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About Mapusa & Goa

About Mapusa

History

Even before the Aryans, or Marathas, or Sultans or the Portuguese invaded Goa, this was an agrarian community with a well established Gaunkari or Community Farming System, where villages formed associations, worked on community land and shared profits. Market day was a major event, with goods brought in from every district to one central area. Mapusa has thus remained a prominent market center for many centuries.

Geography

Mapusa is located at 15.60°N 73.82°E. It has an average elevation of 15 metres (49 feet).
Mapusa has a tropical climate with temperatures ranging from a high of 37 °C in summer with high levels of humidity to a low of 21 °C in winters.

Economy

Mapusa is close to one of the main centres of Goa’s tourism industry. Mapusa’s proximity to many beaches in the north Goa makes it a suitable base during the tourist season (November to April). Because it is a mainly commercial town (for locals) with a large resident population, Mapusa has only a limited number of hotels and accommodation.
Mapusa comes alive on Friday, the traditional market day also known as Mapusa Friday Market. People from surrounding villages and towns come to Mapusa to sell their wares. This fair has a lot of local flavour (unlike some other tourist-oriented fairs or markets) and specialises in agricultural produce, vegetables, locally-grown fruit, spices, clothes and even plants (mainly during the monsoon planting season).

Every Friday, the Mapusa Market bulges at the seams, with seemingly every square inch of space occupied by sellers with only just enough room for the prospective buyers, the alleys between the regular stalls being occupied with temporary mats and boards. From lottery tickets displayed in great swathes to barber shops, the bazaar caters for almost every requirement imaginable. There is the fish street, dried fish of all possible variety and whole fresh fish from baby shark and squid to the ubiquitous bangda (mackerel). Fresh fruit and vegetables are gathered together and beautifully displayed, from huge sweet potatoes, and pumpkins and the local shiny red brown Moira bananas to the tiny fresh beans and other pulses.

Education

Mapusa houses quite a good educational institutions; Saraswat Vidyalaya, Purushottom Walawalkar Higher Secondary School, Sridora Caculo College of Commerce & Management Studies, St. Mary’s Convent High School, St. Brittos, New Goa high school, Dyan prasarak mandal college(college), St. Xaviers college, St. Xaviers higher secondary school, etc. to a name a few.

 

About Goa

History

Goa’s known history stretches back to the 3rd century BC, when it formed part of the Mauryan Empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor, Ashoka of Magadha. Buddhist monks laid the foundation of Buddhism in Goa. Between the 2nd century BCE and the 6th century CE, Goa was ruled by the Chutus of Karwar as feudatories of the Satavahanas of Kolhapur (2nd century BCE to the 2nd century CE), Western Kshatrapas (around 150 CE), the Abhiras of Western Maharashtra, Bhojas of the Yadava clans of Gujarat, and the Konkan Mauryas as feudatories of the Kalachuris.[9] The rule later passed on to the Chalukyas of Badami, who controlled it between 578 to 753, and later the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed from 753 to 963. However from 765 to 1015, the Southern Silharas of Konkan ruled Goa as the feudatories of the Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas. Over the next few centuries, Goa was successively ruled by the Kadambas as the feudatories of the Chalukyas of Kalyani. They patronised Jainism in Goa.

In 1312, Goa came under the governance of the Delhi Sultanate. However, the kingdom’s grip on the region was weak, and by 1370 they were forced to surrender it to Harihara I of the Vijayanagara empire. The Vijayanagara monarchs held on to the territory until 1469, when it was appropriated by the Bahmani sultans of Gulbarga. After that dynasty crumbled, the area fell to the hands of the Adil Shahis of Bijapur who established as their auxiliary capital the city known under the Portuguese as Velha Goa.

In 1510, the Portuguese defeated the ruling Bijapur kings with the help of a local ally, Timayya, leading to the establishment of a permanent settlement in Velha Goa (or Old Goa).

Coat of Arms of Goa as a Portuguese possession 1935-1961
The Portuguese converted a large portion of their subjects in Goa to Christianity. The repeated wars of the Portuguese with the Marathas and the Deccan sultanate, along with the repressive religious policies of Portuguese led to large migrations of Goans to neighbouring areas. Goa was occupied by the British between 1812 and 1815 during the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1843 the capital was moved to Panjim from Velha Goa. By the mid-18th century the area under occupation had expanded to most of Goa’s present day state limits. Simultaneously the Portuguese lost other possessions in India until their borders stabilised and formed the Estado da India Portuguesa, of which Goa was the largest territory.

After India gained independence from the British in 1947, Portugal refused to negotiate with India on the transfer of sovereignty of their Indian enclaves. On 12 December 1961, the Indian Army commenced with Operation Vijay resulting in the annexation of Goa, Damman and Diu into the Indian union. Goa, along with Daman and Diu was made into a centrally administered Union Territory of India. On 30 May 1987, the Union Territory was split, and Goa was made India’s twenty-fifth state, with Daman and Diu remaining Union Territories.

Geography and climate

Goa encompasses an area of 3,702 km² (1,430 sq mile). It lies between the latitudes 14°53?54? N and 15°40?00? N and longitudes 73°40?33? E and 74°20?13? E. Most of Goa is a part of the coastal country known as the Konkan, which is an escarpment rising up to the Western Ghats range of mountains, which separate it from the Deccan Plateau. The highest point is the Sonsogor, with an altitude of 1,167 meters (3,827 feet). Goa has a coastline of 101 km (63 miles).

Goa’s main rivers are the Mandovi, the Zuari, the Terekhol, Chapora River and the Sal. The Mormugao harbour on the mouth of the River Zuari is one of the best natural harbours in South Asia. The Zuari and the Mandovi are the lifelines of Goa, with their tributaries draining 69% of its geographic area. These rivers are one of the busiest rivers in India. Goa has more than forty estuarine, eight marine and about ninety riverine islands. The total navigable length of Goa’s rivers is 253 km (157 miles). Goa has more than three hundred ancient tanks built during the rule of the Kadamba dynasty and over a hundred medicinal springs.

Most of Goa’s soil cover is made up of laterites which are rich in ferric aluminium oxides and reddish in colour. Further inland and along the riverbanks, the soil is mostly alluvial and loamy. The soil is rich in minerals and humus, thus conducive to plantation. Some of the oldest rocks in the Indian subcontinent are found in Goa between Molem and Anmod on Goa’s border with Karnataka. The rocks are classified as Trondjemeitic Gneiss estimated to be 3,600 million years old, dated by the Rubidium isotope dating method. A specimen of the rock is exhibited in the Goa University.

Goa, being in the tropical zone and near the Arabian Sea, has a hot and humid climate for most of the year. The month of May is the hottest, seeing day temperatures of over 35 °C (95 °F) coupled with high humidity. The monsoon rains arrive by early June and provide a much needed respite from the heat. Most of Goa’s annual rainfall is received through the monsoons which last till late September.

Goa has a short winter season between mid-December and February. These months are marked by nights of around 20 °C (68 °F) and days of around 29 °C (84 °F) with moderate amounts of humidity. Further inland, due to altitudinal gradation, the nights are a few degrees cooler. During March 2008 Goa was lashed with heavy rain and strong winds. This was the first time in 29 years that Goa had seen rain during March.

Transport

Goa’s sole airport, the Dabolim Airport, is both a military and civilian airport catering to domestic and international airlines that stop en route to other Indian destinations. The airport also handles a large number of chartered flights. Goa receives international flights from Dubai, Sharjah and Kuwait in the Middle East and from Britain, Germany and Russia during the charter flight tourist season. Dabolim Airport is serviced by the following carriers – Air India, Indian Airlines, Kingfisher Airlines, Go Air, SpiceJet, Jet Airways besides Charter flights from the UK, Russia, Germany operated by Thomas Cook, Condor, Monarch Airlines etc.

Goa’s public transport largely consists of privately operated buses linking the major towns to rural areas. Government-run buses, maintained by the Kadamba Transport Corporation, links both major routes (like the Panjim–Margao route) and some remote parts of the state. In large towns such as Panjim and Margao, intra-city buses ply. However, public transport in Goa is less developed, and residents depend heavily on their own transport, usually motorised two-wheelers. Goa has two National Highways passing through it. NH-17 runs along India’s west coast and links Goa to Mumbai in the north and Mangalore to the south. NH-4A running across the state connects the capital Panjim to Belgaum in east, linking Goa to cities in the Deccan. The NH-17A connects NH-17 to Mormugao Harbour from Cortalim, and the new NH-17B, is a four lane highway connecting Mormugao Harbour to NH-17 at another location, Verna, via Dabolim airport. Goa has a total of 224 km (139 mi) of National highway, 232 km (144 mi) of state highway and 815 km of district highway.

Hired forms of transport include unmetered taxis, and, in urban areas, auto rickshaws. A unique form of transport in Goa is the Motorcycle taxi, operated by drivers who are locally called “pilots”. These vehicles transport a single pillion rider, at fares that are usually negotiated. River crossings in Goa are serviced by flat-bottomed ferry boats, operated by the river navigation departments. Goa has two rail lines—one run by the South Western Railway and the other by the Konkan Railway. The line run by the South Western Railway was built during the colonial era linking the port town of Vasco da Gama, Goa with Hubli, Karnataka via Margao. The Konkan Railway line, which was built during the 1990s, runs parallel to the coast connecting major cities on the western coast.

The Mormugao harbour near the city of Vasco handles mineral ore, petroleum, coal and international containers. Much of the shipments consist of minerals and ores from Goa’s hinterland. Panjim, which is situated on the banks of the Mandovi, also has a minor port, which used to handle passenger steamers between Goa and Mumbai till the late 1980s. There was also a short-lived catamaran service linking Mumbai and Panaji operated by Damania Shipping in the 1990s.

Languages

The Goa, Daman and Diu Official Language Act, 1987 makes Konkani in the Devanagari script the sole official language of Goa, but provides that Marathi may also be used “for all or any of the official purposes”. The Government also has a policy of replying in Marathi to correspondence received in Marathi.[25] Whilst there have been demands for according Marathi and Konkani in Roman script co-equal status in the state, As of October 2008, Konkani remained the sole official language.[26][27]

Konkani is spoken as a native language by about 61,21 % of the people in the state. Other linguistic minorities in the state as of 1991 are Marathi (27.12 %), Kannada (3.41 %), Urdu (2.81 %), and Hindi (2.09 %).[28] The Portuguese language, which was used during the colonial era is less popular now.

Tourism

Tourism is generally focused on the coastal areas of Goa, with decreased tourist activity inland. In 2004 there were more than two million tourists reported to have visited Goa, 400,000 of whom were from abroad.[citation needed]

Goa has two main tourist seasons: winter and summer. In the winter time, tourists from abroad (mainly Europe) come to Goa to enjoy the splendid climate. In the summertime (which, in Goa, is the rainy season), tourists from across India come to spend the holidays.[citation needed]

With the rule of the Portuguese for over 450 years and the consequential influence of Portuguese culture, Goa presents a somewhat different picture to the foreign visitor than other parts of the country. The state of Goa is famous for its excellent beaches, churches, and temples. The Bom Jesus Cathedral, Fort Aguada and a new a wax museum on Indian history, culture and heritage in Old Goa are other tourism destinations.

Historic sites and neighbourhoods

Goa has two World Heritage Sites: the Bom Jesus Basilica [29] and a few designated convents. The Basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, regarded by many Catholics as the patron saint of Goa (the patron of the Archdiocese of Goa is actually the Blessed Joseph Vaz). Once every twelve years, the body is taken down for veneration and for public viewing. The last such event was conducted in 2004. The Velhas Conquistas regions are also known for its Goa-Portuguese style architecture. There are many forts in Goa such as Tiracol, Chapora, Corjuem, Aguada, Gaspar Dias and Cabo de Rama.

In many parts of Goa, mansions constructed in the Indo-Portuguese style architecture still stand, though in some villages, most of them are in a dilapidated condition. Fontainhas in Panaji has been declared a cultural quarter, showcasing the life, architecture and culture of Goa. Some influences from the Portuguese era are visible in some of Goa’s temples, notably the Mangueshi Temple and the Mahalasa Temple, although after 1961, many of these were demolished and reconstructed in the indigenous Indian style.

Museums and Science Centre

Goa also has a few museums, the two important ones being Goa State Museum and the Naval Aviation Museum. The Aviation museum is the only one of its kind in the whole of India.[citation needed] Also, a place not well known to tourists is the Goa Science Center, which is located in Panjim.[citation needed] The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) is also located in Goa at Dona Paula.

People and culture

The tableau of Goa showcases religious harmony by focusing on the Deepastambha, the Cross, Ghode Modni followed by a chariot. Western royal attire of kings and regional dances being performed depict the unique blend of different religions and cultures of the State. The festival of music and dance, Shigmo Mel or the Holi and Spring celebrations,signify unity in diversity.[30] Prominent local festivals are Chavoth, Diwali, Christmas, Easter, Shigmo, Samvatsar Padvo, Dasara etc.The Goan Carnival and new year celebration is known to attract a large number of tourists.

Food

Rice with fish curry (Xit kodi in Konkani) is the staple diet in Goa. Goan cuisine is famous for its rich variety of fish dishes cooked with elaborate recipes. Coconut and coconut oil are widely used in Goan cooking along with chili peppers, spices and vinegar giving the food a unique flavour. Pork dishes such as Vindaloo, Xacuti and Sorpotel are cooked for major occasions among the Goan Catholics. An exotic Goan vegetable stew, known as Khatkhate, is a very popular dish during the celebrations of festivals, Hindu and Christian alike. Khatkhate contains at least five vegetables, fresh coconut, and special Goan spices that add to the aroma. Sannas,Hitt are variants of idli and Polle,Amboli,Kailoleo are variants of dosa;are native to Goa. A rich egg-based multi-layered sweet dish known as bebinca is a favourite at Christmas. The most popular alcoholic beverage in Goa is feni; Cashew feni is made from the fermentation of the fruit of the cashew tree, while coconut feni is made from the sap of toddy palms.

Architecture

The architecture of Goa is a combination of Indian, Mughal and Portuguese styles. Since the Portuguese ruled for four centuries, many churches and houses bear a striking element of the Portuguese style of architecture. Goa was also under the Mughal rule and thus one finds monuments built in the typical Mughal style complete with the domes.

Sports

Football is the most popular sport in Goa and is embedded in Goan culture.[33] Its origins in the state are traced back to 1883 when the visiting Irish priest Fr. William Robert Lyons established the sport as part of a “Christian education”.[33][34] On 22 December 1959 the Associação de Futebol de Goa was formed, which continues to administer the game in the state under the new name, Goa Football Association.[33] Goa, along with West Bengal and Kerala.[33] is the locus of football in the country and is home to many football clubs in India’s I-League. The state’s football powerhouses include Salgaocar, Dempo, Churchill Brothers, Vasco Sports Club and Sporting Clube de Goa. The state’s main football stadium, Fatorda (or Nehru stadium), is located at Margao and also hosts cricket matches.

A number of Goans have represented India in football, and four of them, namely Brahmanand Sankhwalkar, Bruno Coutinho, Mauricio Afonso, and Roberto Fernandes have all captained the national team at one time or another.

In recent decades, a growing influence of cricket is visible.[citation needed] Goa now has its own cricket team. Dilip Sardesai remains the only Goan till date to play international cricket for India.