I remember history to be a much hated subject by my friends, most probably because it was mugging up loads of material from the textbook. Heritage and history could have been more fun if only it could show us the real situations. Back in my college days I was enthralled by the rich history of Goa, all thanks to our lovely history professor and his amazing heritage tours. Imagine… Going through the real stuff, the real places where perhaps the queen committed suicide after cursing the people, or knowing about the bitter inquisition, or the ancient palaces where the kings resided. Being at any place and knowing about its rich history makes the experience of visiting it, a different kind.
This time when I happened to attend a heritage walk of Fontainhas, Panjim-Goa with “MAKE IT HAPPEN” I had the same nostalgic feeling that reminded me of my college trips.
Though Fontainhas is a place I have visited a number of times and having marvelled at both the decent amount of history I knew about it and at its beautiful architecture, but after this heritage walk I must say ‘Make it happen’ did a fabulous job in enlightening me with some real marvellous facts.
Our tour presenter Mrs.Lata Rodrigues, hailing from Chorao was thoroughly knowledgeable with all the details. We started from the General Post Office, Panjim and it took us around 2 hours for the entire tour.
There were some facts which really blew off my mind, like Goa having their own mint, the current post office was being used as a godown for tobacco storage, the inquisition square nearby where a few executions were carried on, the crucifix used for the inquisition with Jesus with his eyes open (unlike otherwise) in the St. Sebastian chapel, the shrines with the facts that even the locals may sometimes not know, and so much more. Our host, with a warm bright smile strolled us along packing us deep with info of such kind.
We passed by the St, Tome chapel a 200 year old chapel, and then through the old beautiful and bright colourful houses of Fontainhas, Passing through the narrow yet beautiful lanes we learned about how Fontainhas though recognised as a heritage zone now by UNESCO, was initially an unplanned settlement on the part of the Portuguese.
Posing for pictures along the way and clicking so many for memories, the views and the sights did make us go wow. Like the next stops to the Panjim Pausada, Geetanjali gallery and the museum of Antonio Xavier Trindade which was something I had never seen around, the paintings around were just mind-blowing.
A stop next at the Marcao artifacts allowed us to go through a variety of products which were quiet fascinating. Also we got a chance to see Azuelos prints-which is a kind of ceramic tilework.
Ending our journey on a musical note was a stop at the house of Mr. Chico, a jolly old man who showed us around his beautiful Portuguese house, made of mud and bamboo and still standing strong in its full grandiosity. He entertained us with some Goan, Portuguese and fado music. Hence we parted ways with lots of knowledge in our minds and a delight in our hearts holding the dear past closer than before.
Make it happen which has many more such tours did a great job in the execution of this heritage trail. This company started in 2013 by a Maria victor and joined along by Murali Shankaran and Anthony Gaskell, does this marvellous job of showing you the heart and soul of the real Goa. With a wide number of heritage tours and walks you get a deep experience of a kind.
Yes! You can read all this sitting online, why not, much easy isn’t it. Saying all this, it’s a different kind of experience if you go around seeing it for yourself or even better FEELING it for yourself.
So, next time you want to have a trilling experience which will connect you to the true Goan roots, ‘Make it happen’ is the place you should go to.
Here is a link to their site: www.makeithappen.co.in