THE-ZURI-WHITE-SANDS I Ethnicity magazine

Serene Serenade – GOA

There’s a place on this Planet Earth where time stands still and happiness is a state of mind. Hallowed by nature’s beauty and abundance. Fired by festivity and fun ‘n’ frolic’ is its beauty. Here the sun never sets – and – is worshipped all-day-long.

by William M Cardozo
(Picture Courtesy – Goa Tourism)

The festivals are a riot of colours, and music and dance are as important as air and water. Where healthy living and good food habits come naturally. Ailment and stress is banished with natural therapies like Ayurveda and Naturopathy.

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‘GOA’, on being liberated by our Indian Army on 19th December 1961, from 451 years Portuguese Colonial Rule, became a part of the Union Territory along with the enclaves of Daman & Diu. And on 30th May 1987, ‘Goa’ was conferred Statehood to become the 25th State of the Indian Republic.

Interestingly, ‘The State of ‘GOA’ known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ and a ‘Tourist Paradise’, is located on the Western Coast of India in the Coastal belt called ‘Konkan’. With ‘GOA’ distributed in parts – Bardez, Ilhas, Harbour, Salcette, the main towns are Mapusa, Ponda, Vasco, Margao. Panjim now Panaji is the Capital City of ‘GOA’, on the banks of the River Mandovi.

Enclosed on the slopes of the Western ghats (Sahyadri ranges), ‘GOA’ is bounded on the North by Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, on the East by Belgaum, on the South by Karwar district of Karnataka, and on the West by Arabian Sea. Its rivers – Tiracol, Chapora, Mandovi, Zuari, Sal and Talpona, which are navigable throughout the year, have their origin in the Sahyadri ranges and flow Westward into the Arabian Sea, 60 Kms. Into enchanting estuaries and bays which mark off idyllic palm-fringed beaches like Arambol, Vagator, Anjuna, Baga and Calangute in North Goa and Colva, Betul and Palolem in South Goa.

Goa I Ethnicity magazine

Undoubtedly, ‘GOA’, a tiny emerald land on the West Coast of India, with its natural scenic beauty, abundant greenery, attractive beaches and Temples and Churches with distinctive style of architecture, colourful and lively feasts and festivals and above all…..hospitable people with a rich cultural milieu, has an ideal tourist profile.

‘GOA’ is serviced by an international/national airport in Dabolim near Vasco. As well as intra-State and inter-State bus network does play an important role in attracting locales and visitors in an around Goa.

Apart from English widely spoken in ‘GOA’, Konkani is the mother-tongue of Goans in Goa, who do speak Portuguese as well. The national language Hindi is well-accepted.

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“Besides the natural beauty, the fabulous beaches and sunshine, travellers flocking into ‘Goa’, for sure…. you will love the laid-back, peaceful, warm, and friendly nature of the Goan-Portuguese in Goa with roots deep-rooted from Portugal and Goa. We have so much to learn and see and enjoy with our changing times in ‘Goa’”, shares…. Mrs. Pamela Maria Mascarenhas e Menezes Pereira, Dy. Director, Government Of Goa, Department Of Tourism.  

Having been the meeting point of races, religions and cultures of East and West over the Centuries, ‘GOA’ has a multi-hued and distinctive lifestyle quite different from the rest of the Country with Catholics, Hindus, Muslims, and other communities. Majority remain Christians.

The festivals celebrated with equal enthusiasm are Christmas, New Year, Easter, Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Eid, etc…

In Goa as far as the Goan food specialty goes…. it’s always…. rich authentic Goan & Portuguese cuisines including fish-curry-rice.

Goan-food I Ethnicity magazine

Conscious of preservation and conservation of environment, ecology and architecture, the State Government has decided no construction or development on the sandy stretches within 200 metres of high tide line.

In the State, approximately 25% of its population earn their livelihood, directly and indirectly from Tourism activities.

Sun, sea and surf, that’s the image of Goa which attracts millions of tourists from around across the globe. One can enjoy perfect holiday and carry back a healthy tan to show off to friends.

‘GOA’ welcomes you all with open arms and a warm heart! Though the tourists are encouraged to laze on our sun- kissed beaches and swim in their clean waters, there’s e is much more to ‘GOA’ than its beautiful shore.

Goa I Ethnicity magazine

“The Eye of an Apple, ‘GOA’ is a place under the Sun, Moon, Stars, and bright-Blue Skies, where, You see the broad-day-light, and time stands still. You Kiss the Tender Coconuts and You Kiss Your Love… And never-ever say… goodbye”. 

The hinterland of Goa beckons you with a virgin blush! Unspoilt tracts of forests in Mollem and Cotigao constantly spring surprises with a serene lake or shy wildlife playing hides and seek! The awesome Sahyadris mountain range along the Eastern border of Goa is one of the hot-spots of bio-diversity in the world. And connecting the mighty mountains to the sunny sea, meandering across the Countryside are the beautiful rivers.

The Khandepar river thunders down great heights, forming the spectacular DudhSagar Waterfalls. A variety of bird life is found in the mangrove forests along the banks of river Mandovi and river Zuari and are a bird watcher’s paradise. Marsh crocodiles bask lazily along the banks of the Cumbharjua Canal. Idyllic organic farms and spice orchards dot the slopes of small hillocks across the state.

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Ancient rock-cut caves at Arvalem and pre-historic Mesolithic carvings at Pansaimol interest historians from around the world. Strategically, located forts built by the erstwhile Portuguese and local rulers give an insight into the civil engineering skills of the earlier generations. The Churches and Temples that dot the Goan Countryside are silent witnesses to the art and architectural marvels of the bygone era. The way these religious edifices are maintained by the local populace speaks volumes of the devotion they have to their divine master.

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Putting together exciting images of ‘GOA’ in a 100 (Hundred) Goan experiences in an  attempt to offer a pictorial glance of picturesque lovely ‘GOA’ on its natural spots and its built up heritages and exsiting heritage like ‘Old Goa’, do try and to enjoy the amazing diversity of this tiny State, when in ‘GOA’.

In brief, ‘GOA’ is all about – adventure cruise along the coast, drive a Vintage Car, pump adrenaline, go go-karting, cruise the River Sal, jetski at breakneck speed, romance the stone, visit Olive Ridley Nesting site, stretch your legs on a beach walk, swim in the sea, make friends with the deep, walk under the sea, catch the sunset from Baradi, para sail into the clear sky, rejuvenate under a spring, go fishing, cool off at DudhSagar, cleanse in an elephant shower, tame the Chorla Ghat, trek to a little known waterfall, ride an elephant at Bondla, chase crocodiles at Cumbarjua, meet the birds at Carmbolim lake, watch birds from a canoe, stray into the sacred groves, get into wilderness, unravel a bubbling mystery, explore ruins at Vichundrem, admire the art of the stone age, inspect rock-cut caves, tombstones with a story to tell, attend Sunday Mass at Raj Bhavan, be awed by the Church of Santana, check out Manueline architecture, climb up to the Panjim Church, the Saligao Church at night, experience the Grace of the Sé, marvel at St. Cajetan Church, behold at the bleeding Crucifix, The Mausoleum of St. Francis Xavier, Pay Homage to Blessed Josep h Vaz, the Tomb of Ven. Agnelo De Souza, visit a grand old lighthouse, the majestic Reis Magos Church, invade a fort by boat, cross the unique Corjuem bridge, a transplanted Temple, bask in the Glory of Tambdi Surla, offer flowers at Manguesh Temple, reach for the Chandranath Summit, receive Prasad from Shantadurga, toll the Bells of Naguesh Temple, Worship at a Rare Brahma Temple, behold an ancient Jain temple, meditate under a brass roof, visit a 16th Century Masjid, stroll along the Palácio de Idalcão, view the Azulejos at IMB Hall, cherish a visit at Palácio Do Deăo, tour trhe biggest house ‘The Menezes Braganza House’ at Chandor in Goa, muse at Goa State Museum, The Christian art museum, visit the Past at the Pilar Museum, study Goan Christian Art, call on the Naval Aviation Museum, research at ‘Houses Of Goa’, meet the Rachol Seminarians, explore the Latin Quarter of Goa, appreciate the arts, set foot of Big Foot in Loutolim, dig into antique shops, examine some Goan handicrafts, enjoy a  tiatr, a Pilgrimage of the Heart!, mould some clay, learn lacquer craftsmanship, peep into the Universe, develop a scientific temper, shop at midnight on a Saturday, strike a deal at the Flea Market, bargain at the Mapusa market, window-shop along 18th June Road, kiss a tender coconut, get married in Goa, spice up your life!, surprise your Love with flowers, spend the night in a House Boat, dine aboard a Floating Restaurant ‘Noah’s Ark’, drop in at a feni distillery, drink fresh today, hire a motorcycle pilot, mingle at the village feast, culture-cruise along the Mandovi, ferry across the river, Garland the ‘Fulancho Khuris’, Light Candles at a Roadside Shrine, saunter through a Pristine Village, stay in an Eco Hut, watch a football match, bicycle around the Countryside, speak in Goans’ mother-tongue ‘Konkani’.

One of the progressive Editors of a ‘Goa’ daily expressed, “The best part of discovering ‘Goa’ is re-discovering it”.

merry-christmas-at-flinders-st-station I Ethnicity magazine

This tropical paradise has its roots firmly entrenched into the hoary past and diverse culture. Here live a gentle and hardworking people with an intellectual expression and way of life harmoniously inter-woven – a happy blend of Indian traditions with more than four-and-a-half Centuries Old Western influence.

“The greatness of Goa perhaps lies in its smallness”.

The Church of ‘Our Lady Of Hope’ (Nossa Senhora da Esperança) is one of Village Parish Churches down-South in Chinchinim, Salcette – Goa. The Church of Chinchinim was founded by the Jesuits and was completed in 1590. It was renovated and Blessed on 30.04.1888. The Grotto Of Our Lady Of Lourdes was Blessed on 26.12.2000. A Stately Monument to St. Judas stands across the road.

“In the 15th Century, there arose in Europe an architectural phenomenon that was to spread throughout the world and to form the first globally Inter-Continental style. It was seen to be a restoration of the style of imperial Rome, and was named by the eminent Baroque architect and pioneer architectural historian Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach (1653-1723) as the ‘Neo-Roman style”.

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Implanted in Goa in the 16th Century, this style produced an array of Sacred edifices that are in the examples of Christian architecture in Asia. Most of the edifices are in the Mannerist mode of Neo-Roman; they are strewn over the tiny territory of Goa with destiny that is unequalled anywhere outside Europe; and they were and rebuilt till the end of the Portuguese rule. It is these edifices that created the romantic imagery of majestic, whitewashed Churches in the Countryside, which continue to delight and inspire the traveller.

The present work is a documentation of all these Village Parish Churches with façade photographs, brief history, and other useful information, is part and parcel of the study of the architectural styles of these Churches is presented.

Arpora-night-market-goa I Ethnicity magazine

The weather in Goa can be classified into three broad categories. Overall pleasant weather conditions prevail in between October to February, with the temperatures hovering in the range of 18 to 30 degrees centigrade. March to May see the humidity rising and the mercury shooting up to even 38 degrees. June to September ushers in the monsoons bringing in the much-needed relief from the sizzling sun. So choose your time to holiday in Goa, depending on the conditions best suited to you.

So, you must come-a-way to ‘GOA’ and rejuvenate your body, mind, and soul.