A panoramic view of Goa through Murals

The festive colorful state of Goa is filled with people of different cultures and religions.These cultures are vividly depicted in the various murals seen on the walls of hotels,guest houses and public spaces like railway stations.They have managed to bring forth the Catholic and Hindu spirit of the state while effectively depicting its varied peoples.These murals while representing the people- their clothing, mannerisms and daily life events- blend so well into the background that they can be observed and appreciated by a patient observer as he relaxes sipping his daily chai or feni.The murals display not only the buildings but the beach life,market place, pav wallahs, fisherwomen with the lazy cat nearby and other stories of Goan history.

Goa’s famous cartoonist and illustrator Mario Miranda has his works displayed as murals in public places like markets, Madgaon railway station ,hotels,cafes clubs and even college campuses.They have a story to tell bringing alive the plain walls,merging foreign influence which starts with the arrival of the Portuguese in Goa, with narrations from Indian culture and heritage thus revealing contemporary and modern lifestyles.

Works of other artists like Trinidade can also be found.These artworks while amusing the viewer with their humor beautifully reflect the very heart of Goa.They are carefully maintained by the places where they are housed.so they can be appreciated by travellers to Goa.

I have been so influenced by these murals that I have put up cartoons depicting similar themes showing the various facets of Goan life, in my own Mitaroy Goa hotel. Viewing them my guests too, can appreciate the rich culture and heritage of Goa.

First Goan NRI to receive the prestigious NRI Award

It is indeed a proud moment for Goa and all Goans (both in the state and outside) as acclaimed soprano, Patricia Rosario was announced as the first Goan NRI Awardee of the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award 2013, from the President of India, at the 11th NRI Convention award function at New Delhi.

The award is the highest honour bestowed on NRIs (non resident Indians).

Rosario’s name was selected by a committee headed by Dr Wilfred Mesquita, Commissioner for NRI Affairs from a list of 15 eminent NRIs/PIOs of Goan origin including advocates, IT professionals, professors from Portugal, Austria, Kenya, Canada, UK, USA and Uganda.

Rosario, originally from Assagao was born in Mumbai, where she won a series of competitions that led her to the Guildhall of Music in London where she completed her classical musical training in Opera, singing as a Soprano.

She is also set to be a Fellow of the Royal College of Music. Her nomination was cleared by the Prince of Wales and she will be conferred the title this spring and will join distinguished persons of national and international renown such as Sir Thomas Beecham, Pasblo Casals, Artur Rubninstein, Arturo Toscanini and Zubin Mehta.

We congratulate Mrs Rosaria and hope that she brings more pride and glory to amche Goa!

Beach weddings take Goa by storm

Goa has always been a hot Honeymoon Destination but couples are suddenly deciding that it is also a great place to get married. And is there a more romantic setting to get married than at a Goan beach?

A spew of mega beach weddings are planned in Goa with already 10 beach weddings approved by the Goa Tourism department. Since beach weddings are considered “minor events” in Goa, all it takes to get permission is approval from the Goa Tourism Director and the payment of a fee of Rs. 5000 fee.

One of my close relatives got married in Goa recently and she was full of praise for the destination. While many people choose to get married in their home towns or cities, it has become quite the fashion to jet to Goa and get married there instead. Not just the couple and their families but relatives and friends make the trip too, often booking out the entire hotel.

That said, some couples prefer to stay at a different hotel than their friends and family. “We stayed at a small Homestay while our guests stayed at a big 5 star Hotel. We wanted to have our privacy and some time to ourselves” said the couple.

And it is not just the Goan beach that becoming a hot wedding destination but the Goan river as well. Goan ferry boats offer couples the once in a lifetime chance to get married on a boat. Larger than the usual ferry boats that transport locals across the Mandovi River and far more luxurious, these special ferry boats are big enough to hold between 50 to 100 people as well as a full fledged buffet and dance floor.

And as Goa becomes more and more popular as a wedding destination, you also have Wedding Planners who take care of the entire wedding hassle, leaving you free to enjoy your special day. All the girl has to do, it seems, is to get her man to pop the question!

Christmas in Goa – Reflections

My mother blogs from Goa…

This was to be my second Christmas in Goa. My nephew’s new Goan bride tells me its the best place in India to celebrate Christmas. My daughter asked me what I felt was so special about Christmas in Goa – she thought it was like Christmas everywhere, with houses decorated with stars and lights and Christmas trees and cribs.

But my husband pointed out that Christmas in unique in Goa, in the Latin Quarter of Fontainhas with its cluster of Heritage Homes (and Homestays such as The Mitaroy, Goa where I am staying) and where a lady can safely walk alone for midnight Mass. It is only in Fontainhas that you can have a 400 year old St Sebastian chapel puts chairs on the road for the service since all the houses surrounding it are Catholic and their owners keep their doors open and attend the Mass from their hall rooms! The service for the 500 people gathered together is made meaningful with a live enaction of the Nativity. The beautiful choir had a lovely soprano singing “Mary Did You Know” along with other traditional and new Carols.The short sermon stressed the light that Jesus brought into our lives!

After Mass while sharing the delicious plum cake and hot coffee (generously offered by the priest to foster communal harmony) to ward off the cold (yes, its the only time Goans enjoy a little cold weather) we meet and greet our neighbours -the tiny tots,the teens the adults and very old have all come decked in their Christmas best-one can see all the latest fashion in gowns and skirts. Our famous resident Goa’s famous architect Charles Correa has come with his wife all the way from the other side of the Mandovi because it feels so Christmassy in the old Latin Quarter of Fontainhas.

Almost every house is decorated with lights and stars (some after a fresh coat of paint) in the neighbourhood of Fontainhas with its majority of Catholic residents and for days one hears Carols playing loudly, giving the whole neighbourhood a festive air. “Zai re, maka Zai re, Santa munta maka zai re”- Santa’s season is celebrated with great pomp in Goa. Lunch tables are loaded with traditional fare like roast suckling pig and stuffed turkey. My friend Martha D’ Cunha has invited us for lunch with her extended family – the table groans with the weight of different delicacies like roast stuffed chicken, pork vindaloo, chicken xacutti, beef assad with sannas and Arrroz pulao. The food is accompanied by lots of red wine and sherry and ends with a delicious Christmas pudding and Christmas plum cake made lovingly by the entire family, along with the regular traditional Goan sweets of kuswar, doss, bebinca, nevrios, kulkuls and dodhol. It is okay to indulge this festive season, I tell myself.

The party continues and the festive spirit will last till Goans usher in the the New Year with their own typical bonhomie and camarderie.Yes Goans really do love to enjoy life to the full while welcoming the hordes of tourists who descend on Goa at this time – you dont feel odd to wish a stranger a Merry Christmas – its all one big family celebration!!

Soon it is time to return to Bangalore and to work but I cant help looking forward to another festive Christmas in Goa next year…

Casino Royale Goa Packages

Mitaroy Goa Hotel is a Heritage Hotel situated 2 minutes from the Casino Royale Goa Jetty.

For all our guests who enjoy staying so close to the Casino Royale Goa Jetty, we now offer a Special Casino Royale Goa Package that includes:

  • 3 Days and 2 Nights of accommodation in a Heritage Suite
  • Full Goan Buffet Breakfast 
  • Free Beer and Wine throughout your stay
  • 2 Nights Complimentary entry to Casino Royale Goa
  • Rs. 6,000/- worth of One Time Play (OTP) chips
  • Free Airport Pick Up and Drop
  • Free Pick Up and Drop from Casino
  • Complimentary multi-cuisine buffet dinner and live entertainment onboard
  • Unlimited house brand alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages onboard
  • 24 Hour Check Out, subject to availability
  • Free Bottled Mineral Water throughout your stay
  • Luxury Bath Amenities
  • Welcome Cocktail on Arrival

Casino Royale Goa Package: Rs. 28,000

Please make your reservations well in advance since we are often booked out quite early.

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+91 94480 87708 (India)
+43 680 2303682 (Europe)

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