Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ruins of St Augustines basillica

The church was constructed in 1602 by Augustinian friars who arrived in Old Goa in 1587. All that remains of this once huge church is the 46m-high tower and it is one of four such towers.  The Church when intact was perhaps the biggest in Goa. With the religious suppression in 1835, the Augustinians deserted the church and the convent. The church fell into neglect and the vault collapsed in 1842 with the facade following down in 1931. The tower's huge bell was moved in 1871 to the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Panaji.

Photo taken someime in 2004

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Zuari Bridge Saga

The Zuari bridge connects the north to the south of goa and is an important link without which Goa can be technically broken into half . both half's literally cutoff from each other. It was completed in April 1983. It was constructed by Gamon India Limited.

Crossing the Zuari Bridge

( Excerpts from  Zuari bridge on verge of collapse ?- 10 June 1997 )
The Honavar bridge in North Canara, which is still struggling to survive, is an old story. The Mandovi bridge in Goa, which collapsed in 1986 - within 16 years - is also the history. But the possibility of repeating the same history with Zuari and Borim bridges in Goa and Kali river bridge in Karwar, a major link between Goa and Karnataka, is a danger of the future.

The Zuari bridge, a major link between two districts of Goa, is now closed for heavy traffic since April, within 14 years since commissioned. Tenders have already been floated for a parallel bridge on Build, Operate and Transfer basis as the existing bridge won't last for long.

Next in the line may be the Borim bridge in Goa, showing similar signs of deterioration. Experts also do not rule out the possibility of the Kali river bridge meeting the same fate. All the bridges are on the National Highway and built under supervision of the Ministry of Surface Transport (MoST). In times when we have the latest technology bridges in Goa such as the Aldona Cable Bridge, the state of such bridges is really pathetic specifically when the Zuari bridge is one of the most important road link used by thousand visiting Goa's southern side from the north

The Rehabilitation work continues even to this date
The Rege Commission, which probed into the collapse of the Mandovi bridge, had held faulty design of the balanced cantilever bridges the prime cause for the disaster. Adopting the same design, but with little modification in construction technology, bridges at Zuari, Borim, Kali and the Ganga river in Patna - supposedly the longest bridge of five kms in Asia - were built by Gammon India during the same time.

The Konkan Railway Bridge 
Running parallel to the Zuari bridge is the Konkan railway bridge. This bridge is the longest bridge of the konkan railway.

The longest bridge on the konkan railway

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Fatorpa Temple

The temple at Fatorpa is built in honor of the deity Shantadurga .Located near the town of Cuncolim in Quepem taluka. The Temple is accessible via NH17 that passes through the village of Balli.

History of the Fatorpa Temple 

The Shantadurga temple was originally located at the local market in Cuncolim. It was in Cuncolim that the first revolt against the Portuguese rule took place in Cuncolim, where the Jesuit missionaries were attacked and killed by the locals. In retaliation the original temple was destroyed by the Portuguese . The deity was taken and hidden in Fatorpa by locals which was outside Portuguese territory in those days and remained so for almost two centuries. Later a new temple was built there and the deity has remained there ever since 

The devasthan of the temple has 12 vangods, comprising 12 different communities. It is interesting to note that these 12 vangods of the devasthan are required for the commencement of any socio-religious rituals of the village and temple. All religious and social functions are done on the orders of these 12 people.

Idols of Navgrahas, Kalbhairav, Tandavnritya, Kaliamardan, Hirenyakashphu and Ugradevta are housed in the temple and the various vangods temples are located all around the temple 


Fatorpa Temple Band from Kantak Amey on Vimeo.
The temple band playing the local tune during a god ceremony at the Fatorpa Temple