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Old 4th April 2009, 10:58   #1
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Default No Beach, No Seafood - A different Goa !

No Beach, No Seafood - A different Goa !-gt01.jpg

"Why don't you get an haircut? you look !


"Not Until I go see dam bappa..."

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We belong to a small community called Gowda Saraswat Brahmins (GSB). Generally, we have the concept of "Panchayatan" - i.e. worshipping 5 gods like form of Shiva, form of Vishnu, form of Durga, Surya, & Ganpati. Kuldev or kuldaivat are the deities which a set of families primarily worship among GSB's. Their temples are built and maintained by these families.

Shri Mahalakshmi Damodar is our Kuldev and Shri Damodar Saunsthan, Jambavli (Zambaulim) and Shri Mahalakshmi Saunsthan, Bandora our temples. Generally, we go on a pilgrimage to Goa at least once a year, mostly in October. The last visit was way back in 2006. For some or other reason, we could not do it in 2007. Suddenly, it was October (2008) and I was getting desperate.

It is in this backdrop the above conversation took place between me and my wife. By this time, economic slowdown/depression has set in and we too were feeling the heat. Most of wife's salary goes into home loan, car loan and credit card EMI's. Whatever little I earn from Stock trading goes into household expenses. Life became mechanical with every member of the family struggling to maintain household, totally forgetting about our father protector. Hence I resolved to myself that I will not have an haircut such that whenever I see mirror I get disgusted and reminded that my beloved dam bappa is waiting for me !

Then, we started cutting every corner and managed to save every penny and by March, we could plan this pilgrimage, of all places, to Goa !

Accordingly, a 3-day tour was planned:
March 21, Saturday: Bangalore - Haveri - Shirsi - Kumta - Karwar (NH 17) - Cuncolim - Tilamola - Jambavli (halt)

March 22, Sunday: Jambavli - Ponda (visit all the temples and halt)

March 23, Monday: Ponda - NH 4A - Dharwad - Hubli - Davangere - Bangalore.

Myself, wifey, mom and dad all prepared for the trip.
Our baby Sparky is always ready for long drives, provided mom is with her...
No Beach, No Seafood - A different Goa !-gt03.jpg

On March 20, late in the evening, wifey comes home from office and announces that we have to change the initial plan of going directly to Goa. She had called her mom in Siddapura and told her about our Goa trip. Her mom wished that she too could visit the temples. So wifey promised her mom that her wish will be fulfilled. Now, we will be going to Siddapura, stay there for that day, and start next day to Goa along with my MIL. Accordingly, we change day 1 route and now decide to go via Shimoga - Sagar - Siddapura. Then, again on way back, we had to drop MIL at Siddapura, and wifey insists that we will stay there for a day. So, 3-day trip became 5-day trip.

Continued...
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Old 4th April 2009, 11:07   #2
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BomBatt, now thats gonna be a different experience for u in GOA!

Last edited by Rehaan : 11th April 2009 at 17:50. Reason: As per Team-BHP rule #11.
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Old 4th April 2009, 11:15   #3
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Wow! Our man is back again.

The trip itself is a very amazing and different kind. Add to it, Mr. Bombatt's humour, straight out from the heart words and unique pen style!
This is gonna be one helluva piece of a travelogue!

We're all ears. We're all ears!
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Old 4th April 2009, 11:16   #4
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Hey Anniyan... Nice starting, but making us to with that first pics is not a good idea

How can we ask for more pics
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Old 4th April 2009, 11:57   #5
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Talking Great start !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BomBatt View Post
Attachment 119827

"Why don't you get an haircut? you look !

...
That was probably the best 'kick-off' pic that I have seen on any travelogue on TBHP till date!

Eagerly awaiting the rest of your log and pix. Pls dont forget a 'Before' & 'After' pic after your haircut.

My first thought when I saw your pic...

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Old 4th April 2009, 12:25   #6
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Day 1 - March 21, Saturday
We all get up early in the morning and get ready by 5:30 am. It took me 20 minutes to fit the luggage into my Sparky. There were 2 huge suitecases, 2 backpacks, 1 carrycase with a labtop, 2 handbags, and countless small bags!. Wifey had packed lots of things to give to her mom. Over and above that, One 5L, two 2L, three 1L water bottles! on top of that, packets of snacks, biscuits, and fruits

Finally, with ODO reading at 9356, we start by 6:15 am from our home in Vijayanagr and drive upto Dobbespet and stop at Kamat Upachar for breakfast at around 7:30. After a 40-minute break we start again.

The plan for the day was to go to my uncle's house in Shimoga for lunch and then to go to Siddapura and stay overnight. So, there was no hurry. The roads were good throughout. Wifey was sitting next to me and dad and mom on the backseat. They were busy discussing tour plan.

Dad - "Our Kuldaivat is Mahalakshmi Damodar, so we have to first go to Ponda, visit Shri Mahalakshmi and then go to Jambavli"

Mom - "Don't confuse him. Let us stick to original plan. Why are you always acting smart !"

Wifey - "Nope whatever dad says, we will follow. Moreover, most of the temples are in Ponda. So, we can finish all the temples in a day and then go to Jambavli..."

Meanwhile Sparky was cruising smoothly at 60-80 and I was listening to favorite music, ignoring their conversation.

I just did not know when we crossed Gubbi, Tiptur, Arsikere, Kadur, Birur, Tarikere, Bhadravati and suddenly we were in Shimoga by 12:30 pm. We had lunch at my uncles home, took some rest, and started from there at 2:30 and finally reached Siddapura by 4:45 pm.

In the evening we visit some of wife's friends and relatives in Siddapura, come back home, have dinner, and go to sleep in anticipation of great journey of next day.

As I sleep, thought comes to my mind about the history of our community - Gowda Saraswat Brahmins (Information given below was gathered from Internet and as told by elders)

Saraswat Brahmins are Brahmins who lived on the banks of the former river Saraswati that once flowed in northern India, joining the Ganga and Yamuna in Prayag. Around 1000 BC, the river Saraswati started vanishing under ground and the people on its banks started migrating to other parts of India.

The story of the migration of this community can be traced from Sintashta-Petrovka and Arkaim regions of modern Lower Central Russia near the border of Kazakhistan. These migratory experiences were written and the scrolls can be found stored in the Partagali Mutt. These scrolls were studied by the Archaeological Survey of India for studying the theory of Aryan migration. The community which was called Saraswat, as in "Saraswati Teeraya yasya tey" (meaning the people residing by the River
Saraswati), spread to parts of modern Afghanistan, Punjab and Kashmir. From here, they slowly migrated towards some place in Nepal. In fact, the Kula Devi (presiding deity for the clan) of the Kings of Nepal is the Goddess "Shree Mahalasa Narayani" (a female form of the divine lord Vishnu), whose temple is now located in Mhardol in Goa.

They then moved to modern Bengal, which was known as "Gauda Desha" in ancient times. From this place, with the blessings of their Guru, a small community moved into lower part of India, starting with Goa, and onwards into Karnataka and Kerala. These people were addressed as Gaud Saraswat Brahmins.

Saraswat Brahmins form a great proportion of the Hindus in Kashmir, who are called the Kashmiri Pundits. Gaud Saraswat Brahmins residing on the western coast of India (primarily in Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka) are thought to have descended from these Kashmiri Brahmins. Substantial evidence has been set forth by several historians relating that the Kashmiri Brahmins migrated to Goa by the eleventh century AD.

To trace the Gaud Saraswat Brahmins ancestry from Kashmir to Goa, one must begin with the story of the famous seer, Saraswata. When there was a famine in northern India, he continued to recite the vedic texts by consuming the fish that the goddess Saraswati had given to him. The brahmins of later generations who accepted fish as a part of their diet were often known to have referred to this story to justify their full-fledged status as Brahmins despite their acceptance of fish.

Gaud Saraswat Brahmins' fish eating habit finds mention even in Ramanyana. Before performing Rajasuya yagna, Shri Rama asked Lakshmana to invite all the Brahmins for the yagna. Lakshmana invited everybody, except Gaud Saraswat Brahmins. When asked, Lakshmana explained that he observed them eating fish, which was considered
non-vegetarian and therefore, they could not be Brahmins. Shri Rama was puzzled and asked Lakshmana to elaborate what he saw. Lakshmana explained how the Brahmins would catch the fish, separate the head and tail from the fish, then using vedic mantras rejoined the head and tail. They would then release the fish in water. The fish would live again. The Brahmins ate the middle portion of the fish. Shri Rama was impressed. Since the Brahmins were not killing the fish, he felt that no sin was
committed. Shri Rama instructed Lakshmana to invite Gaud Saraswat Brahmins to the Rajasuya Yagna...

DEEPU... DEEPU hello DEEPAK... DEEPAKKKAAA !!! Wifey is yelling at the top of her voice. "We are all getting ready, its 5:30 now and you have exactly 1 hour"

Continued...
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Old 4th April 2009, 12:32   #7
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Is the Title of the thread adhering to T-bhp's Rules?. I'd love to know this so that i can ramble a lot from my end for everyone's amusement, lol
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Old 4th April 2009, 13:17   #8
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Day 2 - March 22, Sunday
By 6:15 am, all of us get ready for the exciting journey ahead. I again take 10-15 minutes to load Sparky, and this time, my MIL's bag was one more addition. Finally, we are on the way to Goa! We briefely stop at Shirsi for breakfast and proceed.

At this time, seating position in the car changes. Dad gets infront and occupies the co-passenger seat and wifey goes back to join her mom and mom-in-law.

Now, these 3 ladies are having great time. They were talking on and on and on about cooking, politcs, religion, agriculture etc. Once in a while dad too would join them whenever he found something interesting. They completely ignored me. For a while, I felt like I was a hired cab driver !

Anyway, we proceed as per dad's plan and soon reach NH-17 at Mirjan and after some spirited driving, reach Ankola and stop at Kamat Upachar for tea and snacks. I take this opportunity to fill my Sparky also as an IOC pump was right next to the hotel. From here it was non-stop journey all the way to Bandora about 4 kms from Ponda.

Earlier, I had gathered some information about architecture of GSB temples from internet and let me submit the same here:

All the original temples in Goa were demolished by the Portuguese, and all the patrons migrated to other places with the deity idols. The original goan temples were made of black stone and were basically built in Kadamba and Hemadpanti style. The present day goan temples are a mixture of Dravidian, Islamic and Portuguese architecture. This kind of architecture is unique in India. This blend of architecture gives them a unique feel, off beat from other temples. The temples are very huge
and spacious, surrounded by Agrashalas. A water tank called as a Tali or a Tallay is usually seen at the main entrance of the temple. A large praveshdwar or the main entrance, with a Nagar Khana is a very distinct feature of Goan temples. A Deepastambha is an integral part of the temple.

The temples are usually painted in white or other light colours, and usually are covered with clay tiles. A Golden Kalasha is also seen. The temples have wooden carvings depicting epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. The Garbhagruha is usually studded with silver and main idol is made of black stone of Shaligrama. The Utsava murtis are made of Gold.

Shri Saunsthan Mahalaxmi, Bandora, Ponda
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Presiding Deity, Shri Mahalakshmi
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At this time, it was 1:30 pm, and we decide that we will stay here itself in temple Agrashala which is piligrimage resthouse specially meant for devotees. These rooms are nicely maintained with donations from patrons and given to pilgrims for a nominal rate of Rs. 100. We were given 2 rooms and we immediately shift our luggages, freshen up and go to temple canteen for lunch. Then we take rest for sometime and decide to visit some other GSB temples located in Ponda.

First, we visit Shri Mangesh Saunsthan, Priol, Ponda

Pravesha dwar/Main entrance
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Deepa sthamba
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Water tank/Tallay
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Presiding deity, Shri Manguesh Maharudra
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Continued...
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Old 4th April 2009, 13:30   #9
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From Mangeshi, we proceed to Shri Mahalasa Narayani temple, Mhardol, Ponda
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Presiding deity, Shri Mahalasa Narayani, fondly called as Malshi.
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As we started from Mahalasa temple we crossed a small Dattatreya temple and witnessed this interesting scene.
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Interesting because Lord Dattatreya is always seen with Kamadhenu.
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Somewhere in between our Sparky crosses a significant milestone in her life, 10 K kms
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Our next stop was at Shri Shantadurga Devi, Kavlem, Ponda
No Beach, No Seafood - A different Goa !-gt21.jpg
No Beach, No Seafood - A different Goa !-gt22.jpg

As can be seen from above pics, it was getting dark and moreover we had to be back in Mahalkshmi temple by 8 pm to attend pooja.

We quickly visit Shri Ramnath temple at Ramnathi, Ponda. Here I could not take any pics as it was dark and we were in a hurry.

Finally, we return to Bandora to the Mahalakshmi temple and attended the 8-pm pooja. We had dinner at the canteen located in the temple complex and retired for the day.

Continued...
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Old 4th April 2009, 15:24   #10
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Nice narration.. keep it up. Also great to see a detailed narration on a facet of Goa heritage which does not get highlighted much !!
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Old 4th April 2009, 15:51   #11
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A pilgrimage to Goa? Never thought someone will ever do it!

Good to see that you know so much about your community and its heritage.
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Old 4th April 2009, 15:57   #12
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BomBatt Anna, You are back with a bang !! Wonderful start. Eager to read more !!

Which route did you take from Siddapura to reach Mirjan?

Abhi

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Old 4th April 2009, 18:21   #13
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Whoa Deepak, that's a lot of information about GSBs, didn't have a clue even though my better half is one.
Lovely narration and snaps, keep up the flow.
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Old 4th April 2009, 19:48   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotstuff View Post
My first thought when I saw your pic...

Attachment 119843
Nice one hotstuff. If you show my pic to that dog, it will run for an haircut first !

Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
BomBatt Anna, You are back with a bang !! Wonderful start. Eager to read more !!

Which route did you take from Siddapura to reach Mirjan?

Abhi

Thanks Abhi.

There are 3 routes from Siddapura to go to NH-17.
1. Siddapura - Mavinagundi - Gersoppa - Honnavar
2. Siddapura - Shirsi - Devimane ghat - Mirjan
3. Siddapura - Nilkund - Dodmane/Burude ghat - Kumta

I took 2nd route.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskywalker View Post
Whoa Deepak, that's a lot of information about GSBs, didn't have a clue even though my better half is one.
Lovely narration and snaps, keep up the flow.
Since our community is dispersed, most of the present generation among GSBs itself doesn't know much about heritage or history of our community.
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Old 4th April 2009, 19:54   #15
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Nice travelogue. BTW, do you consume fish which survive?
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