Thursday, 7 February 2013

Early Morning Ride to Old Goa

Today I had a cold ride to Old Goa, for taking pictures of churches and ruins of monuments. Then in the evening I ran around naked on a beach, all of it was absolute fun. Read all about it in my 6th day of travel in Goa.

The morning started with a phone call to a friend. We were to ride towards Old Goa and take the pictures of the two famous churches (Se Cathedral & Bassilica of Bom Jesus) and all that's around it. This was my idea because yesterday the battery of my camera died on me. The morning ride towards Old Goa (25km) from Arpora was cold but the view was priceless. I am glad I made that decision.

On reaching the spot where the long stretch of the road divides both the churches, was absolutely empty and the view was perfect to be captured in a wide screen panorama shot. My friend loved the place and then started our photography campaign. Walking beside the road, we took photographs of the monuments from every angle and then we reached to the gates. We asked the guard if we can get in the premises. He gladly allowed us. Here we found that one can enter the premises from sunrise and be there till sunset, irrespective of the timings of the main area to be opened up. A good information for me to follow henceforth.

The first photography zone was Se Cathedral

This is one of the largest churches in Goa. It was established in 1619 in the reign of the King Dom Sebastiao. However, the alters were not finished till the 1652 but today the entire place has a majestic aura of its own. 

Its Golden Bell is popular for its rich and solid sound. Here one will find the main alter dedicated to the St. Catherine of Alexandaria. While the paintings around it depicts the scenes from her major life events and martyrdom.

One may take photos without flash. But do not take photos of the objects, alters, paintings with a person. It is not allowed and it is inappropriate as well. Also, use of tripod or stand for photography is prohibited, so is videography.

The Convent & Church of St. Francis Assisi

This is behind Se Cathedral.This is a grand place that has an amazing charm to it. The entrance will bring the visitor to a huge hall where the stunning raredos will make one admire its beauty. The floor has many priest buried beneath it so one must keep a check on where they are stepping. Again, the photography is allowed but not the use of tripod or stands or videography. One may also check out the Archaeological Museum that is just beside it as well as the Furniture Museum that is between Se Cathedral and Convent & Church of St. Francis Assisi.

The Chapel of St. Catherine

This is a small chapel on the western side of the premises, which is beautiful to look at. The pieces of ruins arranged beside it gives a fantabulous image of the old Portuguese era in the mind of the visitor.

The Huge Wheels to Crush and Mix

Behind the Chapel of St Catherine, one may see a pair of huge wheels, which were used to crush and mix the cementing ingredients with each other. These wheels were chiseled by hands in those days but still, all of them look identical to each other.

The Church of St Cajetan

This is on the north-east side of the main premises, which is very good to look at. The Gate of Adil Shah's Palace is on the left side of the main entrance gate of the premises. 

The Viceroy's Arch

It is built by the Portuguese when they won the lands of Goa. A small gate with a lot of history behind it.

After this we walked back towards the main area as we needed to see the other sides of the road. Here a lot of things were waiting to be explored again and shot with a camera. But before everything else, we needed something to eat. It has been nearly 4 hours since we started from Arpora and we were yet to have our breakfast. Due to lack of a good restaurant nearby we decided to go have some Sugarcane juice, which was indeed a good idea. Now the second part of our exploration start.

The Basilica of Bom Jesusis

This is a world famous place among the Roman Catholics as well as the people who are interested in historical monuments. Here the mortal remains of the patron saint of animals, St. Francis Xavier rests. he was the former pupil of the much famous St. Ignatious Loyola whom founded the Jesuit order. St Francis Xavier was known all over in those days for his missionary voyage.  He died on 2nd December, 1552. His body remained incorrupt, even when a servant poured four sacks of quicklime to his body in the coffin, so his flesh may be consumed by it and the remains may be returned to Goa. However, two months later when his coffin was moved to Malacca, it was observed that his body is still in perfect condition.

Later in the 19th century the body was put under a glass coffin for the visitors to come and view. In the middle of the 19th century, the current cycle of exposition in every 10 years commenced. The next exposition will happen in 2014. So be ready to reach Goa.

The rules of taking pictures here are the same as everywhere else, so please practice that.

After all the revisits and visits, taking photos, it was already 12:30 P.M. and we were exhausted. Hence we decided to rush to my friend's place, back to Arpora.

The day was excellent and perfect, I got as many shots as my camera's battery allowed and to top everything off. I had a good long ride in the morning to a place, which was peaceful, calm and made me start pondering again on the purpose of my life. I shall find the answer very soon.


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