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Old 13th March 2011, 19:33   #1
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Default Goa - Land of Temples

Well, we did go the beach(es), so, "No beach, No Seafood - A different Goa" Revisited" would be inappropriate.

We visited almost same set of temples, and stayed the same Damodar temple, (but that is not our kuldev). Details below.

The trip was in second week of February, and no car was involved; hence delay in posting this. Felt that I should post this experience nevertheless, for it was a lesson of lifetime. In retrospect, it was better that the car was left parked @ home @ KL, else the lesson would never have been learnt. (no, do not expect any ballistics or esoteric lesson).

I will get down to business straight away in a few hours - will not keep you guys in suspense about the lesson. The pics will be posted over some more time.

Trip summary -

By train from ERN - MAO; 3 days at Sri Damodar Temple, by train from MAO to BYN; Omini taxi from Byndoor to Kollur, Xylo from Kollur to Mulki and back to Udupi, train from UD to ERN. Started on a Saturday, reached back on a Friday.

The journey was very bland and uneventful, a pretty boring pilgrimage.

Me, wife, Kid Version 1, Kid Version 2, Dad, Mum (who holds a 40+ year old driving licence).

;-D

I did use services of the most reliable travel consultant in the world to plan my trip - of course, team-bhp!!!

Apart from age of the travellers (too young, too old), distance, travelling time involved etc., state of NH 17 in KA was a primary factor in the decision not to take the car.
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Old 13th March 2011, 20:56   #2
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Default Losing the Stiff upper lip

Mine has been a pretty odd family.

We were a minority. We were "forward class". We were nth generation migrants, who lived in pockets of settlements; but my own family was far, far away, geographically and mentally from such settlements. I always regarded my own community as one having a "ghetto" mentality. And I have always felt that my community in other States have identical "ghetto" mentality.

And i was never surprised when Christian Konkanis in Mangalore used to complain that they find the Konkani spoken by GSBs in Mangalore different.

There was very little interaction between the Konkani speaking Hindus and other Konkani speakers in religious faiths. The language was splintered geographically, horizontally and vertically.

My own community did have a very stiff upper lip. There was plenty of literary efforts in the language; but were very isolated from the non-brahimin community. And all was directed at bhakti culture. All works of poetry, drama and prose had a religious angle to it.

My interactions with GSBs outside KL confirmed that impression.

For me, Konkani was very limited language. It had no heart. No soul. Only bhakti. Cll that paradoxical. Somebody living in the "settlement" even commented that Konkani was not a "verse" friendly language.

All that changed in an hour's bus journey. And I am now very happy that I did not take the car for this trip.
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Old 13th March 2011, 21:20   #3
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Default I hate western music

In mid 1980s, I am in high school. There is a sudden influx of expat gelf returnees in my school. They bring with them, apart from a wave of gelf stories, and p0rn books a sea of western music cassettes. The whole class is humming and swinging to Michael Jackson and Samantha Fox. (I am sure that the class is a fan of at least the latter, not entirely for musical talent).

I find it very difficult to follow the accent in the songs. And I am a very "respect the elders" type of person, and do not find lyrics like "teacher, leave the kids alone" very appealing.

And only time I really asked for replaying a Michael Jackson song was when a friend played back it on a 50K audio set up. That was not for lyrics; but to make myself sure that sound could be reproduced very vividly through speakers. All the audio systems - from Grundig, Phillips and HMV Spool and "plate" players to Sanyo and Sony transistor stereo "hi fi" tape recorders are very flat and insipid, for me.

I hated western music in all its form. In 1990s, it was very watered down, but I still find difficult to parse the lyrics; and I keep away from pop, rap and blues. I try very hard to listen, but find it very jarring to my very classical trained ear. Probably it was influence of a few months' mridangam training.

Any way, it is changed in that one hours' bus ride.
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Old 13th March 2011, 22:31   #4
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Default The one hour bus trip

We arrive at Madgaon on a Sunday, almost at noon. Have lunch from the station's hotel. The fare is fantastic, when compared to the banal fare from IRCTC.

We get a prepaid taxt to Sri Damodar Temple, Jhambavalli / Zimbaulim.

Our frantic efforts to find accommodation at our own temple, (Mahalasa) is in vain. Other temples too do not have accommodation; which is very surprising to us. I just smile and shrug. I was warned - "there is no relationship between you and your kuldevta" the astrologer had warned. ;-P

We reach the temple, and at 2.00, dad announced his intention to visit Colva beach - by bus.

We are dead tired. The neighbourhood of the temple is deserted, it is a Sunday, evening, and none of the regular taxi wallahs are around. Some buses too are not plying. I am seething in rage. At 3.30, I give up trying to find a taxi, and wait for the bus. And when a bus finally arrives it is 4.30, and is blaring what I think is spanish / latin rap. Grrr.... I say to myself.

KV2 (Kid version 2) is sleeping on his mother's shoulder; and as we get into the bus, wife announces "his chappals are gone". It is his favourite pair, and would not let it go. He is going to blow his top (at all of 2 years) when he wakes up. He will be hungry too, and wife has already announced that she has not taken the biscuits, which were meant as an emergency supply. I would have shouted, if it was not a public place.

I am now boiling over.

The rap song is over; and something resembling a dirge comes up.

I hate the world. It is a bad day, I tell to myself. 30 kms on a bus is 1 1/2 hours; means we reach Colva t 6. We need to start back at 6.30 to get a bus back to Zimbaulim.

All of us get seats - at four corners of the bus. Today is an atrociously awful day, I say to myself.

Bracing for utter failure, I try hard to recognise the lyrics of the "western music". "makka koun mog korouk na" sobs the lady. What!!!???? I say to myself. "nobody to love you"? I think. Then, all of a sudden, I smile.

Hey, this is not Spanish / Portugese / Greek / Latin. It is megelo bhas.

Somewhere in between, the guy at the door shouts "arrey, gadava" at a cyclist. Dont we all love to call the two creatures on two wheelers donkeys when they come in our way? I am amused.

Both kids are now sleeping. From the corners of the bus, four pairs of eyes meet, and smile. A new item has been added to our tight itenary - buying a CD of those songs.
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Old 13th March 2011, 23:32   #5
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Default Re: Goa - Land of Temples

A most entertaining narrative! I am "all ears" as they say. Keep it flowing ...

Cheers
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Old 14th March 2011, 11:34   #6
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Default Crumbling Presumptions

The fact remains that cultural interactions between the Konkani speaking people is zero; and the insulation is too much, that after a decade of net usage, I never felt the need to search for "Konkani literature" on the net.

So, the teenager who detested "Teacher, leave the kids alone" and cringed at "We dont want no ejucation" was smiling at "Baina ka daru" and "thambide kapod nessilar rupia dakaitay". (they are showing money at ladies wearing red sarees) - and would not require any explanation when it appears in the context of "baina ka daru", does it?

It was a moment of revelation - the power of mother tongue.

Not that I have not experienced it before. After completing Xth in a premium (as in they charged high fees) school, I joined a govt. College for Pre Degree, and found students and teachers struggling with spelling; and English Professors strugling with grammar.

And after a professional course where I was told that "language has to be used very precisely", I was shocked when the people I appeared before could not comprehend English. Their prose was pathetic. I learnt to recognise such people within a few minutes of presenting my case before them, and was very quick to switch to Malayalam, their mother tongue as soon as I can. I was a strange guy, the man who would argue in Malayalam; when my other "learned" friends in the profession would struggle with their incompetent English before equally uncomprehending officers.

I was always foxed by the pop culture; and more than 3 and half decades of life without access to pop culture in my own language had mad me a very hard hearted man indeed. It did not take much time to empathise with the lady lamenting about nobody to show her "mog" (love).

And the shibboleth about Konkani beign a non-verse friendly language was crumbling real fast. "mejhele bayl kitle gori" (my wife is very fair). Romantic, eh? That is till you hear the next sentence - "jalyar tee kitle thori" (but she is a bit fat).

Sarcasm and rhyme meet. Too bad I cannot hum that song - my wife's fist and my nose will meet. She is only 60KG, btw.
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Old 14th March 2011, 13:56   #7
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Default Re: Goa - Land of Temples

Good to read a travelogue of a temple tour in Goa.

I made what was regarded as a freakish trip to Goa sometime in Nov 1999.
We visited Mangeshi, Mahalsa, Navdurga, Nagesh, Ramnath & Shantadurga temples.
Well, we also saw some beaches.

Travelling around by bus is a great way to get around. I did one such trip in 1992, when we relied on bus totally from Bombay to Goa to Bombay. The local buses in those days were quaint and erratic. Last bus from Mabor to Madgaon was at 545 pm, and from Vagator to Mapusa at 600 pm. And we struggled to get a bus from Mapusa to Panaji at 730 pm!
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Old 14th March 2011, 16:50   #8
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Default Re: Goa - Land of Temples

Interesting write-up. Introspective? or is it exploring your identity? or just a rant on the way things are? whatever it is, has me hooked
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Old 14th March 2011, 17:06   #9
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Default Re: Goa - Land of Temples

Interesting to learn about GSB culture.

Quote:
So, the teenager who detested "Teacher, leave the kids alone" and cringed at "We dont want no ejucation" was smiling at "Baina ka daru" and "thambide kapod nessilar rupia dakaitay". (they are showing money at ladies wearing red sarees) - and would not require any explanation when it appears in the context of "baina ka daru", does it?
Hahaha, only folks from Goa would get that I presume.
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Old 14th March 2011, 20:42   #10
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Default Re: Goa - Land of Temples

First, thanks to all you who are following this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I made what was regarded as a freakish trip to Goa sometime in Nov 1999.
Why was it freakish? Because fo the temples?

Quote:
We visited Mangeshi, Mahalsa, Navdurga, Nagesh, Ramnath & Shantadurga temples. Well, we also saw some beaches.

Strange coincedence, we did not go to Navadurga, instead, we visited Kamakshi; and stayed at Damodar temple. Otherwise, the list is almost identical.

Quote:
Travelling around by bus is a great way to get around.
Not in Goa, Especially if you are with kids and family - reasons you have enumerated below:-


Quote:
The local buses in those days were quaint and erratic. Last bus from Mabor to Madgaon was at 545 pm, and from Vagator to Mapusa at 600 pm. And we struggled to get a bus from Mapusa to Panaji at 730 pm!
It is still no different now. We were told that there are'nt much buses from Colva to Madgaon after 6.30. And Quepem is nearest we could get to from Madgaon; no buses to Zimbaulim. Probably, it was because it was a Sunday; but week days could only be slightly better.

Also, Madgaon and further south, the roads were wee bit worser than in North Goa.

What stuck me in Goa was the abundance of "white board" taxis. We call them "kalla taxi" ("chor" taxi) in Malayalam. What is even more surprising was that quite a few of them were parked in (probably unofficial) taxi stands. And the wagonR seemed to be the car of choice for taxi operations - the only Indica we saw was a private registration one, from KA, not GA.
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Old 14th March 2011, 20:56   #11
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Default Re: Goa - Land of Temples

"Now I ain't no Konkani dude"
but this strikes a chord in me,
your introspective perspective
that is reflective in the narrative

Cheers
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Old 15th March 2011, 02:13   #12
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Default Re: Goa - Land of Temples

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
What stuck me in Goa was the abundance of "white board" taxis. We call them "kalla taxi" ("chor" taxi) in Malayalam. What is even more surprising was that quite a few of them were parked in (probably unofficial) taxi stands. And the wagonR seemed to be the car of choice for taxi operations - the only Indica we saw was a private registration one, from KA, not GA.
The Wagon R taxis have nothing to do with choice, but a compulsion here in Goa. Most tourist (white) taxi operators had an affinity towards Omni cars for obvious reasons -- space for luggage and ease of maintenance. Then in the recent past (1-2 years ago), the government banned the use of the Omni (800 cc and below) as tourist taxis. Left with no alternative, most taxi operators switched to the next best/economical Maruti option -- the Wagon R. Given the average quality of Tata dealers here in Goa, there were more takers for the Wagon R than even the nation's favourite taxi -- the Indica.

The Goa government recently changed its position and began to permit the Omni as a taxi. But by then, the Eeco had arrived and it began to be the preferred vehicle for tourist taxis. I have even seen the odd I10, Swift and Santro as tourist or Black/Yellow taxis.
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Old 15th March 2011, 22:00   #13
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Default The pics

I was nto exactly "trigger happy" during the trip. Though we had two digi cams and my own mobiel cam, (camera on wife's phone was not used - it is a very pedestrial 1MP camera). I really wanted to do a very detailed photo shoot of the temples; but this was my first visit to the Kuldevtas.

I have resized all the pics to 20xx X <something> resolution to 900 x 675 pixels; this forum has a 1 MB per pic limit anyway.

Will start with the light towers of the various temples - people are very much fascinated by them.

The small tower of the Damodar temple; this one is very inconspicious that one hardly would notice it.

Goa - Land of Temples-towerdamodar.jpg

The tower at Ganapati temple, Madgaon. Not sure if this counts as a Kuldev temple - some festival was going on here and the place was too crowded.

Goa - Land of Temples-towerganapati.jpg

Cannot remember if this is from kamakshi temple (shiroda) or Mangueshi temple. Sorry, can somebody please give correct details?

Goa - Land of Temples-towerkamakshi.jpg

Kamakshi temple, shiroda with the tower in far background.

Goa - Land of Temples-towerkamakshiview.jpg

Tower at Mahalakshmi temple.

Goa - Land of Temples-towermahalakshmi.jpg

Tower at Mahalasa Narayani temple. Notice the flag mast on the left and the light tower in the foreground, both typical of Kerala style temples.

Goa - Land of Temples-towermahalasa.jpg


The tower at Ramnathim temple, Bandora. This one has images of several sants (the word Saint originated from that, right?) of the bhakti cult at the bottom.

Goa - Land of Temples-towerramnathim.jpg

The tower at Shanta Durga temple, Bandora.

Goa - Land of Temples-towershantadurga.jpg

I hope I got the pics and the names connected properly.

BTW, these are light towers; I got the answer at Mangeshim; somebody was mentioning that the lights would be lit later in the evening; but we were too tired to wait for the lights.

More pics tomorrow.
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Old 27th March 2011, 13:10   #14
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Default Continuing

First, my apologies - my job sometimes forces me to take up unplanned, and almost always tiring journeys; and had to go for one such trip after my last post.

Now, I will continue with some more snaps of the various temples.

Damodar temple, early morning snap. I was testing low light capablities of the mobile's camera.

Goa - Land of Temples-damodarearlymorning.jpg

The pond of Shanta Durga temple. The walls are very freshly painted - for the temple was celebrating its annual festival.

Goa - Land of Temples-kamakshitalay.jpg

The tulsi is a sacred plant to all Hindu, and Hindu homes have a special abode for it. We southerners have found the tulsi very fascinating and ornate. Those in Goa - and every home we saw had one - is very ornate and beautiful, and in comparision, the ones we have in S. India are very plain jane. This one is from the Shanta Durga temple.


Goa - Land of Temples-shantadurgatulsi.jpg

Was wondering why the light tower at Mahalasa temple looked very much south Indian, Kerala style. Here is the answer.

Goa - Land of Temples-lighttowermaker.jpg

I had asked about the route to the temples and markings in Bombatt's thread. I noticed that there were very prominent markings / boards on most main roads to the temples.

Unfortunately, we were being chauffeured aroudn, and one of disadvantages of beign driven around is that you neer get to find out the route. Next time you visit the place, you are once again at mercy of the drivers.

I was surprised to find very much Kerala style buildings all around. Here is a sample. Except for the GA registration vehicles, almost every part is verymuch some random place in Kerala.

Goa - Land of Temples-klstylewaytokamakshi.jpg

Last edited by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR : 27th March 2011 at 13:12.
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Old 27th March 2011, 13:25   #15
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Default Re: Goa - Land of Temples

The towers in the Goa temples are indeed unique, quite unlike anything you have in South India, and a little closer to some of the temples in Maharashtra, especially the Konkan coast.

Most tourists to Goa stick to the beaches and the watering holes, going on a temple trip like you did and I did long ago - people look at you queerly and think you are a freak! Feni and tulsi don't go together apparently!

Happily, most of the temples are clustered around Ponda, easy to see all of them in one go.
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