Saturday, July 5, 2014

Goa Cultural Video - Fatorpa Temple

The temple band playing the local tune during a god ceremony at the Fatorpa Temple

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

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Monsoons are here !!!

Its been raining cats and dogs these last one week in Goa and finally the long delayed monsoons are here.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mandovi Bridge

About a year ago I had blogged about the Zuari Bridge and how a replacement was due for it. The Zuari Bridge saga is also associated with another and possibly much more important link between Panjim and the rest of north Goa.

In the early 1980’s, Goa experienced a London bridge is falling down scenario when a cantilever of the old Mandovi bridge failed. This led to multiple ferry boats being deployed on the panjim to porvorim route at betim and just besides the old bridge. Eventually the old bridge was rebuilt and another parallel bridge was built to accommodate heavy vehicles.

The Twin Mandovi Bridges Today
It looks like controversy hasn't left the Mandovi bridge behind. As recently as June 2013, PWD engineers found a skeleton in the deck of the old Mandovi bridge. Interestingly the Pillar No 13 of the bridge also has the infamous distinction of having been hit twice in its life by a Ore carrying barge.  The Rege commission which had probed the Mandovi bridge collapse had held faulty design of the cantilever bridge built by gammon India to be the main cause of the failure, with the cantilever failing within 16 years of commissioning of the bridge.

Excerpts from Rege commission report 
“The non-functional hinges between the girder tips were rectified only after three years, cracks were unattended for six years and corrosion of pre-stressed wires, which was noticed in '83, was neglected till the bridge collapsed.”

The Mandovi Bridge Today 
The twin bridges continue the bear the brunt of all traffic going out of Goa towards Sawantwadi and beyond. Below the bridges one can now find the main dock for all river excursion tours which are a must for any visitor to Goa.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Rivers of Goa

Goa is crisscrossed by nine major rivers which form the life blood for goan life as these provide much needed water for irrigation , public use, agriculture, fisheries. The major rivers of goa also provide waterways for transportation of both people as well as goods – mainly mining ores from interiors of goa to the port of Marmugoa. The main rivers of Goa are

Zuari River at Banastarim

Mandovi River at Panjim

Bridges across the Mandovi River

River Sal

Terekhol (originates in Maharashtra)
Chapora(originates in Maharashtra)
Mandovi (Also know as Mahadayi or Mhadei river , originates in Karnataka)

Unique Ecosystem along Goan Rivers

Goan rivers are unique as they are both tidal as well as rain fed. During monsoons water from the mountains and watershed areas gets drained thru these rivers into the Arabian Sea. Major rivers such as Mandovi and Zuari cover a large part of Goa in their catchment areas and these are influenced by tidal flows and influx as much as 40 kms upstream.
River Basin in Goa
Basin Area in Sq. Kms.
3702 Sq. Kms.

This mix of tidal flows as well as rainfed system means that salinity levels vary differently then other rivers of India and this leads to an unique ecosystem of mangroves in the catchment a of the rivers.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Goa Roads - NH17 - Margao to Panjim

National Highway 17 is THE road for Goa. It connects Goa along the coast line from south to north and on a good day it is possible to go from the southern tip of goa ( karwar border) to the northen tip ( sawantwadi -, banda border)in less then 2.5 hrs.

Prior to building of National Highway 17 (NH 17) in the 1960s and 1970s, the sea route to goa from mumbai was the preferred way for movement of goods and people with ships and steamers running between Mumbai and Mangalore calling at different ports in between.

There are two sub highways to NH17

  • 19 km long NH17A which links Cortalim (at the junction with NH 17) with Mormugao
  • 40 km long NH17B which links Ponda with Vasco, via Verna.

Together , NH17, NH17B,NH17A touch the entire coast line as well as interiors of goa and one can see the entire coastal beauty of Goa if one goes down NH17 road . NH17A provides a vital link and an excellent road to the dabolim airport while NH17B opens up the religious and cultural hub of Ponda taluka to the people of Goa

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Gandhi Market - Margao

Until the late ’70s, every morning village locals who traded with their earthenware pots gathered at an open space located at the extreme right of ‘Pimpal Katta’ where they would sell their wares. The place soon got its name naturally – ‘Modkeam Bazaar’. This was in the 1970s. As time went by, behind the ‘modkeo’ retailers, horticulture growers would squat with their produce and the concept of farmer’s market developed naturally.

Everyday throughout the year, come rain or shine, pottery artisans and vegetable vendors added to the numbers and the market turned vibrant. More vendors joined in, jostling for best spots, the space was in plenty, but best spots were not. It became a favourite for the local communities and for visitors in equal numbers.   

The Goan sussegad culture lived on and by late noon the place would be deserted, as all would leave after the day’s work was been done. In the 80's , the Modkeam Bazaar issue reached the Goa Assembly and Margao Municipality was directed to build a full-fledged market building on the approximate 5,000 sq mt plot. The plan was initially to build ground plus one floor and subsequently 108 shed-stalls were constructed on the western side of the market building and given particularly to local fruit and vegetable vendors.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Gomantak Vidya Niketan

A century old institution , Gomant Vidya Niketan Hall lies bang center in Margao City. Gomant Vidya Niketan today is identified by most visitors to margao as a  large auditorium with a library on the ground floor where most of the Tiatrs and Marriages are held along with other functions such as book exhibitions. The reality is far different . Gomant Vidya Niketan  was originally setup in 1912 as Saraswat Brahman Samaj (SBS) by nine youth and it focused on cultural activities . Post liberation this insitution was renamed as Gomant Vidya Niketan. Today the staunchest supporters of both Konkani and Marathi still identify themselves with this institution. 

Monday, March 31, 2014


The 45th International Film Festival is coming soon to the shores of Goa. Last years promise by the current chief minister , Mr Manohar Parikkar of a permanent venue may not yet have come true but the one good thing that this festival has bought to Goa is the fact that we goans now have one more extra occasion to celebrate and attract more tourists to this sunny state.

It has also been rumored that Asian film festival will be clubbed and cohosted at the same location along with IFFI. Another interesting fact is that IFFI is the longest running festival of its kind in india which runs for 11 days and has one of the largest number of delegates registering for it. This year the number of delegates is touted to touch 12000 odd.. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Safa Shshouri Mosque - Ponda

As one moves from Ponda city on NH4 and heads towards farmagudi ( near the new ponda bus stand ) one comes upon one of the two Islamic Shrines which were not destroyed or plundered during the Portuguese rule.  The Safa Shshouri Masjid was built by the Ruler of Bijapur Ibrahim Adil Shah I in 1560. It is believed to be one of the 27 mosques that the Adil Shah built in Ponda.

ASafa Shshouri Mosque - Ponda from NH4
It is a small single chambered mosque with tiled roof. A masonry colonnade adorns the outer boundary of the mosque platform surmounted by finials. Over years some of the columns have gone missing. South of the mosque is a water tank with multiple chambers of Mihrab designs - semi circular niche for prayers.

Centuries ago the mosque was at teh center of an extensive complex of fountains and gardens which are no longer there. People even to this date belive that there are hidden passages in teh walls of the tank which connect to a nearby water reservoir. The festivals of Id-Ul-Fitr and Id-Ul-Zuha  are celebrated every year here.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy Republic Day 2014

It’s the perfect day, to pray for our country, by heart……. Orange, White and green three colors are there not for to look beautiful. These colors gives us message that we should love each other, live in peace and in unity……Happy Republic Day to all Indian citizens.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Goa Talukas

For administrative purposes Goa is divided into two districts- North Goa and South Goa with headquarters at Panaji and Margao respectively together with six divisions and a further sub-divided into 12-talukas, which are as follows:
  • Pernem
  • Bardez
  • Tiswadi
  • Bicholim
  • Sattari
  • Ponda
  • Salcete
  • Mormugao
  • Quepem
  • Sanguem
  • Canacona
  • Dharbandora
The Talukas comprise of  towns and villages, most of which have their own governing body-the Panchayat. Some towns also have municipal councils.

The 12th and Yongest Taluka in Goa

Dharbandora is the newest taluka of Goa. It came into existence as a part of the South Goa district on 4 April 2012 by a notification of the government of Goa.[1] Five panchayats, Dharbandora, Kirlapal-Dabhal, Collem, Mollem and Sancorda from the Sanguem taluka and the Usgaon-Ganjem panchayat from the Ponda taluka were incorporated into the new taluka. The 18 villages that comprise the taluka are Aglore, Moissal, Bandoli, Codli, Collem, Caranzol, Camarconda, Cormonem, Dharbandora, Mollem, Piliem, Sancordem, Sangod, Sigao, Sonauli, Surla from Sanguem taluka while Usgao and Ganjem are from Ponda taluka. The taluka at present has a population of 30,000 to 40,000 people.