Thursday, October 05, 2006

South Goa at its Greatest

My mind still full of what we had seen the previous day, I woke up on the day of Navami. We all got ready quickly for the tour of South Goa. It sounded promising. Our driver, Bhanudas arrived at about 9 o’ clock. Our first stop that day was Dona Paula. Dona, the daughter of a Portuguese viceroy had fallen in love with Paula, a fisherman’s son. They had committed suicide at this point, which is now a tourist spot. This is also the meeting place of two rivers, Mandavi and Zuari. First, we took breakfast in one of the restaurants by the riverside. It was amazing, eating and getting a majestic view of the rivers. Then, climbed up the steps to get a better view of the rivers. We also saw the statue of Dona and Paula. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go for boating in the rivers because there are only two kinds of boats here. You either board scooters supporting only one person at a time, or an eight-seater family boat. We were not ready to go venturing alone and we needed to pay the full cost of eight people for the family-boat. So, we left Dona Paula and went to the first church, The Basilica of Bom Jesus. This Basilica is dedicated to the infant Jesus and also has the Chapel of St.Xavier. The interesting fact about this Chapel is that it contains the remains of St. Xavier himself! We saw the remains, safely preserved in a glass box kept at a certain height. After coming out of this Basilica, we crossed the road and went to another church, Se Cathedral. This church has six chapels and fourteen altars. Beside this church, the St. Francis of Assisi Church is located. This is really beautiful. It shows St. Francis holding Jesus Christ during his Lord’s death. On either side of their statue, are the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul respectively. Next, we saw a museum erected by the Archaeological Survey of India. This museum has all the things which were used by the Portuguese in India and many portraits of Portuguese viceroys and other important people. In fact, 8 galleries are dedicated to those portraits. Of course, we couldn’t see so many. Then, we came out of the museum and prepared to leave the spot. In the same compound, we saw a deserted church named St. Catherine’s Cathedral. Leaving the churches, we now went to explore the temples. We saw two temples. First one is the Mangesh Temple and second one is the Shanta Durga Temple. Both the temples are beautiful and look, more or less, the same. Both are situated amidst the hills and both have a kind of pond within the temple premises. But the Shanta Durga Temple is more popular.
Around 3 o’ clock, we visited the Polva Beach. At first sight, it looked great as its waters gleamed in the sunlight like a silvery mass. But, as we were about to explore the beach, it started raining! So, we decided to have some food in one of the restaurants. We hoped that the rain would get over by the time we finished with our food. But, the rain continued even after we had finished a meal of rotis and Pomfret fish curry. Yet, we were not disheartened. Making good use of the umbrellas we had taken from Kolkata, we walked down to the beach. My God, what a wind was blowing! I was surprised it didn’t blow away our umbrellas. Even then, we took photographs. With that, our South Goa trip also ended.
That night, we had a dinner of Mixed fried rice, one vegetable curry, chicken curry and tomato juice ( tomato juice is the most sour thing I’ve ever tasted apart from “Center Shock”, the chewing gum) again at Sher-e-Punjab.


Woodsmoke said...

You should use your blog as a place to put up some pictures as well. That would be great.

Butterfly said...

How do I post pictures?