Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Short Trip to Goa : November 2010

We have often been visiting Goa mainly to pay a visit to Nav Durga temple, our family deity, located at Madkai  (prononced in Portuguese as Madcaim), 28 kms south of Panaji. Since a visit to Nav durga temple was overdue, the last visit being in 2004, we decided to make a quick visit to our family deity with during November 26-27, 2010. We reached Karmali on November 26th by Konkan Kanya Express which was late by about an hour. We engaged a pre-paid taxi from the booth located just outside the railway station for Panaji ( 14 kms, Rs.210/-). After reaching Panaji in about 30 minutes, we checked in Ginger Hotel  (@Rs.1900/- with breakfast) which we had already booked. The rooms were clean and spacious. Since most of the temple rituals were in the morning slot, it was too late for us to visit our temple to complete the rituals. So it was decided to visit the temple the next morning. 

After  finishing buffet lunch at the Hotels' restaurant and some rest, we engaged a taxi for local sight seeing - Panaji Church, Dona Paula and Miramar Beach.  Next day, we engaged a taxi for the full day to take us to our temple at Madkai (28 kms). After finishing our rituals at the temple and the lunch, we proceeded to Old Goa to see the churches and museum. In the evening, the taxi dropped us at Karmali railway station to catch Konkan Kanya Express. The train reached Dadar the next day early morning on schedule time.

Some pictures taken during our short visit to Goa are displayed below with captions.  

The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Panaji. The Church was built in 17th century.

Our family picture with Gothic style stairs in the background.

A close up of the Church Bell.

One of many old style buildings in Panaji. This one was located opposite the Church.

Boats in the back waters of Zuari river at Dona Paula.  This is also a place for water sports. Dona Paula is a place where Mandovi and Zuari rivers meet the Arabian Sea.

A speed boat zipping in Zuari river backwater in Dona Paula.

My grand daughter and grand son at Dona Paula promenade. 

Flea market on way to the cliff in Dona Paula.

Dona Paula cliff in the evening.

Family picture at Dona Paula Cliff.

Sun rays defuses through a patch of black cloud on a small part of Arabian Sea seen from Dona Paula. 

A zoom shot of the above picture taken from Dona Paula Cliff.

A heritage house seen from the  Dona Paula cliff.

Champa flower (Magnolia Champaca) tree with Zuari river backwater in the background.

My grandson enjoying the gentle waves at Miramar beach.  Since Mandovi river meets Arabian sea very close to this beach, the swimming is not safe due to underwater currents.  The authorities have put two flags indicating that swimming within the distance of two flags is considered safe.   

The gateway to Navdurga temple which is located about 200m from the main gate of the temple.

Stairs leading to the Navdurga temple.

Navdurga temple, Madkai. Like most Hindu temples in Goa which had been relocated in their second homes in 16th centuries due to Portuguese atrocities, this temple was  moved to the present location from Ganvshi village in Tiswadi taluka  in which Panaji city is also located.The main deity in almost all  temples in Goa is covered with  dome and the mandap is covered with curvilinear roof. The main as well as side entrances to the temple are covered with conical roof, again main features of temples in Goa.   

The Deepa Stambha (Lamp Tower) is also one of the main features of temples in Goa.

The Konkani style residence of the main priest who belong to Ghaisas family originally from Konkan (Maharashtra).  There is not much of a change in the Konkani style residence since we first visited in 1970 except that the longish verandah  has now been closed with wall and grills and the house has split AC installed on the roof.

Navdurga temple complex seen from the road ascending on the plateau.  Madkai village where the  temple is situated is a valley surrounded by plateau where GIDC is presently located. Madkai is about 5 kms from Mardol on the Old Goa-Madgaon road.  When we first visited the temple in 1970, the dense forest cover seen from the mud road did not reveal the existence of the temple until we reached the village .Now the temple complex can be seen from a distance of about 200m from  road side. In fact most of the temples in Goa presently in  their second homes were located in the cover of  dense forests to ward off Portuguese atrocities.    

The Hall in the temple complex where Kulavis ( Families with Navdurga as their family deity) can perform religious ceremony.  In olden days, Kulavis used to stay around the temple complex and all their religious activities like naming, thread, wedding ceremonies were performed in the temple complex.  Now with the dispersal of Kualvis  to the various parts of India and abroad,  the use of Hall for such activities are minimal.  Almost all temples in Goa have constructed self contained rooms for Kulavis to stay  during their visits to the temples.

The curvilinear type roof over the mandap with statues of animal on either side  of the roof.

Close up of the statue on the edge of the roof.
The statue of Navdurga. The deity in black stone is in the form of Mahishasur Mardini ( killer of demon bullock, the rudra (fierce) form of Devi. The neck of the goddess is tilted to her left and there is a story behind it.  A devotee after his wish being fulfilled was to offer flowers worth Rs.1000/- to Navdurga. But on the appointed day, the devotee could not get any flowers. At last he got one flower for which he paid Rs.1000/- and  offered to Navdurga.  As soon as the single flower  was placed on the goddess's neck, it tilted towards her left indicating that for her  one flower weight was equivalent to many flowers.

The rath (chariot) which is used during the annual  Jatra of Navdurga in November.

A laddu ( a kind of sweet) stall just outside the temple complex. When we visited the temple, the annual Jatra was in full swing. There was a fair like atmosphere in the vicinity of the temple with many make-shift shops on the road leading to the temple. 

Grinding stones for sale near the temple. 

Unusual Champa Flowers (Magnolia Champaca) at the side gate of the temple.

Main Altar of Basilica Bom Jesus at Old Goa.

Left side altar of the Basilica.

View from the entrance to the Basilica.

Right side Altar of Basilica.

Lovely wood carving on a pulpit in Basilica.

The road bisecting the Basilica of  Bom Jesus and the Church of Francis of  Assisi was closed for vehicular traffic on account  novenas and feast of St Francis Xaviers.

On way to the Church of St Francis Xavier and Se' Cathedral.

The Church of St. Francis of Assisi. The Church was under rennovation and therefore we could not see much of its interiors. Next to the Church is the Archaeological Museum.

Some of the antiques have been nicely placed as a wall to the museum complex.

An antique piece in the middle of the park adjoining the Museum.

Mandovi river at Old Goa. There is a constant cargo ship traffic through the river.

Karmali Railway Station. On the left side is the pre-paid taxi stand and on the right is the auto rickshaw stand. 

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