Friday, February 3, 2012

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…

1 comment:

  1. Hey Girly... You have enjoyed lots.... in Goa...

    if you want to more excitement and enjoy during this monsoon then do visit: Experiential Tourism concept in India.


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