When we think of Goa, we have a lot of things in mind – like the pristine beaches, the cruise on the Mandovi river, the churches of Old Goa and lot more….and we manage to spend a lot of time at these places…..!! Many would not know that there is a place called the “Fontainhas”, just behind the GPO in Panjim, where you can walk and have a look at the culture and heritage of Goa….and get yourself treated to a peep into the actual Goan culture!
Next time when you are in Goa, do take the Walking Tour of “Fontainhas”. It takes you back in time and don’t forget to have a guide with you…else..you would miss the whole point. The background to the houses and the locality of Fontainhas is a must…and only a good guide can give you the right background which would make your trip more memorable!
Our guide, Maxie, is a latin singer and dancer and has spent most of his years abroad. He has spent a lot of time in Brazil understanding the Portuguese culture and music. Basically from Goa, he is an amazing person and gives a wonderful background and narration to the entire walking tour! The entire trip was organised by a company called “MakeItHappen” and I am thankful to them for this wonderful experience!
The Walking Tour has several parts with the first being a fifteen minute background lecture before the start of the walk, a visit to a 100 year old bakery named “31st January”, taste of fresh goan breads and delicacies like “Dodol” and “Bebinca”, walk around Fontainhas and a fabulous end with a visit to a Goan House where a Goan singer awaits to enthral you with his amazing songs. The trip ends with a small gift from “makeithappen”.
Fontainhas has a typical architecture with no two houses looking the same. In the below pic, we have our guide – Maxie ( wearing a Hat and umbrella) speaking to a local resident in Portuguese. Before you scroll down….don’t forget to have a look at the window structure….typical old goan houses have this structure…
The Tour started opposite the GPO, at Panjim.
Thats the GPO. These were warehouses at one point of time when the Portuguese were around…..The Tour normally starts from here and we met Murali from “Makeithappen” here, sharp at 4.30 PM.
Just as we were chatting, a gentleman wearing dark goggles and carrying an old fashioned umbrella arrived. He introduced himself as Maxie – our guide. After a brief introduction of ourselves, we followed Maxie into Fontainhas…
Just as we started, Maxie took us in front of this building. He told us to have a closer look at the windows. They were made from Mother of Pearl shells. He emphasised that these windows allowed light to come inside and also kept the house cool in the old days.
This photo was taken at one of the museums we visited during the walk. A closer look at the windows….!!
A colourful house…..
Porcelain pots for plants….in one of the windows !
The lanes of Fontainhas! and that’s Maxie….
Few of the houses have been sold off and they have been renovated a guest houses….
The wall and the house belongs together…but then..why the discrimination? Maxie pointed out that this was one of the first Hindu houses. How to know? Well, the hindu houses didn’t have balconies….
Fresh Goan breads which we tasted during the trip!….
A 100 years old bakery named – “31st January”….
The oven of this bakery!!….
Thats a delicacy called – “Dodol”! Made from coconut and jaggery….must try!
A Close Up of the window of the bakery!
Thats the table top…..in the sit out available in the bakery…
DO visit this bakery….!!
Another Goan house in Fontainhas!
Fontainhas means many fountains / wells. This was one of such well…..
The colour combinations are a delight for any photographer!
Thats a Breadfruit!
Thats the Gang …!! 🙂
Point to notice – All houses are of different colour and type…!!
We visited one of the art galleries too, during the walk. Entry was free and we could even take pictures freely! The name of the gallery was “Fundacao Oriente” and the painter was Antonio Xavier Trinidade and his daughter, Angela Trinidade!
Few of the paintings in the Gallery!
A blue house almost lost in greenery!….
This part of Goa has it’s own appeal.Walking down the lanes, transported me back in time…!!
This was the goan house that we visited as a part of the walking tour! This was maintained immaculately….
One of the porcelain vases in the goan house!
Thats Chico….a goan by origin and a singer! After taking us around his house, he treated us to some mesmerising goan tracks…!!
Thank You Chico for your hospitality!!
It was an amazing tour and we were amazed at being able to witness this side of Goa!
Thank You #Makeithappen for the tour!
Thank You Maxie and Chico for letting us in…..to your World!!