Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cabo de Rama fort – In Rama’s footprints….

Since many years I had been planning to visit this fort, and finally I visited it, last week.

Though the fort is in ruins, it is a popular tourist attraction attributed more to its scenic location.
Here are 10 facts about the erstwhile Cabo de Rama fort:
1)      It is said that Lord Rama, the Hindu deity and his wife lived here during their 14 years of exile from Ayodhya, thus named Cabo de Rama in Portuguese, which translated to Cave of Rama in English.
2)      Situated in Canacona taluka, it is located at a distance of 14 kilometres from Agonda beach, and 30 kilometres from Margao.
3)      It is one of the largest and oldest forts in Goa and occupies an area of 18,000 square meters!
4)      It was built by the Maratha king, Sambhaji Raj.
5)      It was invaded and captured from the Hindu ruler, Raja Sonda, by the Portuguese in 1763.
6)      The fort was invaded by many armies and has witnessed many battles.
7)      It houses a small chapel of Saint Antonio, which is, renovated and still used by devotees. Next to it is a statue of Mother Mary.
8)      The fort had elaborate defence system including a moat and several bastions.
9)      The western side of the fort renders beautiful view of the Arabian Sea and Cabo de Rama beach.

10)  From 1935 until 1955, this for was used as a prison.

Entry to the fort

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The ramparts

Picturesque view!

Resplendent greenery

The moat

Deeper down...

Remains of ammunition

Saint Anthony's church

Friday, January 22, 2016

Tower Running! Take the Stairs!

Isnt it fun running down a tower? Well, here is a chance to do so in Goa.

The venue : Gera's Imperium II, Patto Plaza, Panaji on Sun 31 Jan 2016, 

840 steps up, 840 steps down

In Goa, the maximum number of floors in a building allowed under zoning laws is seven. Thus the Linc Tower Run in Goa is across five buildings, aggregating a total of 35 floors. In tall buildings, the race ends on the top floor. The Goa Tower Run requires climbing down the stairs as well. In the number of steps, it is the longest tower running race in India and on par with top Tower Runs worldwide. 

Poster at Panjim Municipal Garden (Garcia De Orta)
Here are 10 facts about Tower Running:

1)      It is an unconventional sport, which involves stair climbing – running up the internal staircases of buildings.
2)      In 2013-12, more than 150,000 men and women participated in over 225 Tower Runnin race, worldwide, in 33 countries.
3)      The first big tower run in the United States was held in 1978 with the Empire State Building Run-Up in New York City. That event now continues as the country's granddaddy race on America's most recognized skyscraper.
4)      Tower running was first conceptualized in Europe.
5)      The European Towerrunning World Association (TWA) governs the annual Towerrunning World Cup ( system that incorporates nearly 200 races across the globe and has overseen a ranking system since 2009.
6)      The world’s longest tower run is the Niesen Treppenlauf; 11,674 steps up a  staircase next to a funicular railway to the top of Mount Niesen, Switzerland. 
7)      More than 160 races held in 25 countries are evaluated each year for the Tower Running World Cup, by the Towerrunning World Association (TWA), based in Austria. Goa is one of them.
8)   At Radebuel in Germany, competitors in the Mount Everest Stair Marathon do 100 trips up and down 397 stairs (supposedly the equivalent of climbing the mountain.
9)      The Tata Tower Run is Mumbai’s and probably India’s first Tower Run. It is organized by Goa based Sports Event Management firm, Adventure Breaks for the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and sponsored by the Tata Group.
10)  In Mumbai, the Tata Tower Run is held in the iconic World Trade Center at Cuffe Parade. Participants race up the first 30 floors of the 36-floor tower on South Mumbai.

Take a look at some of the sponsored tower races around the world:
Venue (Name of the run)
Number of Steps
Sponsored by
International Commerce Centre (Hong Kong
2120 steps
Sun Hung Kai Properties
Willis Tower, Chicago (Go Vertical)

2109 steps

Menara Tower, Penang, Malaysia
2058 steps
Penang Global Tourism
Taipei 101, Taiwan (Taipei 101 Run)
2046 steps
Standard Chartered bank
China World Summit Wing Hotel, Beijing, (China World Summit Wing Hotel Vertical Run)
2041 steps
Shangri-La Hotel and Emirates
Landmark 72, Hanoi, Vietnam (Landmark 72, Hanoi run)
1914 steps
Calidas Royal residence
The Empire State building, New York, USA (Empire State Building Run-Up)
1,860 steps
Tata Consultancy Services
CN Tower, Toronto
1776 steps
Enbridge Inc
Eureka Tower, Melbourne (Eureka Climb)
1642 steps
Swissotel, Singapore (Swissotel Vertical Marathon)
1336 steps
Soleus Watches, Mizuno Apparel and Nestle Milo
Tower 42, London (Vertical Tower Run)
920 steps
World Trade Centre, Mumbai
689 steps

Events Around...

Last week I visited Panjim and here are some of the events advertised outside the Goa art centre that caught my eye.

Do check these out if you can!

Exhibition of paintings of artist Mohan Naik at Carpe Diem, Majorda

Lusofonia festival at Clube Vasco-da-Gama

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Camomile tea

Did you know # 12

When I was in Japan, I got to taste Camomile tea. Though it tasted a bit bland, it had a unique fruity odour. Are you wondering what it is?

 Camomile tea

The word camomile is derived from the Greek word 'chamos'(ground) and 'melos' (apple) referring to its low growing habit and apple scented blooms. Its daisy like flowers reminded the ancient Egyptians of the sun, calling it 'herb of the sun' !

Friday, January 15, 2016

Hospitaly with Responsibility!

‘Hospitality with Responsibility’ this is the catch line imprinted on the shopping bag which ‘Meluha, the Fern’ hotel, located in Powai, provides, as a complimentary gift to shopaholics like me.
The 'cool' jute bag

I was indeed impressed with the ecofriendly jute bag and also with the Meluha Hotel’s endeavour to instil ecological consciousness! Even their tea mug has some enlightening facts about why we should stop using plastic bags.

Here are some of the ecofriendly bags with cool messages!
Green is no more a choice, it is a necessity!

From Cotton cottage - clothing store

Enjoy the good thing inside, then do a good thing too - by recycling.

Brown bag from Starbucks - Coffee store

Chotta Bheem Himalayan Adventure - Movie review

My daughter always wanted to watch a Chotta Bheem series on big screen. She has been a fan of this adventurous cartoon, Chotta Bheem and his gang of friends for a very long time! So when the movie was released last week, she was excited to watch it!

My daughter, Shreya's collection of Chotta Bheem and his gang of friends.
Last Saturday, she and I watched the 90 minute thrilling movie, which kept us engaged through the entire movie.

The animation was wonderful depicting the scenes of snowcapped mountains and scenery of the famous hillstation of India, Manali in a beautiful way. The flow of the movie was smooth, though for an adult like me, it seemed slow paced. 
The theatre hall was filled with children of varied age groups.

Children will love this fun filled movie interspersed with jokes and antics by Chotta Bheem and his seven friends, Chutki, Indumati, Jaggu, Bholu, Dholu, Raju and Kalia. My daughter loved it.
So did I!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Auto Rickshaw trail!

Today, on our way to work in the morning, we spotted two richly decorated auto rickshaw’s chasing their way towards Panjim city. In it, were some Indians and foreigners, who seemed to be amused and enjoying the ride! It was a wonderful sight to behold! 

This reminded me of The Times Passion trail: Auto Rickshaw Trail to be held from January 31st  to February 6th from Mumbai to Goa, which I recently read about. But this seemed to be another auto rikshaw race….As there seemed to be a number on the rickshaw: 82. I wished that I could be in one of these rickshaws….

It is always fun to ride in an auto rickshaw. Nostalgic memories flood past as I remember my childhood days. As kids, we used to ride in an auto rickshaw from the train station to our relatives places, when we used to visit them during our vacation. And the moment we used to sit in the rickshaw, we would be amused and thrilled to take the joy ride. Though it used to be bumpy, it was always fun! I am still childishly amused every time I sit in a rickshaw…

On each of my visits to Mumbai (considerably often) I don’t miss the opportunity to ride in an 'auto' (short term for an 'autorickshaw')!!

Here is a snap shot of the details listed about the Times Passion Auto Rickshaw Trail on their website. To register, please visit the website:

Time for a fun auto rickshaw ride….You can participate too! 

I hope to participate in at least  any one of The Times Passion Trails, this year...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

All things related to Christmas!

Some of the key decorations during Christmas are: Snowman, Christmas tree and the crib.

This 'cool' snowman is made of plastic cups. Look closely! It is kept near the crib placed infront of 'Pando' (Pandva) chapel in Aquem.

The decorated Christmas tree at Luven's house


The guiding star

Crib spotting in Margao!

Best wishes to all my blog readers for a Wonderful New year 2016!!

Last week, we went around Margao and visited some beautiful cribs depicting the nativity scenes. It was indeed a pleasure to watch the visual depiction of the story of Jesus Christ’s birth, displayed creatively in various styles by different groups.

St. Anthony Boys of Agalli always make a wonderful theme based setting for Christmas, amidst farms in Agalli, here is a glimpse:

A glimpse of the crib setting made by Angel Boys of Gogol:

Beautiful crib made by Luven and Stezia at their house: