Monday, June 30, 2014

World's longest train journeys!

Every train journey brings back nostalgic childhood memories! I remember vividly, how much we used to love the experience of the two day-train journey (Goa to Vizag) to our native place along with my sisters, during the summers. 

And here is a peek into some of the world's longest train journeys! 

Are you ready to embark of one of these journeys?

Margoa’s Glorious Steps!

Margoa can now boast of beautiful murals.....

The century old Victorian design steps leading to Monte Hill adjacent to Hospicio Hospital (one of the oldest hospital in Goa) have been  renovated and the walls have been beautiful painted. These steps lead to the Monte chapel, located atop the Monte hill.

The facilitators....
This 'state of the art project' was inaugurated in November 2013. One of my acquaintances, Ethel Lobo, a dedicated social activist, has been instrumental (along with other liked minded people) in making this aesthetic dream a reality!

Enter the artistic world...

The painted window

As you enter...

Anti-skid steps
The steps have been redone to provide, the public easy access to the areas, leading to Monte hill. 

The silhouette

Surrounded by greenery - view from the top of the steps

Planted steps....

Inspiration..

Creative outbursts...

The Goan!

Sea creatures - from the beaches??
 The paintings along the steps are indeed a refreshing treat to the eyes!
Daily life

A la Mario Miranda style...

Let me explore, alone, peacefully!

Recently, this summer, this venue provided a creative platform for many young artists, during the two day, art festival organised by Canopy Azure. And these beautiful artistic surroundings can be utilized to host many more creative festivals in future.....

It seems these are the only artistic steps in Goa, that I am aware of. Thus these may be called Goa's Glorious Steps!
The setting for a muse...

The real muse!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sao Jao in Goa!

Ushering and celebrating the monsoon!

The monsoon season has set in Goa - though at a very slow pace... The onset of the rainy season in Goa is marked by the Sao Jao (means St. John in Portuguese) festival. This festival known for men jumping into the wells. In recent times, the people, celebrate this festival by jumping into lakes, streams, rain showers and swimming pools.
 
Villagers revelling in the festivities.
An interesting tradition of this festival is that many of the revellers wear elaborate headgears, known as kopel (in Konkani) It is mainly made of flowers, fruits, leaves, creepers and palms . Indeed an ecofriendly crown!
One of them wearing the kopel - the crown

This festival symbolizes, the unborn St. John the Baptist’s leap in his mother’s (Elizabeth) womb, when Mother Mary came to visit him.
It marks the feast of St. John on June 24th.
And is the first festival celebrated during the monsoons, in Goa.
Rain dance
Celebrations galore...
Yesterday, we happened to witness the Sao Jao festivities at Agalli, near Fatorda in Goa. Take a peek into the simple carefree festivities!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Exploring Ooty!

Here is an informative pictograph, about Ooty, which set me thinking to plan a trip to this beautiful hill-station, by myself and opt for a package tour.
The first time I visited Ooty, it was a part of the Karnataka Tourism package tour, which covered only some of the attractions. I would recommend to visit Ooty at a relaxed pace, taking into consideration the below information too. The thread garden is not to be missed!