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Bandra Graffiti 2

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Photos of Bandra Graffiti 1 

Bandra Graffiti 2 photos

Goa - Cabo de Rama Fort

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cabo de Rama Fort also known as Cape Rama fort is located in located in Cancona district in Goa. It is located at the southern tip of Goa. Margao is located 25 KM away from here. 

After having breakfast at Madgaon Cafe in Margao we headed off on the bike to visit the fort. 

The roads to Cabo de Rama are lovely and it is fun driving on them. The locals are very helpful with directions. We found churches and markets on the roadside too. 

We inquired with one of the locals about the fort. He replied, "That is the fort" Pointing ahead. A yellowish color structure stood there. "That?" I asked to which he replied "Yes."

We raced to the fort and finally were there. We parked our bike near the bus. A private bus which plies from Margao City to this fort. But no sign of the driver on it.

Cabo De Rama got its name from Lord Rama. Legend goes the Lord Rama had taken refuge here with his wife Sita when he was exiled from Ayodhya for 14 years. 

Now this was much before the fort was built by the Raja (King) of Soonda. Portuguese defeated the Raja of Soonda to take possession of the Fort. The Portuguese fought continuous battles with Hindu and Muslim Kings inorder to retain possession of the fort. The Portuguese kept making amends to the fort. But they later deserted the fort in search of something better. 

The fort currently has got fantastic fortification, a church of Santo Antonio (St. Anthony) in its premises and a couple of broken down structures in its premises and cannons The fort has drop dead cliffs all around it. It offers an interesting view of the sea and another hill next to it. 

The fort is surrounded by a moat on one side and the sea on the other. The moat is filled with wild vegetation. The the moat was huge we were not sure, as to how deep it was. Moat can be a great way to protect the fort from enemy attacks. This is the second instance of a moat, the first one I had seen in Daulatabad in Aurangabad

The walls of the fort are built of Chire. Chire's are used all over Goa to built houses and boundary walls. This is from where they originated. Though the walls of the fort are in good condition but they are not  tall enough. Maybe that's why they built a moat around it.

The entry to the fort is via a big yellow color building tiles on the roof. Two cannons are placed on either side of the entrance to welcome you. I can recollect a smiliar entrance at Vijaydurg Fort where in cannon balls were placed on either side of the entry point. 

The Yellow House houses a very old statue of St. Mark who was martyred on a tree.

We entered the fort premises now. We saw the St. Anthony Church in a distance. A couple of cannons scattered all over the place.

As it had just rained here, the smell of the soil was just amazing and  it was green all over.

The best way to see the fort is my walking on the walls of it, and that is just what we did.

As the fort is located at the end of the land  it offers a beautiful view of the sea and land around.

In a distance we saw a small rock with a tree on it. As the sea was rough, the water was lashing on it. We were waiting here to get a perfect shot.

We located this water body on the fort premises. Currently filled with muddy water. But it has steps leading to it on one side. Maybe once upon a time, it might have been surrounded by steps on all four sides leading to it. This is what remains of it.

There are a couple of structures on the fort. But today they are just walls with no roofs, maybe these were houses once upon a time.

Fort has a couple of bastions which offer a very good view of the Fort, but as it is monsoon there is wild vegetation all over. As we wore shorts here we were attached by mosquitoes. On my legs there were at least 8 mosquitoes trying to suck blood at one point and me trying to kill them. They managed to suck blood out of me and I managed to kill them all in the end. Damages I suffered , loss of blood and mosquito bite marks all over my legs till the knee.So if you visiting this fort do wear long pants.

Soon the weather changed, The sun was making its presence felt and we started to sweat and thirst for water. But that didn't dampen our spirits and we still went on exploring the fort.

In a distance we saw the color of the water. Two shades of water. It was due to the shallowness on the water.

We managed to locate another way to enter the fort. The walls of this entry point had small crabs all over it. There were steps here which took us to down to the sea. There is no beach here but just small pebbles and rocks to which water was lashing against due to the tides. The smell of it was awful. The water was dirty.

We climbed up the stairs once again and started walking on the walls. We noticed a few cannons here. These cannons had emblems on them. Thought he emblem was not clear there was a number 1206 below it. Trying to understand what that meant. Was it that there were 1206 cannons atop this fort or was it built in that year. This remains a mystery. Saw cannons with emblems in Daman

Had noticed cannons with emblems in Moti Daman fort too.

We finally reached the St. Anthony Church. There is no date mentioned as to when the Church was built. Maybe it s mentioned on the inside. The church is painted white in color with dark blue borders. The Church shone in the hot sun. Making it one of my best pics on the fort.

Services are held in the church. The church was closed as it was a weekday and there was no way we could enter its premises. The area around the church is clean and the vegetation nicely trimmed. The church has 14 Stations of the Cross around it. All churches have the 14 Stations in it, this is the first time I have seen something like it on the outside.

Guess how many people were here. Just the two if us. We walked out of the fort and entered a shop on the outskirts of the fort. We had cold drinks here. We inquired as to how many people come here, to which we were informed that in the summers loads of people pay it a visit, but thi sis off season and so its just us.

We refreshed ourselves and kick started to Margao city.

We skid and fell in the fields as our bike lost control on a sharp right turn. We were driving at a speed of 70 km per hour.State of our bike and my pants here. As the fields were filled with water we didn't get hurt but managed to get bruises on our legs and hands. First fall on our trip.

We then moved to our second spot the Holy Cross Chapel at Baradi.

Goa - Road to Cabo de Rama Fort

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

After having breakfast at Madgaum Cafe we decided to visit Cabo de Rama Fort.

Now we had three options, public transport, Private Car or Bike. We decided to take the services of a bike to travel around as it would save on time and also we could travel where buses wouldn't take us.

There are buses plying from Margao City to Cabo de Rama Fort, this is the cheapest mode of transport. But the frequency is not very good so we decided to avoid it. Car travel is very comfortable but costly as compared to Bike and so we decided on bike. 

Bikes are available on rental basis near the Garden at Margao City. The Yellow Building to be more precise. Not sure what the name is. We took Hero Honda Splendor Plus to travel around. Rental being Rs.250 for a day excluding petrol. Filled the tank with Petrol worth Rs.200 we headed out of the city on the NH 17 to Cabo de Rama Fort.

Goa has very good roads, I should say. Felt good to drive on them and we were enjoying every part of our journey. No potholes on the tarred roads.

It was a gloomy day, and as it was monsoon season we were sure it would rain any time so we were prepared for it. In the rains it is advisable to drive slowly as the roads are wet and bikes can skid anytime due to thin tires.

The Fort is located in Cancona District around 25 km, from Margao City. So by bike it would take us around an hour's time to reach it. We took the NH 17, took a right at Chinchinim,, crossed Assolna, then Betul and then finally Cabo de Rama Fort.

The Tar roads cut through the fields. We could see fields all around, flooded with water. Some of the fields were green, others were golden but we could see them as far as our eye could see them. The skies were dark and cloudy waiting to pour on us. 

We crossed a couple of bridges the view which they provided was just amazing. The huge water bodies with coconut trees all around them. Tiny houses next to the water bodies. I wouldn't mind having a house next to the river. Fishing everyday for fresh fish , marinating them in herbs and cooking over firewood. The taste of it. Oh la laa. My mouth has already started watering just thinking about it. 

The population of coconut trees is increasing in Goa. This part of Goa gives you the feeling as if you are in Kerala. But you are in Goa.

The roads were deserted, every 10 to 15 minutes we could see a vehicle passing by. Though sign boards are missing here, I can't say missing but very few of them. But you can ask the people they are very friendly and give correct directions. We asked near the Churches and market areas, they gave correct directions and hence we reached the fort in an hours time. 

Goa - Fishing in a Pond

Monday, November 24, 2014

On our way back from Colva Beach, I noticed this man sitting next to the pond with his traditional fishing stick. Waiting for a good catch.

Hope he gets a good catch. Patience and sharpness are virtue here. I guess Fish is the main course for dinner tonight :) 

Goa - Colva Beach

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The entire trip we have been exploring historical monuments across Goa. 
Colva Beach
Was getting a kind of monotonous for Namrata and she wanted a break from history.  So she decided on Colva beach.

"No ways, Not Colva" In said. to this she asked, "Why?" to this I replied, "I had been to Colva beach in my schooling days, The kind of crowd it gathered in those days was sickening and to add to it pigs too dominated the beach."
Colva Beach
Namrata convinced me to accompany her by sponsoring food and drinks for the night. To which I readily agreed.

Colva is located in Salcete, in South Goa made up of white sand and the shore covered with coconut trees. As it is a famous tourist destination there are lifeguards who continuously patrol the sea. 
Colva Beach
It was a dull day at sea. The sun hid itself behind the clouds and the strong winds blowing all around made me feel good. It was low tide and in a matter of minutes it started changing.

As we didn't carry any beachwear, we decided to talk for a few km on the shoreline. The cold water lashing on our feet made me feel good. Namrata contined to have good fun, splashing water on herself and me like a child.
Low Tide at Colva Beach
There were not many people at the beach. Which was good. I don't like crowded beaches. 

It changed my outlook towards Colva Beach atleast for that day. I didn't mind tying a hammock between two coconut trees and sipping on some ice cold beer and reading a travel guide. If wishes were horses men would ride. LOL.
Coconut trees on the beach stretch
We then headed off to Margao City to have our dinner, which was to be sponsored by Namrata. 

Jaora, History of Jaora

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

We kick started the very same day by visiting the Dargah's in its premises.

A little bit of history for starters. Mohsin is well versed with the history of this place. So he was both my guide and historian on this journey.

As per him, this shrine of Hussain Tekri was built by the Nawab of Jaora, Mohammad Iftikhar Ali Khan Bahadur, in the 19th century, situated on the outskirts of Jaora town in the Ratlam district of Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh, India.

The Nawab was buried in the same graveyard where Hussain Tekri was built.

Thousands of people from all over the world visit these shrines. 

He introduced me to a term called "Hajri", Hajri means to pay a visit. People who are mentally sick visit this place in large numbers to relieve themselves from being possessed by Jinns, Ghosts and Demons. The best thing is that there is no human involved here. These demon creatures have long dialogue with the Deities in the shrines, and finally surrender and leave the bodies of the victims. 

To read about Shrines of Hussain Tekri     

Goa - Japanese Garden and Beach in Vasco

After visiting the small Mormugao Fort in the vicinity of the Mormugao Port Trust we headed onto the main road to have some refreshments. 
Japanese Garden signboard
As we were sipping on cold drinks, I inquired with the shopkeeper if there is anything around which she could suggest, we pay a visit too. To this she replied Japanese Garden poile" meaning have you seen Japanese Garden. To which I replied, "Na" She gave us instructions and we decided to walk it out. 
Fortification via which is the entrance to the temple and the beach
In the past also I have taken instructions from locals on my treks and been walking for hours and hours at a stretch when they say it is just twenty minutes away. 

I quickly inquired if I need to walk or board a bus to Japanese Garden to which, the lady declined and said that I will reach there i twenty minutes. Not again. But I still decided to go by her word.
Cross near the beach
In a matter of twenty minutes we were at the Japanese Garden. The Mormugao Port Trust looks after the maintenance of the garden.

Now this place is divided into two parts, the garden and then stairway to the secluded beach down below. 
Durgamata Shiv Mandir
We were on the stairway that led to the beach. As Goa had received its share of heavy rains, the entire area as full of creeper and wild vegetation. A zig zag stairway finally leads down the hill. Japanese Garden is situated on a hill.

We need to cross trough an old fortification to reach the beach. This fortification is not around the entire place, just a part of it. Maybe it was all around but had collapsed over the years. 
Coconut trees near the beach
The Durgamata Shiv Mandir (temple) is located very near to the beach. Now as we were approaching the beach the weather had started changing course. The Sun had disappeared behind 
the dark clouds and it had started blowing. No sign of the rain though.

There is a Cross erected near the Temple. No signboard as to why it was erected there. Historical significance is unknown. 
View of the beach
Just below the temple is the beach. "A secluded beach just for us" I said to Namrata. to which she readily agreed. It is a small strip of land or should I say beach with rocks all over it. As it was high tide the wild waves were lashing against the rocks and onto the shore. Each wave bought us more closer to the temple premises and to top it, it had started raining. That too heavily. We got some wonderful shots here. 

The weather was so nice that I felt like tying a hammock between two coconut trees and sipping some ice cold beer. Only if wishes were horses men would ride. But I will make sure that the next 
time I am on a each I will carry a hammock and a can of beer for sure to relive one of my many wishes.
View of the beach
"Castaway" is the word that came to our minds. Soon we could here sounds of men talking in a distance, as it was raining they were racing to reach the temple which offered shade. "It ain't Castaway, any longer" I said to Namrata, to which we both burst out laughing.
Stairs leading to the beach
We waited till the rain had stopped and then we headed out to visit the garden which is located on the edge of the hilltop.
Dark clouds in the sky
The garden offers a panoramic view of the hills, the sea at large in a distance. Plenty of ships sailing in the water.
Bus to Japanese Garden (Sada)
Finally we reached the bus stop again. Mini buses ply to this part of Vasco city. The Japanese Garden is located in Sada. So any bus plying to MPT colony, Sada and Vasco KTC and back needs to be boarded to reach here. Alternatively this place can also be reached by a private vehicle. For the beach below it needs to be trekked.

Jaora, Tum Tum to Hussain Tekri

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

We were out of the train and into a Tum Tum to take us to Hussain Tekri.  To read about Train to Jaora. We divided ourselves amongst the two rickshaws [Tum Tum]. One went to Hussain Tekri the other did a de tour, to buy beef samosa and kebab for breakfast. Beef Samosa. This is the gate to heaven is what I said to myself.
Jaora Railway Station

 After shopping for breakfast we headed off to Hussain Tekri. Mohsin had made arrangements for us to stay at one of the lodges here. The journey was a bumpy ride over the narrow roads. I guess this is the case with all roads in the villages. These roads can give you a severe backache. But if you are used to it then Aal is Wel. I personally didn't get any backaches in this journey.
Tum Tum
We had divided ourselves into three rooms. Don’t expect state of the art lodges here. This place is full of lodges to accommodate people who come here from every part of the country.
Tum Tum
Most of them are one storey lodges which can accommodate around 20 rooms, the rooms in these lodges are not very big but most have inbuilt restrooms. Hot water is provided at request 24*7. The lodges’ don’t have arrangement for food, so you have to eat food in the eateries outside the lodge.

Shop selling Beef Samosa
Our restroom was not attached and to top it, it had Indian commode. Now I am not used to it, but by the end of our trip, I got myself used to it. "I am so flexible" I said to myself.
Hussain Tekri

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