Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thirukarugavur – Punainallur

Being home includes temple visits. Tamilnadu is an ideal place for that reason , there are “n” number of temple with long standing history ,myths and believes attached to it. I love the history part of the temple that allures me to it..One of them is the temple of Sri Garbarakshambigai in Thirukarugavur, 28km from Tanjavur railway station. For me it was a journey from Trichy to Tanjavur  from then onto  Thirukarugavur. I set of early  in the morning, waking up at 4:30 am ( your not allowed to look surprised ,mom woke me up)..I took a passenger train from Trichy to Tanjavur at  7:10am as I missed the train at 6:00 am. I bought idly and vada, man you get amazing idli at Neethus kitchen at Trichy station.. It was Jan 14 Pongal day, there was quiet a rush in the station for the train.. Another great part I lodged myself  into the moving slowing train to get myself  a window seat…Plugging onto my favourite music with the local people getting to their home and family for the festival as great. The journey took me through the outskirts of  Trichy with not many dwellings …Fields had painted itself into many colours, light green to darker to golden yellows to brown tinted yellow…Many species of strokes were happily flirting through the shrubs and bushes..It looked as though I was on a safari through a miniature sanctuary…

I reached Tanjavur station at 8:20 am. I was planning to take a bus  to the temple. An auto driver came to me asking  if he could help me with anything , upon enquiry about distance and things he offered to take me to the temple and back to station for 300 bucks and since I was new to the place and had no knowledge about the bus frequency I took that option.. Upon few clarifications and questions I started off.. And indeed I opted for an auto because  I didn’t come across even a single bus to the place till I got back…Till the road takes a left turn to the village panchayat ,  NH  in a very bad state….Jumping few inches from the seat every few seconds, I was reminded of the fevicol ad of few years back… About 7 km from the temple,  Pongal celebrations were at its peak ..Rangoli with wishes were all over the roads and houses. Temporary  natural stove made up of three bricks smeared with cowdung were all set to cook pongal .. Vendors selling bunches of sugarcane, turmeric saplings and all necessities for the festivities were busy with their last minute sales.. All  cow, ox  had their horns painted in vibrant colours …Sounds like a Bharathiraja’s movie frame isn’t ,I felt the same.

I didn’t know until I reached the place that, this temple is one of   the five temples which collectively make the “Pancha Aranya sthalam” (temples amidst  forest). Others are Alangudi, Avalivanallur, Haridwaramangalam and Thirukollambudhoor. If one visits these five temples on the same day, in the mentioned order, and offers prayers he is believed to be let of all his sins. And that person would have no rebirth…
Sri Garbharakshambikai temple is situated on the banks of the river Vettar  in Thirukarugavur. Thirukarugavur means the place where foetus is protected. “Karu” means foetus in Tamil. The place got its name because of the story, which is said to have happened hundreds of years ago. It’s about a couple Nithiruvar and Vedhika who longed for a child.  Yearning for a child they set on pilgrimage. They prayed in many shiva temples before reaching “Mullaivanam” known then. Thousands of years back it was a garden of "Mullai" (jasmine) flowers, hence the name "Arulmigu Mullai vana nathar temple ". Vedhika realised that she was pregnant.  Overwhelmed with happiness the couple decided to stay back believing that it was the blessings of Mullaivananathar. One day in her state of pregnancy exhaustion, she failed to take notice of a sage Oorthuvapadhar thus failing from her duty of hospitality. Predictably the sage cursed for death to the child in womb.. Helpless Vedhika ardently prayed for mercy  to Goddess Parvathi who appeared before in  the form of Sri Garbharakshambikai  taking  away all  her pain offering protection to the baby by keeping the baby in a pot till it attained full development…This reminds me about the incubator wherein the premature babies nurture till maturity… Even before science goes for the new findings our tradition had scope for it… Goddess gave   healthy baby to the couple. Vedhika, fell at the feet of Sri Karbharakshambikai and prayed that she should take a permanent abode here for the generation to come.. .  The pond opposite to the temple is supposed to have been dug by Kamadhenu.  This was to provide milk to the child.  This tank is known as “Ksheera Kundam”.  Thus the Goddess then came to be known as Garbarakshambiga or Karukathanayaki. The whole story is painted on the wall of the temple  Driver told me that according to the local villagers there has been no pregnancy related death of the mother or the child. There were no miscarriages either… To get married to the right person unmarried girls seek her blessings. They buy two garlands of flower, ghee and lamps from the office..Ghee is offered to the goddess, its placed on the feet and various mantras are chanted by the priest..Girls draw kolam with the powder provided  in front of deity and pray..One garland is given back which is to be hung back home..It is believed that within six months the girl would be married to the right person…Couple seeking children  offer ghee which is given to them after chanting mantras by the priest ..The ghee should be in taken every night for 48 days…While pregnant ladies are given castor oil which is to be applied over the abdomen for safe delivery..The best part of goddess is she blesses a girl with marriage and child....In temple I saw a couple praying for child, another couple expecting their first baby getting castor oil, girl praying for marriage and finally a couple and family who had come for a

thanksgiving worship after the birth of child..They placed the baby on the silver cradle  of the temple and took the baby for a “pradkakshina” (going around the temple)..It’s another form of offering I was told.. All around me there were different emotions enfolding ..Watching all of it was indeed a human experience close to heart..
Main deity is Lord Shiva called as ‘Mullaivananathar’,the shiva linga is self manifested..There’s no abhishekam done as the linga is made up of anthill mud…  the Linga is merely pasted with a kind of musk called ‘Punuhu.’..It is believed that people with any disease offer Punuhu Chattam will be cured completely..All pradosham days are considered important as in all Shiva temple..
Coutesy:Punainallur temple website
The guy  who gave  me ghee from temple office counter told  me that on full moon day of the Tamil month of Panguni (March-April) moon’s rays falls on the Shiva Lingam…The temple wasn’t crowded so I had a peaceful space of time to pray and move around..Had tender coconut from a vendor outside the temple and started way back On my way driver told me about Sri Mariyamman temple which he said is a Must place to visit. Unlike Mullaivananathar temple this was heavily crowded and many vendors selling things for pooja and other eatery to fancy items for ladies are spread around.. There was a stall which had human organ parts made of mud upon enquiry she said  goddess is believed to cure  a person from all ailments….The deity look very different from any other Amman temple I have come across..I got lamps to light inside the temple and after offering my prayers I started back to the railways station.. After coming home I searched details of the temple…Back in Tanjavur  railway station  Chennai Tirunelveli passenger  at 12:15pm and  back to Trichy at  1:30pm I was in Trichy Junction putting an end to a day which was spiritual…

Friday, February 3, 2012

Girlyy party-DAY 3

DAY 3 Calangute- Baga- Fort Agauda-Vagator -Chapora –Anjuna-

It was our final day and we were looking ahead eagerly…
Baga beach is about 3km from Calangute..From the map we could say Baga beach is an extension of Calangute, you can't find out where Calangute ends and Baga begins. Baga beach’s development is tremendous from my last visit with parents..Like Calangute beach baga is also known for its water sports and cheap body massages.. There were many handicraft shops and mouth watery restaurants.. During the peak season time theres a flea market on all Saturdays that’s kicks off around 4pm that would last late nights…Music is also part of the market that one can relish on.. What fun in Goa without getting in water. We wasted no time just enjoyed to the max getting all into water playing around super excited like kids. We just couldn’t stop the fun was just unlimited..Then suddenly there popped a question about swimming and none except les knew the art and still that didn’t stop us from having any less fun…
It was raining  and we started off  in the rain itself didn’t stop for shelter and by the time we reached fort Agauda which about 5km from Baga beach, it stopped raining..…Fort Agauda  impressed me for the sheer fact that it’s been standing  intact for more than 3 centuries no wonder it’s been known as one of the best known landmark in Goan history. Unlike other forts there are no ditches around the fort with water rather it utilizes the natural slope to defend itself..Awesome isn’t.. The fort was built as per the design laid down by the Italian military architects employed by the Portuguese government in Lisbon… It was built  in such a way that  it acted as a good defense as in land wise and seaside against Dutch and Maratha invasions and control entry to Mandovi river. It comprises of a lower fort with bastions all around and an upper fort with a lighthouse, an underground water storage chamber, bastions, and gunpowder room. The upper fort used to serve as a Watering Station to ships (Água means water in Portuguese, and hence the name Aguada—a place for storing water). The lower fort provided a safe resting place for Portuguese ships. Part of the lower fort now houses the Central Jail of Goa, inaccessible to the visitors… The fort is in  form of a square with bastions for artillery placed at each of its three corners, while the fourth corner is occupied by a main gate. It’s said that at one time, 200 cannons were a part of this fort, oooh that’s huge isn’t!!!! The fort houses a lighthouse which was built in 1864
This light house was functional till 1976…The one which is open to visitors is located nearby the walls of the citadel..It’s a scenic view from top of it..Climbing up in itself was a kick up..We were told that a smaller lighthouse, the Aguada Beacon was also built at the foot of the slopes near the buildings on the river bank in 1890…Another interesting thing we came across was the  small chapel dedicated to ‘Our Lady of Good Voyage’, may be because of the ships were subjected to long journey.. A jetty extends out towards the sea on the northern side where the Taj Vivanta is located within the outer walls of the fort .
We had a pleasant experience wandering through the drizzling rain and occasional photo posing kept all of us active and brim with creativity..Our next destination was Vagator beach.
9km from Agauda fort….We were all high because of chapora fort of Dil Chahta hein fame near the beach..The beach is supposed to be white sandy , but appeared to be grayish blackish .. Best part is it’s a relaxed beach with not many tourists…. After few clicks and running along the shore we set for Chapora fort..
Chapora fort is easily accessible from Vagator beach, which  is  in ruins.. It’s all about Red laterite stones built by Portugese of course.. But for now all that’s left is the entrance the side walls in bits and pieces,  few stones here and there and heads of two tunnels..Still it offers a breathtaking view of Vagator beach lined with coconut grooves..All we did was sit there and enjoy the view for a long time until mishi’s mob rang ..It was from her tour office announcing the cancel of her scheduled bus and she had to hurry up for the bus 3 hours ahead of the plan... Oh ho..we smiled started taking photos of course…..

3 km from Vagator beach is known as hippies paradise…Its placed in between  the Arabian Sea and a small hillock.Its a rocky beach with low waves perfect to play in sea. We were running short of time and our tummies were all shouting to be cared for ..We dashed into a restaurant we ordered and around the shops for cheap accessories and fun bargaining…Finally came back to our seat and were all lost for words .The smiles were all transfixed on the face for a long time then started talking busily about the whole trip and the fun unlimited and ate hot steaming sea food for one last time ….The beach is also infamous for its full moon parties otherwise known as the trance parties.. The music played is usually very loud psychedelic trance, which is claimed to transport one to another world literally. These parties usually take place on full moon nights. We all dashed to our room and packed quick…Jish, Rosh and mish bid good bye. Les and I had some more time..All their bus was from Panjim and our train from Karmali..Rosh planned to Bangaluru with Jish then to Chennai…We took the same route back…
Goa in monsoon was a complete success filled with fun and laughter..Taking home great memory treasure in heart scrap book.. For now the gang split till next trip …

Girly party- DAY 2

Though the alarms were right on to wake us up we could start only by seven. For breakfast we opted for Udippi Restaurant…The route we took through the country rather than the regular NH just to get a monsoon feel. First day was a complete no rain day at night heaven and hell were let loose. Thankfully morning sun  brightend  the horizon ..There’s something about the roads of Goa that you can’t help but fall in love with.. Active cattle of the area kept our ride equally active. The countryside view is picturesque and an experience worth treasure….As we entered the Panjim city limit we were charged for no helmet hehe… Positive side we wouldn’t be charged for the whole day…lol..
Velha means old in Portuguese ,Goa or Old Goa is about 10 km from Panjim. The city Ela was built on by Adil Shah as the second capital in the 15th century. Portuguese captured it and made it the capital of Portuguese India from the 16th century until its abandonment in the 18th century due to repeated epidemic such cholera and malaria…Spreading Christianity was one mission of western invaders As a result of which many churches and chapels came up.. Those remains of the city are UNESCO’s Heritage Site…The narrow roads towards Old goa got us excited already.. The chapel were mixes of architectural idioms but houses were Portuguese influenced and by now they had smoothly integrated to the Indian tradition. This trip to Old Goa finely transcended us   back in time. Everything about the place was so different from other place in Goa… It looked classic but for the shops and the people moving around....

Bom Jesus Basilica

Our first choice was Bom Jesus basilica, we bought candles to light in church….There were road side shops selling goggles, hats, rosary..We all bought hats and adorned us with it and of course the photo session was the part of the trip …Vendors came around selling junk jewelry made of stone …Bom Jesus Basilica was built by the Jesuits, and consecrated to the Holy Name of Jesus on 15 May 1605.  Though the church is dedicated to the infant Jesus, first thing that we saw entering was an imposing statue of St Ignatius of Loyola at the center of the main altar, he is the founder of the Jesuits…Silence inside the church was both was  soothing and calming..Getting to phew we all prayed and sat in silence looking all around…This church had an aura that will not let you get away with…Looking at the massive structure and the de tailing and the wonderful ornate work inside made me wonder what style exactly they fall into and as on to answer my question I got a pamphlet which said that the style included late Renaissance, early Baroque, Manueline and Gothic. The famous relics of St Francis Xavier rests inside the church..The fascinating part was that, the saint was dressed up in all embroidery brocade, there’s a golden baton with 194 emeralds on right hand and a big gold medal of king Dom Pedro II at his feet..We were all wondering the person who kept himself away from anything worldly was all decked up in it after death.. There’s an art gallery in the first floor .Ten rupees is the entrance fee..There are statues of all saint and many old photographs of the church and old Goa.. Painting depicting St Xavier’s life.. Few modern art on Christianity is also exhibited. Photography and video are not permitted. Spending some time enriching ourselves with all the history we descended..There’s light and sound show  organized for a group of 10 to begin with..We lighted candles, it was a task to fight the wind and light them all..We bought Rosary from the stall inside the chapel for our friends back home. Mishi bought book for her granny..After a cone, cup and stick (oops did I say that!!!)of ice cream we moved onto Se Cathedral..And Goa has truly earned the name "Rome of the East" for rightful reasons...

Se Cathedral
 Se cathedral which means the Bishop’s official seat, took 62 (errrr.. some say 80) years to be completed and it’s the monster structure so far I have ever across.. How monster?? Well here you go, The church itself is about 250 feet in length and about 182 feet in breath and the frontage rises about 115 feet to the crowning cross and the core is 72 feet high.. It is dedicated to St Catherine of Alexandria, why????? Because on the feast day in 1510, Alfonso de Albuquerque defeated the Muslim army and reclaimed the city of Goa. It’s said a mosque earlier occupied the site of cathedral. The architectural style is a total mix in the interior and exterior all Greek and Latin to me. Near the entrance is the Baptismal font where St Francis Xavier is said to have baptized thousands of Goan converts. The south tower housed the giant 'golden bell', We thought it was made of gold (ignorance of course!!) it was so called because of its immense tone..You can find the picture of the golden bell in the art gallery of Bom Jesus basilica. The north tower on the right of the chapel fell down in 1776 struck by lightning and never been rebuilt. Adjoining the Cathedral, on its northwestern side, stands the Old Palace of the Archbishop. Unique part of Se cathedral is that it has fifteen altars plus the main altar .Every bit of Se cathedral is magnificent that you can’t help but be overwhelmed by it..There is a cross of miracle where Jesus’s right hand have said to have appeared..

Convent , Church of St. Francis of Assisi and Archaeological Museum
The church though smaller than the Basilica of Bom Jesus and the Se Cathedral, the interior is the most beautiful that I have come across.. It is painted extensively and the altar is heavily carved. The paintings depicts scenes from the life of St Francis of Assisi … In the middle of the church’s floor we saw a Portuguese tombstone and we couldn’t make much about it..Adjacent to the church is the Archaeological Museum. Entrance fee is rupee five and no photography and video allowed. The first phase includes sculptures and paintings of Hindu temple and other sculptures from Goa. It will take about an hour or more to cover the museum  if you are interested very much into these things so plan things accordingly.. Ceramic tiles that were used to built the church to Portuguese currency to paintings of governors are all exhibited..The convent is to the west of the Se Cathedral. The convent is to the west of the Se Cathedral and there’s an entrance fee of Rs 15 to the convent. I would suggest you to first go for the convent then to the Archaeological museum or you may not be able to appreciate the convent cos the museum will sideline the small part of the convent..  

The Church Of Our Lady of the Rosary

We moved onto the Holy Hill to the Church of Our lady of the Rosary..
It stands exactly on the spot from where the conqueror of Goa, Alfonso de Albuquerque, witnessed the recon quest of Goa in 1510. The church bears following inscription “place there in 1931: Deste alto assistiu Alfonso de Albuquerque em 25-11-1510, a recoqquista de Goa (from this hill Alfonso de Albuquerque on 25 November 1510 witnessed Portugal's recon quest of Goa)”. It is built of late rite and plastered with lime mortar, it has a two-storied portico…There were renovation work going on.. Wooden carving was the unique part of the altar...There’s museum and art gallery in the same premises were candles in coconut shell were exhibited along with many religious books and accessories..

Church and Convent of St Augustine

A lonely tower retaining its original height of 46 meters (150 feet) overlooks the old city on the holy hill. It’s the ruins of the St. Augustine Tower.. ASI have tried to reconstruct whatever is left of the tower and the layout is given .. A dozen Augustinian friars (monks) upon their arrival in Goa built this convent in 1572. After a decade this convent was rebuilt and was dedicated to Our Lady of Grace. It became Goa's richest convent, with a massive adjoining church, whose vaulted nave was one of Goa's feats of construction. What I liked about the construction was that the high vault fell down twice. However, the Italian architect would not give up. When built a third time, he and his only son stood under the vault and asked for a heavy cannon to be fired to test the stability of the structure (brave heart). It did not fall down of course which was much later.. This group of imposing Augustinian buildings was abandoned when the order was suppressed.. Now it is a mere skeleton of the old square towers and the treat church, which are now a heap of ruins and with the onset of monsoon filled with moss..And we had a different kind of fun there chasing the dragon fly…fine tuning ourselves with the rhythm of breeze through the ruins with more and more photos…

The Church Of St Cajetan

Opposite the Se Cathedral, beyond the road is the large and beautiful church of St. Cajetan.. Its dome is said to have been modeled after the Basilica of St. Peter's in Rome. It looked beautiful not only from outside but also from inside.. The main altar is dedicated to Our Lady of Divine Providence, and there are three altars to each side. The three altars on the left side are dedicated to the Holy Family, Our Lady of Piety and St. Clare. The altars to the left are dedicated to St. John, St. Cajetan and St. Agnes. Exactly below  the dome there’s water space like a tank or well I’m not sure what is it called either, it has  a small opening in its covering closed with a square slab. This is rumored to have been a Hindu temple holy water before the construction of the Church on it.
Hungers pangs were murdering us so we settled down for  lunch which was not so good as compared to our other lunch and dinner and headed towards  St. Catherine’s ferry point…We were just on time for the approaching ferry which carried a three cars and Scorpio few two wheelers..For locals it’s a major transport from Divar island to Old Goa then to further destination…The best part of Divar Island was that we were the only tourists rest were all local that added lot of fun by itself..And true to our wish it turned out to be a peaceful paradise, vehicles and tones of greenery bestowed by the monsoon, birds returning after the day but we were not done yet… It appeared to be as though Goa had taken break for a makeover therapy and we were blessed with the beauty of it….This place is best for calm solitary moments through the absolute virgin part of Goa.You can also go by bus but we had our two wheelers hooked onto us…This place unveiled Goa in a complete different look… Grass fringed road..Blades of grass still sparkling in dusk, lush greenery fisherman untying their nets…Boats with rows were anchored by the side of rivulet…The natural charm catapulted the avid nature love in all of us.. Locals were very friendly and lead us to the church Our lady of Compassion hill top..View of Mandovi river was an absolute retreat.. Savoring all the beauty at its best we started back to our room….Rain caught is in the middle but still it was an enjoyable ride getting drenched ..Best part of Goan monsoon is it doesn’t rain continuously and thereby helping the visitor have their share to  enjoy the journey..Though completely drained off still we didn’t want a light dinner hence dinner menu included Tiger prawn xacuti, prawn fry, Chilli calamari, rice and some fruit salad….We got the parcel as we were all dripping wet… Getting to room refreshed and sat back and had a full dinner…then slept off like a dead log…

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

GIRLY PARTY!!!!!!Go ....Go....GOOOOAAAAAAA!!!! DAY -1!!!

This is a post that i was supposed to do in August last but..but  couldn't... work you know (Yawwwnnnn!!!!!)..So here it is..

Another girly party seemed to be an alluring idea..and there were three choices Goa , Kumarakom, err I don’t remember the third one..Kumarakom and Goa passed the first screening … Somehow Goa stroked a chord in all of us (Jish, Les, Rosh, Mishi, Vb (me))…with three in the gang with an experience around the place we finally settled on for Goa. But Goa in monsoon?????? Les and I had been there for about ten months and that included the monsoon we knew for sure that monsoons
Entrance to our room
peps up the whole mood of Goa making it vibrant and stunning against the rain fed earth... But Goa is known for its beaches; thankfully none of us were a big fan of the beaches…Big sigh!!!!! Visiting Goa in monsoon meant every activity would be at the mercy of rain..And somehow that part just overwhelmed us.. In short we were all looking ahead for a completely different experience. Deserted beaches, go green seemed to rhyme, another attractive part was the off season discounts which implied upon other options to spend.. .. Les arranged for the stay through a friend of hers..It was a home stay at Calangute (Off season you know).. Les and I work in Kerala so we started in the same train (Netravathi exp) together les from Thrissur; I joined her from Kasargod…. Karmali station was our preferred destination over Margoa We reached there about 6:45 am.. Jish and Mishi from Bangaluru and Hyderabad respectively opted for bus, they would reach Panjim directly then to Calangute. Rosh’s trip was the longest from Chennai by train to Margoa From there she would get to Panjim then to Calangute..

We got ourselves two portions of the house... Each had a double bed with bath attached  hot and cold shower and balco .We opted for non-ac rooms .It was a comfortable stay with television refrigerator for 500 per night (off season) and we were told these were given only to foreigner, we didn’t know why though.. From Karmali we took an auto to Old goa… Bom Basilica   kindled fond memories in both so without wasting time went in and promised to come back soon…Boarded bus to Panjim travelling through the narrow road to Panjim is a treat in itself.. Goa which was a colony of Portugal up until 1961 has the strong portugese influence all around in terms of architecture and lifestyle. From Panjim again took Kadamba bus to Calangute. It took about 45 minutes from Panjim in bus .  The queue was organized and we opted for bus, to get it the Goan way..At about 8:45 am we reached our home for three days with the direction from Jacqueline (our host…Jish and Mishi joined us soon from Panjim. Then we were just gals catching up after a long time need I say more??? Rosh’s train was a late..Getting from Margoa to Calangute was a journey by itself. We got her straight to the restaurant and started enjoying sea food at a restaurant that was named best by lonely planet.
The menu included Soup, Prawn balchao, Crab curry, Chicken gizad, rice.. The waiter even explained to us how they were prepared..….and here starts our Day1..
DAY 1 Calangute-Panjim –Dona Paula- Mandovi cruise- Calangute

Panjim church
We hired three bikes for three days. It costs about Rs 250 per day + petrol charges. I teamed up with les .Mishi with Ros and Jish had bike all for herself. Roads were in good shape in spite of Monsoon.. There are sign boards all through to guide you. Panjim is about 15km from Calangute.. Exploring the Panjim street and getting lost was fun part of it. Panjim church was such a treat to eyes and spirit…Don’t miss out the church bell..The busy Panjim city looks good from the church..Without lingering on for a long time we took off to Dona Paula 7km from Panjim with a stopover at Miramar beach to enjoy the sea breeze…Miramar beach is a less attractive calm and quiet beach..Dona Paula is the place where the river Zuari and Mandovi meet the Arabian Sea. Dona Paula has loads of seaside shops, food shacks throughout..But water sports was missing.. There are a number of legends behind Dona Paula, one of them states that Dona committed suicide by jumping off the cliff because she was not allowed to marry a local fisherman, another says that Dona was married to lower class fisherman who went into deep seas for fishing and one day did not return, Dona his loving wife waited for him at the jetty for many years and finally turned into stone!!!  This place fascinates tourists by its mysticism and beauty... The statute on the rock is dedicated to them and their love…But I guess all this is just a folklore though tragic one. Okay here goes another one Dona Paula was the daughter of the Portuguese Viceroy of Jaffnapatnam, in Sri Lanka. She and her family arrived in Goa and she married..  They were an extremely affluent family. Dona Paula was a kind-hearted and worked hard for the upliftment of the villagers and that’s why after her death the villagers decided to re-name the village as Dona Paula. Initially the village was called Oddavell. The alleged statue of ‘Dona Paula’ at the jetty is actually the sculpture of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Knox. A Dutch sculptress, Baroness Yrse Von Leistner etched the sculpture as she was in awe of the philosopher Robert Knox.
Sun was setting, spreading golden glisten all around…Mandovi cruise was all dressed up waiting for us..This was one of the best experience we had for the evening..There were traditional dance in the cruise food and drinks were also available…After relishing the traditional dance and music we went up the deck to enjoy the breeze we also got to watch other luxury cruise… Panjim shore that was
  all lighted up by now….the cruise was for an hour and as expected we had our share of fun@mandovi river…Driving back home we raced and got home pleasantly exhausted …For dinner we had Goan prawn caldine, traditional fish curry, pepper calamari roll and rice ..mmmm yummy…In Goa there are so many options that you’ll lose track of them and most of them serve authentic Goan cuisine too…After a hot shower we all jumped into bed around 10pm cos we had to wake up early for the next day’s trip..After the alarm was set in all our mobiles we slept like babies…SWEET DREAMSSSS..

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