Ditch the beaches, visit these places on your next trip to Goa

5. Fontainhas

This is the oldest Latin Quarter in Goa, close to the hustle and bustle of central Panjim city, but cut off from the din. On the streets of Fontainhas, flanked by brightly coloured houses that have a strong Portuguese influence in their architecture, you feel transported to another part of the world – the tiny neighbourhood could have been a quaint part of Europe; only the occasional sight of borderline squalor is a reminder that this is India.

Located at the foot of the hills, it is bounded on the west side by the Altinho hills with springs, which give it its name (from the Portuguese for “little fountain”). On the east side, it is bounded by an ancient creek known as the Ourem creek. It was built on reclaimed land.

 

6. Cabo de rama fort

Cape Rama -, takes its name from Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana, who, along with his wife Sita holed up here during his exile from Ayodhya. The promontory was crowned by a fort centuries before the Portuguese cruised in and wrested it from the local Hindu rulers in 1763.

Cabo de Rama is located 16 km north from Agonda Beach.

 

7. St. Augustine’s tower

This place is a hidden gem located a stone’s throw away from the well-known historic monuments of Old Goa. These ruins of St. Augustine’s Church are hauntingly beautiful, to say the least. Being here will give you a slightly eerie feel. Great place to explore and capture on camera! In the monsoon, especially, the ruins stand out among the lush greenery around. There are some beautiful rock formations arranged on the slope leading to the main ruins. The main (partially broken) tower of the church rises high and is visible from afar. A definite must-visit when visiting the other crowded churches of Old Goa.

The tower is one of the four towers of St. Augustine Church that once stood at the site. Initially built of laterite and colossal in size, almost forty-six metres high, it had four storeys. The Tower was meant to serve as a belfry and the Church had eight richly adorned chapels and four altars and a convent with numerous cells attached to it.

Located at Old Goa.

 

8. Tambdi surla mahadev temple

This is known to be the oldest temple of Goa and the only surviving structure of the Kadamba Yadava dynasty that survived the Portuguese as it was set next to a stream in the middle of the small clearing, hidden in the dense jungle.

According to history researcher Prajal Sakhardande it was built in the 12th century by the Kadamba queen Kamladevi and is not made of basalt, as it is believed, but of grey black talc chlorite schist soap stone. This makes the intricate handwork adorning the walls of the temple still seem fresh, as it is weather resistant.

The Tambdi Surla temple dedicated to Lord Shiva has a pillared porch and three stepped entrances and the shrine surmounted by a tower. It is quite small with a small passageway and has Shiva’s vehicle, a headless Nandi bull in the center of the main porch.

The temple is located at the foot of the Anmod Ghat, which connects Goa to the state of Karnataka,. It is around 18kms from the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary gate.

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