive today. Of these two, on is the famous Rachol Seminary which once housed the Christian Art Museum. The other surviving Seminary is at Pilar, which lies near the village of Goa Velha, where the magnificent Procession of Saints takes place on the Monday of Holy Week.

     

    Set on a small hill just south of the capital city of Panaji, along the National highway NH17 to Margao and Vasco, the Pilar Seminary is worth visiting for its quiet ambience, the small but interesting one-room museum and the spectacular views of the countryside from its location.

     

    The Capuchin monks founded the Seminary in 1613. They established a centre of learning along with the Church, which was named after Our Lady of Pilar, whose statue they had brought along with them from Spain.

     

    The Seminary flourished until the year 1835, when the Portuguese decided to ban all religious orders in Goa except for the Carmelite Nuns, who managed it from 1858. In 1890, the Missionary Society of St Francis Xavier made the Seminary its headquarters. This order slowly disbanded until in 1936, the Seminary was taken over by the Xavierian League.

     

    The beautiful old Church at the Seminary has an exquisite baroque doorway made out of carved stone. A niche above the doorway holds a statue of St Francis of Assissi and the door has on it a carving of two crossed hands, symbolising Christ and St Francis. The tomb of Fr Agnelo d´Souza, who was the spiritual director of the seminary (1918-27), lies inside.

     

    Around a small garden inside, there are cloisters decorated with seventeenth century frescoes. There is an interesting pictorial depiction of the history of the world, drawn by a missionary in the 1940s and a reredos with Fransiscan saints in the niches.

     

    The new seminary, which opened in 1942 for training of priests to be sent all over India, lies at the top of the hill. There is a small museum, which houses fragments of pottery and temple sculpture excavated from the site including a lion - the Kadamba symbol, Portuguese coins and a beautiful carving of Mary Magdalene done in 1733 by a Goan sculptor. There are also some palm-leaf manuscripts and a copy of the first Marathi translation of the Gospel.

     

    The chapel on the first floor of this building is surrounded by some magnificent stained-glass windows, hardly seen anywhere in Goa. And if you can make it up to the roof terrace which is two floors higher, you are rewarded with some spectacular views of the Zuari river towards Vasco and also of the rice fields and coconut plantations of the Tiswadi taluka.

     

    Rachol Seminary

     

  • Off The Beaten Track  ...

    Budbudyanchi Tali (The sacred tank of bubbles)

    The small village of Netravali (Netorli) is located in Sanguem taluka about two hours drive from Panaji via the towns of Margao and Quepem in south Goa. One of Goa's most unique and mysterious heritage sites is located near this village on the banks of river Netravati.

     

    The famous Budbudyanchi Tali (also known locally as Budbud Talli or Bomadyanchi Talli) - the sacred tank of bubbles is attached to the Gopinath temple which is situated near the village which is surrounded by mighty emerald and blue hills and forest cover with a wide variety of trees and groves.

     

    The Budbudyanchi Tali is a squarish piece of laterite masonry with a flight of steps all around leading to the sacred tank. At the centre of the tank is located a huge box-shaped laterite pedestal. The tali (tank) appears green and clean.

     

    The natural phenomenon of the tank becomes quite obvious to the onlooker, in a few minutes. Continuous groups of bubbles start appearing from below the tank all over at different spots. They rise up and settle together in concentric rhythm on the surface of the water of the tank forming a beautiful pattern and then they break. The continuous ripples of bubbles (budbude or bomade in Konkani) follow a peculiar rhythm and synchronised pattern as if they are performing a dance to the beat of nature's music.

     

    These bubbles of various sizes create a gurgling sound as they appear on the surface. It is definitely an enchanting and unique experience. The local children are often seen in the tank watching the bubbles below surface of the water as they emerge.

     

    There are various theories as to the origin of these bubbles. Some locals attribute them to acoustics, others call them a miracle of the local deity, and the scientists say that they could be caused by sulphur dioxide or carbon dioxide or even limestone or methane.

     

    It is interesting to note that the locals mention the name of the Kadamba king Jayakeshi-I who performed the renovation of the Budbudyanchi Tali and the Gopinath temple. Hence its building is attributed to the Shilaharas in the 9th-10th century A.D. At the rear of the temple there are rock carved niches where granite Shivlings (symbols of Lord Shiva) are worshipped.

     

    This Gopinath temple is a very simple house like structure of mud coated with lime. It houses the image of Lord Krishna called Gopinath locally as the Lord of Gopis. The four columns of the temple are carved in the Shilahara-Kadamba pattern and resemble the Tambdi Surla temple pillars with typical Kadamba motifs.

     

    Apart from the Budbudyanchi Tali-Gopinath temple at Netravali, many other heritage sights notably the Mahalaxmi temple from the Shilahara era are situated on the banks of the river Netravati with cave like niches at the rear of the temple and an ancient laterite stone ghumti (dome) on the side.

     

    The other heritage structures include the ancient old Siddeshwar temple, ancient rock carved Dattatray temple located on the bank of the Netravati. You can also visit the Durga temple and the exquisitely carved naked Kalbhairav at Vargani village in the vicinity of Netravati. On the hills of Vargani village is located the Chandrasurya temple.

     

    Adil Shah´s Palace

    Although its architecture appears to be typically colonial, the Secretariat as it is known, is Panaji´s oldest surviving building, originally built by the Muslim ruler Yusuf Adil Shah of Bijapur around 1500.

     

    It was actually Adil Shah´s summer palace cum fortress and formed an important part of his defense with an arsenal of 55 canons and a salt water moat.

     

    But it was no match for the might of the Portuguese. Afonso de Albuquerque´s troops stormed the building in 1510. Soon afterwards it was converted into a rest house for the Portuguese Viceroys, who used it for an overnight stop, on their way to and from Portugal.

     

    As per tradition, the new incoming Viceroy stayed here while awaiting the receipt of the ceremonial keys to the city of Old Goa at the Viceroy´s Arch. Similarly, the outgoing Viceroy had to wait here, for a ship going back to Portugal, after handing over his responsibility at Old Goa.

     

    Around 1759, when Old Goa was no longer the preferred capital, the palace became the official residence of the Viceroy. It was known by then as the Idalcaon Palace, from the words Adil Khan, the Portuguese corruption of the words Adil Shah.

     

    The Portuguese carried out quite a few demolitions and renovations changing the overall appearance of the building, which retained its official vice regal residence status until the Viceroys moved to a new residence at Cabo near Dona Paula in 1918.

     

    Since the time of Goa´s liberation in 1961, the building served as the home of the Goan State Legislature or Assembly and was known as the Secretariat. However, with the construction of the new Assembly building in Porvorim across the Mandovi river, the Secretariat now houses the Administrative offices of the Government.

     

    There are plans to move these offices also to a new building in Porvorim, near the new Assembly building and open the Secretariat to the general public as a Museum.

     

    On either side of the Secretariat there is a statue depicting a famous Goan personality of the past. One statue is that of Dayanand Bandodkar, the first elected Chief Minister of liberated Goa. The second statue is that of Abbe Faria, one of Goa´s most famous sons of the Portuguese era, who did pioneering work in the field of hypnotism.

     

  • Religion in Orissa  ...+

    Orissa is the melting pot of religion. It has a unique distinction of acting as a confluence of many diverse faiths like Brahmanism, Jainism, Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Islam, Christianity, & Nath Dharma. One can vividly witness how religion in Orissa has evolved from animism, nature worship, shamanism, ancestor worship & fethism to the highly evolved forms of religion like Brahmanism, Hinduism, Buddhism & Jainism.

    The synthesis & harmony of the different forms of Brahminic worship Vaishnavite, Shaivite, Shakta, Ganapatya are all to be found in the great and grand temple of Jagannath or whose origin goes back to the tribal worship of Wood God. Around him, resolves the entire cultural milieu of Orissa. Religion & culture cannot be separated in a land, which claims to celebrate thirteen festivals in twelve month.

    The life-giving stream of religion has flowed past the rise and fall of empires, producing and nourishing the sublime virtues of love, tolerates & compassion.

  • Tribals of Orissa...+

    Of all the states of India, Orissa has the largest number of tribes, as many as 62. in terms of percentage they constitute an impressive 24 percent of the total population of the state. These tribes mainly inhabit the Eastern Ghats hill range, which runs in the north-south direction. More than half of their population is concerned in three districts of Koraput (undivided), Sundergarh and Mayurbhanj.

    Tribal economy is subsistence oriented. It is based on food gathering, hunting and fishing and thus revolves around forests. Even the large tribes like the Santal, Munda, Oram and Gond, who are settled agriculrurists, often supplement their economy with hunting and gathering. While farming they make use of a very simple technology and a simple division of labour,often limited to the immediate family. They lose out because their holdings are small and unproductive, lacking irrigation facility since the terrain is hilly and undulating.

    Mnay tribes, for instances, the Juanga, Bhuiyan, Saora, Dharua and Bonda, practice what is called shifting cultivation or Podu Chasa, also known as slash and burn. They select a plot of land and generally on a mountain slope, slash down all the trees and bushes and burn them to ashes. Spreading the ashes evenly over the land, they wait for the rains before planting their crops. Due to cultivation for two or three seasons on one plot of land the soil gets depleted, so the tribal move on. It is a way of life for them. There are cattle-breeders among the tribes, notably the Koya. There are simple artisans too like the Mohali and Loharas, who practice crafts of basket weaving and tool making. A sizeable part of the tribal population of Orissa has moved to the mining and industrial belts of the state, notably the Santals, Munda, Oran and Ho. This has helped ease the pressure on small holdings but in the process tribal villages have been abandoned. Traditional skills, land and other immovable assets have been lost without always bringing in adequate prosperity via jobs in mines and factories.

    But if tribal economy is shakly, tribal culture in its pristine state is rich and distinctive and the Adivasis work hard to preserve it. A tribal village manages its internal affairs very smoothly through two institutions – the village council of elders and the youth dormitory.

    The core of tribal culture, the youth dormitory, is the largest hut in the village. It has only three walls, profusely decorated with symbols representing animals. The fourth side is open. By night dormitory is home to the youth of the village. But before and after a hard day’s work, people gather here to chat and relax. The council of elders meets here too to discuss matters relating to the welfare of the village. The open space in font of the dormitory is where youths and maidens dance with abandon every evening, for tribal culture allows free mixing of the two sexes. Despite their poverty the tribals of Orissa have retained their rich and colourful heritage of dance and music. Every tribal can sing and dance to the sound of pipe and drum and give tune to impromptu compositions that come to him/her as naturally as breathing.

    The tribals of Orissa observe a string of festivals. Some are closed affairs, relating to a birth or death within the family or a daughter attaining puberty. Others relate to sowing or harvest time and these involve the entire community. Mostly a festival is an occasion for a good of Mahua liquor, a game roasted on the sprit and a night of song and dance is revelry. But that is not the end, there is an animal sacrifice too, for the deities and sprits must be appeased first, particularly the malevolent ones, so they don’t unleash drought or sickness on the land. Tribals are superstitious people and the ‘Ojha’ occupies a position of honour since he not only prescribes medicines for the sick but is also believed to exorcise evil sprits.

     Major Tribes & their area

    Name                          Area

    Kondh  Keonjhar, Kondhamal, Sambalpur, Bolangir, Koraput, Ganjam and Sundergarh

    Saura  Koraput, Ganjam and Bolangir Gond  Sambalpur, Bolangir, Koraput, Kalahandi and Sundergarh

    Santal  Mayurbhanj, Balasore, and Keonjhar

    Paraja  Koraput, Kalahandi and Sundergarh

    Gadaba  Koraput,Nowrangpur, and Malkangiri

    Koya  Koraput and Malkangiri

    Oraon  Sambalpur, Sundergarh, Gunupur, and Bonai

    Bhuiji  Mayurbhanj,Sundergarh, Keonjhar, Balasore and Pallahara

    Bonda  Koraput and Malkangiri

    Juang  Keonjha & Dhenkanal

  • Dance of Orissa...+

    Orissa unfolds a panorama of refined forms of arts, crafts, music and dance. Its music and dance has been flourishing for ages and has lured many. The unique dance forms like Odissi and Chhau are world famous with several internationally exponents, while Odissi music is charming, colourful and encompass various streams. A number of folk tradions also lend a capitive presence.

    Orissa has a glorious tradition of music. The figures or dancers musicians Carved on ancient temple walls speak of Orissa's rich musical heritage. There were saint-poets of Orissa who composed lyrical poems to be sung. Bards usually went from place to place singing these songs which were meant to propagate religious ideas in various religious. instructions were usually given by the poet himself as to how the lyric was to be sung, i.e. the raga or tune to be employed and the tala or beat scheme to be followed.

    By the 11th Century AD folk music or Orissa existing in the form of Triswari, Chatuhswari, and Panchaswari was modified into the classical style. Ancient cultures of Orissa have the most expressive forms of music & dance. These two highly evolved art forms have manifested themselves in some of the most evocative & celebrated performances from not only the professional classical exponents but also from the various folk & tribal groups in Orissa.

  • Rural Orissa Folk Plays...+

    Orissa is rich in folk play, yet to other states of India, Folk plays in Orissa have not received due academic support, though they reveal its history, heritage and rich tradition as well. In short, folk play may be defined as wisdom of the people inherited form oral tradition that regulates their lifestyle whether through rituals, play or symbols.

    The most commonly known folk plays or Jatra of Orissa, with enactment of a wholesome play with full cast comprising all elements such as music, dancing, singing, acting, and conflict is fondly called in various synonyms such as Jatara, Leela, Nata, Nacha, Tamsha, Suanga, Samaja. While Jatara is a derivative of Jatra and Leela denotes palying the deeds of charcters, Samaj stands for a play. Nata is a derivative term of Naya comprising in its meaning dance, music and dramatics and the word Nacha though means dance is prominent. Tamasha is a word for play, it came to be used in Orissa under the influence of Marathas and Muslims.

    Orissa boasts of a long and rich cultural heritage. Due to the reigns of many different rulers in the past, the culture, arts and crafts of the state underwent many changes, imitations, assimilations and new creations, from time to time. The artistic skill of the Orissan artists is unsurpassable in the world. The discovery that traditional artists still live and work throughout Orissa, producing various objects in many media, is an exciting part of any visit to the state. Odissi dance and music has lured many to this sacred land of Lord Jagannath.

  • Orissa Wildlife & Sanctuary...+

    The state of Orissa has a geographical area of 155,707 sq. km.. The recorded forest area is 52,472 sq. km. but the actual forest cover is 47,033 sq. km. as per the State of Forest Report (SFR 1999) of Forest Survey of India. In order to provide proper protection to the wildlife and their habitat, a total of 18 sanctuaries (Protected Areas) including Gahirmatha (Marine) Wildlife Sanctuary, one National Park (Bhitarkanikaj, one proposed National Park have been notified under the provisions of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

    These Protected Areas constitute 10.37% of the total forest area and 4.1% of the total geographical area of the state. Besides, one Tiger Reserve (Similipal), one Biosphere Reserve (Similipal), one closed area (Chilika), one Game/Wildlife Reserve (Bppadar - Bhetnoi), one Zoological Park and 8 deer parks (mini zoos) have been notified for both in-situ and ex-situ conservation and management of wildlife.

    The state has the singular distinction of having 3 mass nesting beaches of endangered olive ridley sea turtles including world's largest nesting ground of olive ridley sea turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea. Itches many natural wetlands including largest wetland of Asia (Chilika) now designated as a Ramsar site. A total of 19 species of amphibians, 110 species of reptiles including three crocodilian species, 473 species of birds and 86 species of mammals have so far been recorded in the state which include 54 species of threatened animals (17 species of reptiles, 15 species of birds and 22 species of mammals) as per the definition of IUCN Red Data Book.

    The state is implementing several research and conservation projects viz; thp Project Tiger (1972-73), Integrated Crocodile and Sea Turtle Project (1975-76), Project Elephant (1991-92), Aquatic Bird Project (1992-93) and Blackbuck Project (1994-95).

    | Similipal Sanctuary | Bhitarkanika Sanctuary | Debrigarh Sanctuary/ Satkosia Sanctuary | Hadagarh Sanctuary |

    | Nandanakakan | Lakhari Valley Sanctuary | Chilika ( Nalaban) Sanctuary | Badarama Sanctuary | Sunabeda Sanctuary | Karlapat Sanctuary | Gahirmatha Sanctuary |

    | Baisipalli Sanctuary | Kotagarh Sanctuary | Chandka- Dampara Sanctuary | Khalasuni Sanctuary | Balukhand-Konark Sanctuary | Kuldiha Sanctuary

     

  • Lakes...+

    Orissa has a number of sparkling lakes both natural and artificial. The natural lakes are the Chilika, the Sar and the Samang with salt water and the Ansupa and the Kanjia with fresh water. The artificial lakes in Orissa are the water reservoir above the Hirakud dam known as Hirkud lake and Russekonda ghai over the Rushikulya at Bhanjanagar.

     

    | Chilka Lake | Ansupa Lake | Hirakud Reservoir | Indravati Reservoir |

    | Kolab Reservoir | Kanjia | Sorada Reservoir | Machhakund | Rengali | Upper Jonk |

     

  • Orissa Waterfalls ...+

    The waterfalls are springs, but rather than gushing up and flowing down they descend abruptly down the steep crags offering strange and exhilarating beauty to the onlookers. The important waterfalls in Orissa are–

     

    Barehipani & Joranda Falls:

    These picturesque falls (Barehipani - 399 metres and Joranda - 150 metres) situated in the core area of Simlipal National Park are perfectly complementary to their surroundings and are a beautiful bonus to the visitors of the sanctuary.

     

    Badaghagra Falls:

    The Badaghagra falls (about 60 metres) situated around 10 km from Keonjhar is amongst the most popular picnic sites in the region. One look at the beauty and serenity of the place is enough to understand why visitors make a beeline for it!

     

    Sanaghagra Falls:

    The Sanaghagra falls (about 30 metres) situated around 5 km from Keonjhar is one of the most popular picnic sites in the region. One look at the beauty and serenity of the place is enough to understand why visitors make a beeline for this place.

     

    Khandadhar Falls:

    One of the prettiest districts on the tourist circuit is the Sundargarh region. Located amidst its lush forests is Orissa's most famous waterfall, the Khandadhar fall (about 244 metres). The beauty of this place makes it a site not to be missed.

     

    Duduma Falls:

    Known as Matsya Tirtha, Duduma is famous for its waterfall (157.5 metres), as well as for the Machhakund Hydro-Electric Project.

     

    Harishankar Falls:

    On the southern slope of the Gandhamardan hills, around 81 km from Balangir, stands Harishankar, a place of pilgrimage, famous for its uncommon scenic charms and the presence of Hari and Shankar, the dual deities of the Vaishnav and Shaivite sects of Hinduism. A perennial stream gushes forth onto its granite bed to form cascades at different stages, the last fall providing a natural water slide to bathers! As a cool resort in the lap of nature, Harishankar is a panacea for the heat in the summer.

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