Saturday, February 23, 2013

Goa Hindu Architecture

Goa had been ruled by various Hindu dynasties such as the Chalukyas of Badami, the Silaharas, the Kadambas, the Rashtrakutas and the western Chalukyas of Kalyani  followed by the Portuguese.  Thus Goa Hindu Architecture is an amalgamation of Indian, Islamic and Portuguese styles. 

Traditional pre Portuguese hindu architecture was more inward-looking with small windows; this reflected the secluded role of women. The houses opened into courtyards, and rarely opened onto streets. Most houses used mud walls with thatched roofs and used locally available materials.

However post the 18th Century , goan architecture as a whole became more outward looking and ornamental, with balcaos (covered porches) and verandas facing the street. During Portuguese rule an owner could be fined if his house was not painted. So paint they did, usually with bright, dramatic colours such as lilac-blues, sunflower-yellows and ruby-reds. White was normally reserved for churches and seldom used in Goan Hindu Architecture 

Gateposts and Compound walls
The Properties were normally enclosed with stone walls also called “ lobraan” – big laterite stones which were un shaped , and owners expressed their individuality by using elaborate designs. Gateways consisted of elaborately carved compound walls on either side of the gate posts.

The Balcao
This resembles a porch and functions as an outdoor living space with benches to sit down and catch the breeze while watching the world go by. These balcaos were bordered by ornamental columns that sometimes continued along the steps and added to the stature of the house.

The Plinth
The role of the plinth was very important for the Goan Culture. The houses of rich landlords had high plinths with grand staircases leading to the front door or balcao.

The Saal
A large room was the first room one stepped in on entering a Goan Hindu home. This space was used for entertaining guests. In later generations this room would normally get split into multiple parts when the property was split amongst the Heirs of the property. From the saal one could enter the rest of the house, which usually revolved around a courtyard.
Goa Hindu Architecture- Saal
Most of the big houses have a courtyard called as Rajangan with a Tulasi Vrindavan in the middle. The Rajangan or just Angan was a large space with internal court open to the sky; roofs from all sides of the house drained into it. The bedrooms flanked the courtyard. 

Goa Hindu Architecture -Rajangan

Goa Hindu Architecture -Angan

Deva kood
Normally this would be located near the kitchen and would be flanked by a bigger hall specially meant for celebrating festivals such as Ganesh Chaturthi and Diwali 


Raanchi kood
On the other end of the saal were the kitchens and service areas of the house. This room would also have an attached store room called as Kothar

Gotho (Goshala)
Most Hindu houses had cattle and they kept them here in the Gotho

These were bathrooms located next to the well at the back of the house.

Bain (The wells)

This was an important feature. Most large Hindu houses in Goa had 1 or more wells for fresh water. One of them was used for consumption and other (normally at the back of the house was used for other purposes)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Colva Beach Photos

Colva Beach is one of the most well known beaches in South Goa. Located about 10 kms from Margao , Colva beach provides you with all the varieties of Goan Beach Life... It is Crowded yet not Over Crowded, has good shacks for people to taste different Cuisine, Water sports and has lots of small and large hotels to stays. Overall it is a nice beach to Hangout.
Looking At Colva Beach from the South

The full Colva beach is subdivided into the main Colva beach which is the prime beach, secondly Sunset beach (towards betalbatim) which is less congested and then Baywatch beach (towards Benaulim at Sernabatim). The main beach itself, though crowded in peak season, is magnificent with beautiful sand, coconut palms gently swaying in the breeze and blue waters (which can sometimes turn rough and grey-green). Teams of fishermen operate all along the coast from here down to Benaulim further south.
Fishermen at Work at Colva Beach

Colva Village gets particularly busy in October, when large numbers of pilgrims come to visit the famous Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Piedade (Igreja in Konkani is church) also called Our Lady Of Mercy church.According to local legend the statue in Our Lady of Mercy church was found in the mid-seventeenth century in the coast of Mozambique, when Rev Fr. Bento Ferreira and his party had been shipwrecked off the coast. In 1648 when Father Ferreira was posted to Colva he placed the statue on the altar and it soon started drawing large crowds of devotees as it granted their favours.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Goa Beach Circuit

Sun, Sand, Surf and the Sea

The 100 Plus Kms of Goas Konkan Coast provides one with a wide range of choices - from unspoilt pristine streches of sand for the solitude seeker in South Goa to crowded entertainment hubs of North Goa.

Beaches of Goa 

North Goa Beaches 

Taking the capital Panaji and the next major city Margao as base points, all the beaches can be visited in a stretch. Panjim - the political capital of Goa , can be made the hub for all the north Goa beaches.From here onwards to the northern tip of the state, swaying palms and shimmering sands stretch giving an enchanting sight. The further north, the emptier the beaches become. Terecol Beach is one of the most Secluded in North Goa , While Calangute and Baga Beach is a hub for activity.Sinquerim, Candolim, Calangute, Baga, Anjuna, Vagator, Morjim and Arambol are the beaches that can be covered in the North Goa Circuit.

South Goa Beaches
Margao - the commercial capital of Goa can become the hub for South Goa Beaches.The silvery sands, which stretch down southwards from Margao. Right from Colva, the famous silvery white sand beach, there is an uninterrupted continuity in beaches. The more you move south the lonelier the beaches are. Beginning from Majorda beach, a 20 kms long silvery white sand stretches across till the headland of Cabo de Rama. Velsao, Majorda, Betalbatim, Colva, Benaulim, Varca, Cavelossim, Mobor and Betul beaches are all interconnected.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Portuguese Bridges

Even today there are multiple examples of century old Portuguese style bridges which have connected Goan hamlets inter-spaced by  marshes for centuries now. Most have since been replaced and built over by concrete bridges but a few continue to this day serving the people of Goa