Tag Archives: Goa

Harvalem… Pandyan caves of laterite stones

28 Mar

 From Sanquelim we went a few kilometres north to Harvalem.

It is a protected site . It has five laterite caves housing Shiva Lingas in each. Each linga differs in shape. Some have Bramhi inscriptions too.One looks like  an arrowhead, another has a halo around it.There is yet another cave which is said to be a kitchen..The ASI has  posted a personnel there who guides and guards the place.He was helpful.

We then went to Harvalem / Arvalem’s Rudreshwar temple. It is situated near a roaring waterfalls . The water collects into Bheem Kund. This is a cool,green pool used for performing last rites.The whole place is very peaceful. we had our lunch there. I had carried food from home .When we were about to leave a foreign tourist arrived . He was smoking. When I gestured for him to go elsewhere, he argued that it was an open space. I protested that it was a place of worship. It fell on deaf ears…We just chose to leave the place.

 Sadly this is the picture of Goa now.

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Dhakti and Vhadli Deepavali in Goa

26 Nov

Each festival in Goa is  uniquely colourful.here people follow most od our traditions and there are some special ones which are unknown to many.

 Naraka Chaturdashi is called Dhakti(small ) Deepawali.Though it is celebrated on a large scale…. The previous night huge Narkasurs are burnt in most streets.Cultural organisations hold narkasur making contests.The tradition of going around to people’s houses to greet is quite common everywhere. The  snacks that are made here during this time is very traditional. reddish avalakki   is used for several preparations called Fauv.Sweet Fauv is accompanied by savoury ones served with Ambat chutney.

In the morning   after the aarti  all the family members stamp a bitter fruit symbolising the end of evil.

Crackers are not limited to Deepawali here. A lot more crackers are burnt during Ganeshotsav.

Tulsi Lagna is called Vhadli (big) Deepawali.A branch of a tree is kept along with Tulsi in the vrindavana which are freshly painted and a bhatji (priest ) comes to solemnise  the divine wedding.   An antarpata is used and a grand feast follows.

Though I have lived here for many years, I don’t have much knowledge about these traditions. The local paper has started publishing these tidbits this year.I thought I must share this on my blog.