Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Gothic Beauty in Goa

The Mae De Deus Church situated at Saligoa in North Goa is one of the most distinctive pieces of architecture one can find in the state. Simply because its the only church in Goa that has a strong influence of Gothic architecture. 
The Saligoa Church as its commonly called has always been a source of fascination for my brother and myself. It falls on our way home and every time we would see it in a new perspective. Every sunrise, cloud formation, sunset or the illumination at night, puts this church in a new light. It soon came to be our most favourite subject of photography. These pictures were clicked one late night when we armed ourselves with a tripod and camera and took off from home on bike to click this beauty. 
It’s without doubt one of the most beautiful churches in Goa. During the day, the church towers the surrounding landscape of fields in pearly white. 
Built in 1873, the Mae De Deus Church has the statue of the Virgin Mary in the centre while large jutting cones form the rest of the architecture. Though the church has become a tourist destination, one should not forget that it is a place of worship with daily mass held in the mornings and most evenings. Do make sure you are properly dressed while visiting a church or any place of worship. 
The church on the inside is beautifully decorated with chandeliers and wooden pews. The facade has the Virgin Mary venerated at the altar. Every year on the feast of 'Mae de Deus', the Saligoa Sporting Club have their traditional dance called the 'Foxes' Nite.' It’s held at a ground next to the Church.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The local thing to do – Watch a game of Football

Forget about hitting the beach or visiting the churches and temples. You have not experienced the Goan way of life till you have watched and yell your heart out at a local football game.

You can spot them at any corner. Vast open fields become the ideal playground. What you need to look for is a crowd. Spot one that’s causing a slight traffic jam and you have a game in action.

From parra game

Local games obviously star the local talent. Emotions run high, so make sure you don’t say something you could be sorry of later.  These games follow the same league structure in football. And mind you people take their football very seriously in Goa. Should the local team be playing, the entire village is bound to be there supporting the young boys and men.

From parra game

Adrenaline is at an all time high with each player trying to outdo the other. You can be guaranteed of super action and controversial decisions. Playing for your local team makes you nothing short of a hero. Almost all the men in my family have played for PVC Parra, starting with my dad and uncle to my cousin who was the mid-fielder and my brother who was the goal keeper. Yeah so we have some superstars in my family.

So yes go watch a football game in Goa. It’s something you won’t regret doing.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A few days to...

my favorite festival in India - Ganesh Chaturthi  

Preparations begin months in advance, sometimes a whole year goes in designing the idol for the upcoming year. But rest can be assured of creativity hitting greater heights every single year. 

This time on I have my friend Mangesh Bhadye on board, sharing his pictures as he captures the festivals in its true element. See more of Mangesh's work on his blog.  

In a few days it will be time for the festivities, till then check out these pictures which will give you an insight into what goes into the preparations.
An artisan coating the Ganesh idol with plaster of Paris
The idol of Lord Ganesh under construction
Work in progress
Showering blessings on all

Lord Ganesh, the God of wisdom and prosperity