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Category Archives: Villages/Towns

The Glimpses of Loutolim

The Glimpses of Loutolim

The Glimpses of Loutolim Village
 

Loutolim is among one of Goa’s delightful villages, with lush green paddy fields and tranquil village roads that lie under a canopy of forest trees with a population of around 10,000. It is situated in the Salcete taluka of South Goa and is around 10 kms away from Margao. It’s beautiful, scenic surroundings, cool breeze, green hills and blue rivers is joy forever. The river Zuari flows along one side of Loutolim and it is surrounded by the villages of Verna, Raia, Camorlim, Borim and Quelosim. The village is easily accessible by tarred roads from Margao, Ponda across the Borim Bridge and Cortalim along the riverside about 12 Kms from the Zuari Bridge.

This village is well known mostly for the finest examples of Goan architecture observed in the houses and mansions built over here giving them a natural Goan feel to anyone visiting this village. It is also well known for the Ancestral Goa museum that recreates the Goan rural life as it was a hundred years ago. Some houses have the contemporary Portuguese architecture feel to them which is widely observed in the shell type windows. There are also houses which portray typical Goan village life with presence of verandas in front of almost every house.

There’s not much by way of accommodations except for Casa Susegado in Orgao. In Loutolim one can experience the non-touristy Goa and visit nearby spice plantations, or the Miranda House—a well-preserved Goan country house.

Portuguese House

 

One can enjoy his/her meal at Anoushka’s Bar and Restaurant at Ambora on the Margao-Ponda highway, which serves wonderful Goan delicacies.

The Saviour of the World Church in Loutolim is known to have been built in 1586. There are six other chapels affiliated to the church namely, The chapel of Our lady of Miracles, Vanxem, Mae De Deus chapel, Devotte, The chapel of St. Sebastian, Monte, The chapel of St. Joseph, Rassaim, The chapel of Our lady of Rosary, Carvota and The chapel of St. Sebastian and St. Benedict, Orgao.

As in other parts of Goa, in Loutolim, both Hindus and Catholics live together in peace and harmony, mingling with each other during their religious festivals. The religious activities of the Catholics are centred around the Saviour of the World church while those of the Hindus are centred around the Sri Ramnath temple.

There are a number of important social welfare and religious institutions in Loutolim besides the church, chapels and the temple. Some of them are: – 

 

The Shanti Avedna Ashram run by the Holy Cross sisters is an institution where the terminally ill cancer patients from all over Goa. Although there is no cure for these patients whether young or old, they get love and affection from these nuns. At this Ashram one can indeed rest in peace.

“ANCESTRAL GOA”, is a model of a typical Goan village as it existed a hundred years ago. It is an unique project in Loutolim which has been started by Maendra J. Alvares. 

Loutolim has some of the most beautiful and palatial houses in Goa, including Mario Miranda’s residence, Casa Araujo Alvares, the Figueiredo’s residence and the residence of Dr. Adelia Costa.

It is learnt from historical records that the village was an important seat of Hinduism with 100 temples and an agrahar or university where Vedic studies and other subjects were taught. Such a religious and educational background must have contributed immensely to moulding the spirit of the Lotlekars who would not easily yield to pressures and violence. It was perhaps an attribute of their character tempered in the crucible of religious practice and educational training. 

In 1567, at the height of the Christianization of Salcete, Loutolim suffered a terrible blow at the hands of the Captain of Fort Rachol who ordered the burning and destruction of all the temples in the village. Many gaunkars (original lotlekars) left with their idols for safer grounds. Those who wished to remain in the land of their ancestors, though not shaken in their religious fervour, came to terms with the situation. Many of them embraced Christianity. They were soon followed by the sudras and the Kunbis (agriculturists) as these groups always looked to the Brahmins as their leaders and protectors. 

The traditional social organization consisted of a vertical stratification of the three castes mentioned above. The rigidity of the social system made vertical mobility taboo. However there has been a considerable assimilation at the lower rungs of the social ladder.

This is a must visit village, as one can see a perfect combination of urban-rural Goa. The folks of Loutolim are as welcoming as the place itself. So why not give it a try?

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Quepem – The lesser Known part of Goa

Quepem – The lesser Known part of Goa

Quepem – The lesser Known part of Goa

Quepem is one of the lesser known villages in Goa. It lies 15kms east of Margao and is known for its few tourist attractions like its Temples, Churches, Restaurants, Beaches, Festivals and Histotic Landmarks.

The Quepem Dam is a beautiful place to visit. It is located right over the Kushvati River and is said to be one of the oldest Dam’s in South Goa Quepem Taluka. This Dam was built during the Portuguese regime. It’s a lovely place to have picnics or spend time with family and friends.

Quepem Dam

Now there are two popular temples in the Quepem Taluka one being The Shri Chandranath Temple which is located on the tip of a 350 meters high hill of Chandranath in Paroda. It is a Holy Shrine of Lord Chandreshwar who is believed to be the titular deity of Bhoja Kings. The second popular temple in Quepem is The Shri Damodar Temple at Zambaulim. It is situated at the banks of the river Kushavati. Many devotees also come to this place for their belief that the river that connects to the bank of Zambaulim has powers to heal people for many various body ailments.

can you believe that Quepem has  4 Natural Wonders known to man?

Firstly being the Morpila Sacred Grove which protects the source of a mountain stream called Paikacho Vhal. It is one of the most interesting sacred groves of all in the Quepem Taluka. Then we have the Chandranath Hill. It is a hill that comprises of two hillocks of near-uniform contour height, with one being 300m high and the other 350m high. So scientists believed that a meteorite fell on the mountain during prehistoric times. Thirdly we have the largest Banyan Tree in Goa. Having around 220 aerial roots and admeasuring at a total area of 235 feet X 225 feet and is believed to be over 2000 years old. And they say it can shade upto 1000 people under its shade. And lastly Goa’s Straight Coastline. This stretch goes on from Majorda to Betul just north of the Canacona-Quepem Coast. And it is known as a “ Trekker’s Dream Stretch “.

 

Well i’m sure you know Goa is very famous for its beautiful beaches. It attracts loads of tourists from all around the world just to view them. So Quepem holds two lovely beaches in its Taluka. Being the Betul and Canaguinim Beaches. The Canaguinim beach is a sandy and stony beach. There are also number of beach huts built on the beach itself, so you can enjoy the whole idea of living a life at the beach. The Betul beach is the other beach located in the Quepem Taluka region. This is a little more of a quieter beach. But its normally like this only during the weekdays. But come the weekends its packed with loads of people and tourists. Its a nice place to enjoy picnics with your family, friends and when you need some alone time with yourself and to enjoy the beauty of mother nature.

 

If your into Multi-Cusines and amazing Seafood. Quepem offers you with a place called the Best Western Peace Valley Hotel with the exact location at Duelmol, Sirvoi, Quepem. Petals is a Multi-Cusine restaurant which is best known for its Multi-Cusines and Sky Grill restaurant is well known for its delicious Sea Food dishes and also serves Barbeque/Tandoori/Grill. Both these place are really marvellous and a must check out place from what i’ve heard. Another place to look out for is the Palacio De Deao mansion. Its not actually a restaurant but the people who run the place, do like the idea of having people come over to enjoy some of goa’s traditional dishes and for a less price too. They have tables and chairs that are laid out in a patio behind the house which is surrounded by gardens on each side. The dishes they prepare are Fish or Prawns – or you can try their lovely Goan Curry, Pork Sausages, Ambotik, Chicken Xacutti and a choice of balchaos. For dessert, you can have the delectable Bebinca.

Another of the sites to see is a tree that is located exactly near the Quepem police station. It is known all around Quepem as the “GOROGINHA TREE”. It is more then a 100 years old and it bares edible fruits that are shaped like lanterns and is called “The Monkey Bread”. This fruit is rich in Vitamin C and helps in curing scurvy and soar throats. The leaves are used to fed horses to give them extra energy and keeping them healthy. It is also a medicinal tree. So do take the time to check out this wonderful creation of mother earth.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed all the information I have provided here and take the time to view all these beautiful places. 

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RAIA

RAIA

RAIA

Eons of lifetime could pass by with you just sitting in silence, enjoying the beauty, such is the ability of Raia, to keep you spellbound. Raia lies 7 km from Margao, 35 km from Panjim, 17 km from the airport and thus far from urbanization. Filled with tree’s, houses and fields, Raia possesses a bauty of its own, though the best time to visit would be during the monsoons when everything is so lush.

It is said that it was the original site of the temple of goddess Kamakshi as it was destroyed by the captain of Rachol and so it was smuggled across the river  by a potter who has since been given the principle right to burn the first lamp at the temple of Kamakshi at Shiroda.

Like everything else, Raia too has a past, a history. The first church built by the Portuguese was dedicated to our lady of snows. This church also known as the Raia church is famous for a festival known as ‘konsachem fest’ which is celebrated with great pomp after the sheaves (konsa) of rice harvest. It is attended by people of all faith and a large number of devotees from all over the state. The church has a sickle which is said to have been specially sent across Goa, by the Pope in the Portuguese times. The local parish priest cuts the first sheaves of the rice harvest from the nearby fields. He also gives blessings for a rich harvest for future seasons and the sheaves are then distributed among the devotees present. These are then used by the devotees to prepare some rice dish at home. The sheaves are also sent to the governor of Goa and the archbishop of Goa as a symbol of love, good wishes and prosperity. On this day as per tradition, a football tournament is held which is attended by clubs surrounding the area. After the high mass, people take home a sheave to put it on their altaror some put it in their vehicle for as a symbol of protection.

Raia has the distinction of being the first village in Salcette to be Christianised, when its populace was converted en masse to Christianity in 1560. The parish of raia was founded in 1699 to cater to the spiritual needs of the increasing number of converts outside the fort of Rachol and it was dedicated to the same patroness- our lady of snows. The church and parochial residence were thoroughly renovated in 2003. The fort is built by laterite stones and offers a great scenic surrounding. The fort was controlled by many Indian rulers until the Portuguese expanded their empire, the fort fell from favor and was finally abandoned. Now nothing remains of it today except the stone archway that leads to the seminary. And to think for twenty years I passed under it, going in and out of this historically important place without as much as a thought put into it.

History can always make you hungry, so Nostalgia, one of the best restaurants of the state, would be a good suggestion. The restaurant serves classic goan and Portuguese- goan dishes.

A simple village where everyone knows the other and compulsorily exchange greetings as they sit outside their porch watching the kids play. The place is full of innocence and away from the claws of urbanization. So intent the people of Raia are that they refuse a bridge being built from Raia to Shiroda. Amazing people and place.. what’s not to like? 

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