Spice farm boasts of a purely organic and natural environment, in which the guests can enjoy nature at its very best the traditional Goan food. The pond situated within attracts a number of birds of different varieties. Bird watching is one sport the guests can simultaneously enjoy as they explore the spicy world.
In 1560, anticipating the onslaught of the Portuguese, the devotees had moved Shri Mangesh Shivalinga from Kutthal to a safer place under a Hindu prince. Surrounded by hillocks and covered by forests, the Shivalinga was kept at a place, which now is known as Mangeshi. The Peshwas donated in 1739, the village of Mangeshi to the temple on the suggestion of their Sardar, Shri Ramchandra Malhar Sukhtankar, who was a life-long devotee of Shri Mangesh. Since then this little village on the Panaji-Ponda road has become a place of pilgrimage for the followers of the Lord and an attraction for the tourists from
rest of the country and outside. Known for its natural beauty and pleasant surroundings, Mangeshi is still a hamlet with about 1,000 families. But it is a center of culture and the musicians from this place have earned countrywide reputation as master singers for several generations.
The Present TempleThe temple is a modern piece of architecture blended with traditional Hindu pattern. The entrance to the temple bears an image, which wards off everything impure from the inner precincts of the temple and maintains its sanctity. In front of the entrance but slightly to the north stands the Deepa Stambha, the column of lights. History does not record when it was built, but judging by the pattern of its construction, it might have been built during the first half of the eighteenth century. It is the tallest and most imposing column in Goa and looks most beautiful on festival nights when illuminated with traditional oil lamps.
A Delightful Experience - Basilica Of Bom Jesus, Goa
Goa is not merely a destination, it is an experience. Among the numerous churches in Goa, the Basilica of Bom Jesus is a worthwhile exploration. This Portuguese piece of architecture is counted among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and mesmerizes all its visitors. This Jesuit Church is the first minor Basilica in India. The exteriors of the church are not plastered and add an impressive, rustic feel to the entire structure. The surrounding parks are well maintained.
With marble flooring, the 'Mosaico-Corinthian' interiors are simple and elegant. Covered with gold, the altar looks gorgeous. Besides the alter, there are two chapels, a sacristy and a choir.
It houses the tomb and mortal remains of St Francis Xavier, one of the patron saints of Goa. Devotees even come to see the remains of the saint and surprisingly, even after 400 years, it is in a very good condition. The casket that contains the body is beautifully crafted out of silver. The public display last happened in 2004 and is held every ten years. Bom Jesus Basilica Art Gallery preserves some excellent pieces of art by Dom Martin, the Goan Surrealist painter. The museum on the first floor has paintings on the life of Saint Francis. The wooden sculpture of the museum is in itself a sight to cherish.
Simple and Beautiful - The Panjim Church
The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception - Its simplicity defines its beauty and the purity is its soul.
Popular as the Panjim Church, the Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is among the prime attractions of the city. It is one of the oldest churches in Goa and the architecture is amazing. This church has also been popular as a film shooting location. Each year, on 8th December the Feast of Immaculate Conception is celebrated and the church is beautifully decorated.
A huge bell was installed at the Panjim Church that belonged to the Augustinian Church of Our Lady. The bell is so heavy, due to which the entire pediment had to be renovated before installation. It is even acclaimed as the second largest bell in the world.
The interior of the church is simple and pleasing. There are three altars inside the Church - the main one dedicated to Mary Immaculate, one to Jesus and the third one to Our Lady of the Rosary. Marble statues of St Peter and St Paul are also there in the church. The view of Panjim city from the top is just astonishing. Bairro Altos de Pilotos, or the area above the church can also be visited. Earlier large beacons were lit here to guide ships. The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception should not be ruled out of your travel itinerary. The white exteriors with blue highlight look stunning, particularly in the evening. The experience is admirable.
Fort Aguada - A Glimpse Into History
Built in 1612, Fort Aguada is a picturesque fort situated on Sinquerim beach in Goa. Aguada is a Portuguese word which means "Watering Place" and the fort was built by the then Portuguese rulers for providing fresh water supply to the ships passing by in the Arabian Sea. As you enter the fort's premises, it will remind you of numerous Bollywood movies scenes which have been shot here.
Fort Aguada comprises of a lower fort which is surrounded by bastions all around and an upper fort. The lower port was primarily made for providing a safe cover to Portuguese ships while the upper fort was built to serve as a watering station to the ships. After exploring further, you will see there is a gunpowder room in the upper fort and a lighthouse. Another reason of building the fort was to protect the Portuguese establishments from the Dutch and Marathas.
As the fort is located on a hilly area covered by dense forests so one can expect sweltering heat during summers, special care should be taken during rains because the dense forest cover makes it a bit difficult to maneuver through the hilly passage.
Miramar is the beach area of the Goan capital of Panjim, also known as Panaji and is one of the most visited beaches of Goa. Many people, mostly tourists, come to this beach every day. Originally named Porta de Gaspar Dias by the Portuguese, the name was then changed to Miramar.
Situated at the confluence of the Mandovi River and the Arabian Sea, it is a small beach that occasionally hosts some events. There are several educational institutions in the surrounding vicinity, including Dhempe College of Arts and Science, Padmashree Vasantrao Dempo Higher Secondary
School of Arts and Science and Sharada Mandir High School. Gaspar de Dias club and a popular cafe are nearby.