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Shubhyatra >> Goa Yatra >>Mapusa


District : Bardez District
Location : Near Mapusa River
Known As : Also Known as 'Mapsa'
Best Time to Visit : November to March

Mapusa - The Market Under The Banyan Tree

Bodhgeshwar Temple , Mapusa
Bodhgeshwar Temple , Mapusa

To See : Bodhgeshwar Temple, Mayem Lake (21 kms), Terekhol Fort (30 kms).
Most Famous For : The Friday Market, located outside the Mapusa Municipal Market.
Don't Miss : The Church Lady of Milagres, where a grand Feast is cerebrated every third Sunday after Easter.
Must Visit : The Hanuman Theatre, where plays are performed by by visiting theatre and musical troupes from outside Goa.
Getting Around : Kansarpal-Kalbadevi temple, believed to be about 800 years old lies 14 km from Mapusa.
Getting There : Air -The Dabolim Airport is the nearest airhead located at 45 km from the downtown.
Road - Mapusa is on NH 17 that connects Mumbai to Panjim and Margao, about 20 km from the state border.
Inside Tip : The Red Rice is supposed to be good for the longevity and good health of the people, especially the Goans.
Must Try : The Mouth Watering Sausages, Spiced and Marinated in Feni.
Shopping Options : Handicrafts Emporium (Tourist Hostel), Friday Market.
Important Distances : Mumbai – 639 kms,Pune – 226 Kms, Panaji – 13 kms.
Where to Eat : For Vegetarian – Hotel Vrindavan, Moon Light. For Non Vegetarian – Babaji, Ruchira Restaurant, Bawarchi. Bakeries – Simonia Bakery, St. Francis Bakery, Cafe Aurora.
Staying Options : Nanutel, Hotel La Flor, Goa Woodlands Hotel, Margao Residency.

Perhaps no other town in India enjoys the weekend as does Mapusa. Come Friday and the sluggish land will spring up to its feet, ready to let its hair down for the whole day. The city is said to have grown with the blessings of its own God, Lord Bodhgeshwar, whose beautiful temple nestles under a banyan tree. Serene, secluded and sacred. Much before the Aryans, or Marathas, or the Portuguese invaded Goa, this was a bucolic community, with a well established community farming system ('gaunkari'). Market day was a major event, with goods brought in from every district from every district to one central quarter. Mapusa, over the centuries, thus became a prominent trading centre and Friday became the D-day. Besides, this bustling city nestling at 13 km from Panjim, also evolved as a favoured gateway to many famous beaches of Goa.

Pads of Devotion In Mapusa

In a sacred sense, the most popular tourist destination in Mapusa is the Bodhgeshwar Temple. Whether you see it by night or day, the temple, nestling under a banyan tree, offers an idiosyncratic repercussion of itself, illuminated by the light of earthen lamps and devotion. Ask the 'pujari' (priest) and he will tell you more about Bodhgeshwar, that He was a very congenial god who used to sit under a banyan tree, and that Goans of all faiths would come to him with their troubles and how he would offer solutions; a tradition that continues till today, with the exception that a divine shrine is present at the pad where he used to sit. Try to plan a visit during the 3rd week of January to be a part of the grand 'mela' (fair) held in the temple compound. Don't forget to visit the Hanuman Theatre, just across the road. This magnificent hall of entertainment is famous for its Konkani 'tiatrs' and Marathi 'nataks'.

Drive on Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Road towards Vilena Hotel and take a right turn from there to be on St. Jerome Road. This solitary road will take you to the Mapusa Church, which has a bizarre attraction hidden in its sleeves. The Mapusa Church is known as St. Jerome's Church during the celebration of Saint's feast in October. Interestingly, the same divine pad of Christianity is known as the Church of Our Lady of Milagres (Miracles), when the Milagres feast is celebrated every 3rd Sunday after Easter. If you happen to be in Mapusa during the Milagres feast, you can see hundreds of devotees - both Hindus and Christians - participating in the feast with equal endeavour. The festivities are spread over three days with a plethora of cultural activities, crowned by the Milagres Queen Contest.

Church Lady of Miracles , Mapusa
Church Lady of Miracles , Mapusa

Let's Go To The Friday Market

Perhaps the most important attraction of Mapusa is the Friday Market. Over the years, millions of rupees travelled through hundreds of hands, and now, Mapusa has become synonymous with Friday. If you want to inhale the true aroma of Goa, this market is a must-see in your itinerary. Wake up early and visit the riot of colour and noise. You can see Goan women from nearby villages - young and old - dressed in their colourful best, gathered to sell their locally grown or manufactured wares, including spices of all kinds. That elusive smell that has your nose twitching is Goa's secret ingredient for all those wonderful sweet and sour curries - round lumps of seedless tamarind, or 'amot' as it is known locally, in great demand in traditional Goan's kitchens. Then there's Goa's good red rice, which is believed to be responsible for good health and longivity of rural Goa. Gift yourself a string of colourful 'churis', or Goa's mouth-watering sausages, spiced and marinated impeccably in 'feni'. No sausage anywhere else in the world tastes like the Goan 'churis'.

The best part of shopping in the Friday Market is, despite the good bargains, you are still expected to repent that you might have got the same at a much lower price. Never pay the first price asked, whether it is over trinkets, straw hats, dried fish or furniture. In a nutshell. It can be said that the Market provides an altogether different experience, far from the merriment of beaches and other places of tourist interest.

Drive Your Way

Only a few of the roads and lanes in Mapusa's business area have names and even fewer residents know them. Instead they use landmarks to navigate and so should you. The centres of attraction are obviously the Bodhgeshwar Temple, Municipal Market and the Kadamba Bus Stand. The town's strategic location affords quick access to all the beaches on the Bardez coast, so whether you are near Arjuna or Aguada, you can drop into Mapusa anytime to visit the antique stores or browse the Friday Market. The Dabolim Airport is the nearest airhead located at 45 km from the downtown. Tourists can have a pleasure to choose from a wide range of transport facilities - taxis, motorcycles and autos - together with state and private bus services. Mapusa is on NH 17 that connects Mumbai to Panjim and Margao, about 20 km from the state border.

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Top 5 Reasons to Visit Mapusa

Friday Flea Market , Mapusa

The City of Commerce
A benevolent God who grants all wishes and a bustling market that caters to every need. Plan a holiday trip to Mapusa and you can witness an impeccable blend of simplicity and economy going hand in hand. Now really, what more could you ask for?

Get Anything Because Its Friday
The whole of Mapusa springs up to life on every Friday morning due to the occassion of Friday Flea Market. Vendors from near and far villages come to sell their fruits of long haul and varied articles of tourist interest.

Taste A String of Colourful 'Churis'
When on a vacation trip to Mapusa, remember to try one of those mouth-watering strings of colourful 'churis', Goa's own brand of sausages, exquisitely marinated in fenny. Relishing these spicy delicacies with drinks of your choice beside the gurgling waves is indeed a surprise for every visitor.

Take Blessings of The Lord
Visit the Bodhgeshwar Temple in the early morning and you can feel a serene sense of sanctity poised in the air. The temple nestling under an old banyan tree is dedicated to Lord Bodhgeswar who is said to have miraculous powers.

See The Church, Hear Thy Dual Names
One of the unique monuments in Mapusa is the City Church, which enjoys the privilege of having two names - St. Jerome's Church during the celebration of Saint's feast in October and as the Church of Our Lady of Miracles, during the Milagres feast after Easter. Interesting, isn't it?

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