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Monday, April 25, 2011

Miramar beach, Panaji : Goa

Pic:Nitin Pai

Miramar beach is situated in Panaji the capital of Goa state.

It is located near the confluence of the Arabian sea and the Mandovi river.

The Portuguese word Miramar itself means sea view. The beach is also known as Gasper Dias.

The beach itself stretches around 2 kms but continues further overlooking the sea.

Pic:Nitin Pai

The beach comprises mainly of palm and coconut trees planted amidst it golden sand.

The Miramar beach starts in the gulf and ends in the Emerald coast parkway.

Several boats, ships, launches, catamarans,speed boats, barges etc ply over the vast coast of Miramar .

There are also some sea hotels (made on boats) and casinoes catering to the tourists thronging Goa.

Across the Miraramar beach are several offices, residences and commercial complexes.

A few kilometers away from the Miramar beach lies the famous Dona Paula village which holds the statue of Dona Paula which has many stories associated with it . The foremost being of Dona being a Portuguese woman and Paula a local Goan fisherman who fell in love with each other but had to face social ire because of their different cultures and so they decided to jump off the cliff and commited suicide.However it has ince been proved to be a apocryphal story.

Actually the village was named after Paula Amaral Antonio de Souto Maior who was the daughter of the viceroy of Jafnapatnam in present day Sri Lanka and the wife of a Spanish Fidalgo, after she visited the place in 1644. She was a philanthropist who later contributed to the village and the grateful villagers named their village (previously known as Oddavel) after her. The famous statues at the jetty near the village however do not belong to Paula but were sculpted by Dutch sculptress Baroness Leistner in likeness to the philosopher Robert Knox and his wife.

Text and Photographs (except the ones credited) by Abhijit Rajadhyaksha

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Alandi is a pilgrimage centre situated around twenty five kilometers from Pune city on the bank of river Indrayani in Maharashtra.

It is famous as the samadhi sthal of the renowned 13th century saint Sant Dnyaneshwar who translated the Bhagvad Geeta in the local language marathi for undertanding of the common folks (besides temples dedicated to Vithal Rahumai, Jalaram etc).

Today one sees a ghat in the place surrounding the samadhi sthal where a temple in the memory of Sant Dnyaneshwar was created.

Alandi as a pilgrimage centre is famous especially amongst the followers of the Warkari panth who obey the teachings of the medeival saints like Dnyaneshwar,Tukaram etc and hold Vithoba -Rakhumai of Pandharpur as their principal deities .

Miscellaneous photos of Dnyaneshwar samadhi mandir (clicked from a cell camera) :

Pic:Dnyaneshwaar samadhi mandir entrance

pic:mandir shikhara

pic: ancient tree where Sant Dnyaneshwars mother had apparently offered a hundred pradakshinas
pic:Sant Eknath paduka
pic:mandir's offices
mandir: shikhar,gabhara

Text and Photographs : Abhijit Rajadhyaksha

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ramdara Temple, Pune

Ramdara is a old temple situated around ten kilometeres from Loni Kalbhor village, off Pune Solapur highway (20 kms from Pune).

The temple was constructed by one Devipuri maharaj a.ka Dhundi baba. It is built in a very serene location overlooking a pond .

The way to the temple albiet a little rough has a scenic view as it goes through some lush green fields.

An added attraction to this beautiful location are a group of white geese that run amock in the pond.

The temple itself is very colourful.

The basic structure being in black stone is adorned with some beautiful murals of hindu deities and saints.

Though the main deity is Shiva, there are virtually all deities encompassed in this temple.

The sabhamandap is ornately decorated with walls depicting stories from hindu mythology.

One also finds a beautiful idol of Nandi at the entrance of the sabhamandap.

Not many people are aware of this temple. Hence it is virtually uncrowded , something which creates more tranquility around this place.

Text and photographs by Abhijit Rajadhyaksha

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fort Aguada: Goa

Fort Aguada is a seventeenth century Portuguese fort facing the Sinquerim beach and the Mandovi river, south of Candolim, Goa.

The word ‘aguada ‘ in Portuguese means water and the fort seems to have got its name from the freshwater tank (capacity 23,76,000 gallons) inside the fort.

The fort was constructed in 1612 in order to keep a watch over the Marathas and the Dutch and provide a base for the Portuguese ships. 
The fort was said to have seventy nine cannons defending it.

The fort has a moat surrounding its periphery, besides a four storey ‘lighthouse’ (emits light every thirty econds) that was built in 1864 to look after the sea traffic.

Pic:source Nitin Pai

During the Salazar administration, fort Aguada served as a prison for political detainees. A prison still stands in its vicinity and mainly guards the western convicts caught for drug trafficking.
The Taj group of hotels have also constructed a beach resort and a grand five star hotel in its vicinity. The beach also offers several water sports that are a added attraction for the tourists.