Friday, July 06, 2007

Sea Shore Planet: Tourist Paradise: GOA [Part 2]

Sea Shore Planet: Tourist Paradise: GOA
[Goa Part II]

When in America or Europe or in UK people talk about Indian tourism the first word that is most probably pronounced is GOA and with the word everybody goes in the visualization and virtual feeling of calm and cool sea winds, lush green palms and coconuts, speeding boats on blue aqua and silvery sand. This is what GOA remains in the minds of tourist.

The fact remains undisputed, sea shores are the prime attraction of the GOA, but it is a hard truth GOA is much more worth for tourists than the beaches, even after a considerable long Portuguese rule you will find here many temples along with churches with the best of illustration for the outstanding and exemplary cases of Christian architecture , this makes GOA a place to be visited again and again.

Hindu Temples

History says that during the long Portuguese rule attempts were made for destroying Hindu Temples, however many Hindu temples mainly present in “Ponda” or “Phonda” taluka are reflecting the glimpses of Old Hindu divine light present in the area. Some of the most prominent temples are

Mangeshi Temple: one of the oldest Saraswat temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is just about 20 km from the capital city Panaji , at the Pirol.

Shri Shantadurga temple: This is yet another temple that is included in the schedule of most of the tour operators. Goddess Shantadurga, Goddess of peace, dedicated this temple is with a pagoda like outer shape.

Shri Bhagavati Temple: It is said that temple is old over than 500 years. The Parenem taluka situated temple [about 28 km from Panaji] is famous for the Dushera celebrations. Goddess Bhagavat Ashtabhuja is in the standing position and the entrance of the temple have two elephants craved in black stone.

Shri Ramnath Panchayatan: Yet another temple from Phonda [about 35 km from Panaji] is in fact cluster of five temples beside the temple of main deity Ramnath, four other small temples are dedicated to Shri Laxminarayan, Shri Shantadurga (Sateri), Shri Betal and Shri Sidhanath .

Other significant temples includes the Ganapati temple at Khandole, the Maha Laxmi temple at Bandewade and the Sri Nagesh Maharudra Temple at Bandora, Shri Mahalsa - At Mardol, Shri Gomanteshwar Devasthan at Brahmapuri, Shri Kamakshi Sausthan at Shiroda, Temple of Shri Mahadeva at Tambdi Surla, Shri Navdurga at Madkai, Sapteshwar-Bhagvati Temple at Mandrem, Shri Shantadurga - Kavlem and many more.

Churches of GOA

Though for GOA you can say also that it is a land of churches because when we compare the number of churches with the area of the land, GOA is among the densest population of churches in India. Prominent churches include:

The most famous church of Roman Catholic world was built in 1605, is the tomb and place for the mortal remains of patron saint of GOA, St. Francis Xavier [in near future I will post about his life]. This church is famous for miraculous phenomenon, St. Francis Xavier died in china [December 2, 1552] and as per his will, when after one year of death his remains were being transferred to GOA , it was observed that time has not affected his body. After every Ten years body is kept for an Exposition or public viewing.

Church is dedicated to Saint Catherine and among the biggest tourist attractions at GOA. Tuscan style architect and the Cross of Miracles are the prime attractions, it is said that cross of Miracles is growing in size and according to faith of Goans, healing properties of the cross are unique on the earth.

Other churches of GOA are The Church of St. Francis of Assisi, The Church of St. Cajatan, the Church of Our Lady of Rosary, The Reis Magos Church, Church of Mae de Dens or Mother of God, and The Church of St. Alex.

Beaches and how to have a real vision of GOA will be published in the third and concluding article of the series.

Part I of the Article if you have missed it.

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