GREAT WALKS OF GOA
Location : Goa
Famous For : Rural charm, Old mansions, Portuguese air
Famous Walks : Fontainhas-Mala Walk, Calangute Walk, Colva Walk
Best Time To Walk : October March
The life in Goa is different. It creates memories and then enjoys an afternoon siesta in the warmth of those multicoloured streets of past. Goa lives in its villages. Villages that have a rich history replete with legends, tales of bravado and plain old yarns. What a contrast! Walk through the vaddos of a Goan village to get a glimpse of her soul. Cordiality in this land of sun-kissed sands always breezes into your heart. There are people who share their love for their land with all who want to appreciate the finer details of Goan life. They take visitors on leisurely walks through some of Goas most colourful quarters with curious aroma. All you need to accompany them is a sun-hat, a packed lunch, binocs to see colourful feathers and a pair of listeners ears. So tie your laces and lets go...
Quaint bungalows, the aroma of freshly baked scones, lazy afternoons...imagine what a walk it would make. If you walk down the idyllic villages of Goa, you will come across scenes of a picturebook. Steeped in history and exquisite architecture, the heritage mansions portray a splendid amalgamation of a rich past and a vibrant present. If you are lucky, you will probably see women in flowery dress sitting on their verandas, reading the evening newspapers. Violinists practise in front of open windows, live music wafts out of homes and their intricately grilled balconies only to pour honey into your ears. Tourists say that the walks afford so picturesque greens that you might ask Assa rey ganv? or Is there really a village here? Lush green paddy fields resting under the silence of swaying palm trees and cuckoos calling from the red-tiled roofs are the only panorama you can sense on the way. So what are you waiting for..Come for a wow effect!
Walking down Fontainhas, the queer little neighbourhood in Panaji, or Panjim, the chaotic yet interesting Goan capital, is a visual delight. Tracing its name from a stream that flows down into the area from the slope of the Altinho hill, Fontainhas retains its identity as a heritage cluster caught in a time wrap. The walk around the precinct should begin at the Mermaid Garden and go past the retro Venite restaurant, to St. Thomas Ward. The landscape is a riot of colours ochre yellow, light pink, indigo blue and brick red are shades used to bedeck the facades of the old bungalows and colonial houses that line the wide streets. If you want to see the contemporary landmarks in Goa, do check out the lifestyle and new-age fashion stores nestling on the banks of the shimmering Mandovi river. Or to enjoy a sublime trauma of enjoyment, sit at the decorated balcaos with a glass of your favourite drink, under the sloped tiled roofs of the restaurants, and watch a magical world go by. Thats the perfect end to a beautiful walk.
A Walk Through Goa
Begin at St. Alex Church in Calangutes Umta Vaddo. Spin around and look at the hillock facing the church. During the monsoon, you will see sheets of green paddy at its feet, which further lead to a natural freshwater spring with medicinal properties, locally known as Mottant. You can now walk past the church building round the back to the side lane behind the church. Take a right turn into Calangute Tinto (Portuguese for market) until you face the magnificent canopy of Shri Shantadurga Temple. Go past the temple and walk up to the magnificent Pousada Tauma, where you can see two very fine examples of mid-18th century Goan domestic architecture. End your Calangute walk in Porba Vaddo, at the lotus filled pond. Spare a moment to watch the pond herons (also called paddy birds), brilliant flashes of white against the surrounding emerald waters.
This is a perfect walk for the person who cant get enough of Goas scenic beauty or the angler on the lookout for good fishing. Begin at 431, Udoim Vaddo, Xistos family house, located to the left of the village market. Bathed in sunshine from the inside, this house is a superb example of 18th century Goan domestic architecture. Ask her sister, Veronica Mascarenhas, if she would like to show you around the house and share her quota of memories. Admire the exquisite furniture crafted by village craftsmen in the home and supervised by the head of the family. At a stones throw, you will come to the high point of social life in the village, the fishing bridge! This is a magnificent thing to behold with the running water from the sluice gate mirroring the coconut palms and wooded hills creating a magical matrix where anglers in gum shoes and T-shirts fill their nylon bags with red snappers, mullet and shrimp.
People Walking on Calangute Beach
If you are interested to delve into Goas pre-Portuguese history, then this 2 hour walk in the far east of Salcete Taluka is the best bet. Drop off at the road that forks off to Quepem from Chandor. Youll see a gaudy fence that encloses the ancient 11th century Shiva Temple with the second largest Nandi (sacred bull) figure in India, roosting inside the sacred premises. Walk to the small square where the road branches off to Quepem and Churchorem, and you can see a hallowed ground (maand), adorned with exquisite carvings, where religious ceremonies and performances are carried out. If you happen to be in January, you can be a part of the famous Mussel Khel, that adds romance to the lives of the people.
The Colva coastal walk is said to be the ideal walk for the visitor in love with rural Goa and seeking more than just sand and sun on Colva Beach. Take the narrow road northwards, from the Colva Church crossroad towards the village of Betalbatim, named after the local deity Betal or Vetal. You can find every Christian house in this lane portraying a stone bearing a cross at the front door. It is the relic of a ground-breaking ceremony wherein a sliver of gold, freshly-minted stone with a date on them and few other tokens are buried. After a good deal of foot hunting, enjoy a plate of fish curry and rice at the Fork & Spoon Restaurant on the road to Utorda.
Top 5 Highlights of Great Walks of Goa
Walk To Explore The Magic
Todays Mansions on A Bygone Lane
The Fun At Fontainhas
Take A Fishy Walk
A Walk For Fun
Best of North and South
South India & Beaches