Monday, November 16, 2015

Fatorpa, South Goa - India

I’m excited to join up again this month with fellow blogger Fiona Ryan's  A-Z Guidebook Travel Linkup over at Tiffin Bite Sized Food Adventures. This travel tale link-up goes from November 15th - November 22th, this time travels with the letter "F".

"F" is for Fatorpa, Goa, India

For those who don't know, Goa is a small state located in the western region of India bordering the Arabian Sea. Most people hear, Goa, and think beaches and parties, but there is so much more. It is visited by both international and domestic tourists for its beaches, temples, churches, and heritage architecture. It also has great biodiversity due to its location on the Western Ghats.
The impact of Portuguese colonialism is evident to this day; in the architecture, music, colloquial language, bull fighting, and of course religion. Religion is generally a touchy subject especially with a history of violent conversions, and persecution. Most people are unaware of the fact that the Inquisition was dispatched to Goa at the request of St. Francis Xavier, in a 1545 letter to John III of Portugal. 

While we were in Goa we decided to visit the famous Shri Shantadurga Kunkalikarin Temple. Due to the Inquisition, the Goddess's Murti (Icon) was moved to the village of Fatorpa. Stories say, once there was a terrible war between the Gods Shiva and Vishnu and the entire world was distressed. Brahma prayed and begged Shakti (the Divine Mother) to stop the war. The Goddess came and held Shiva by one hand and Vishnu by the other hand and made them make peace. This form of the Goddess is called Shantadurga, 'Shanta' meaning peaceful. Shantadurga is the calm form of the Hindu goddess Durga. In this form, she is also known as the Goddess of Dreams because she visits her followers in dreams. The temple complex is beautiful, the architecture, carved statues on the facade,  and beautifully carved woodwork. It clearly states not to take pictures inside the temple, and I respected that, but I did take photos outside and the surrounding area.

As I slowly walked from one end of the peaceful temple complex to the other, stopping to visiting the smaller shrines...I couldn't help but feel like I was being followed. When I got to the Lord Ganesha shrine at the far end of the complex, I turned around and there she was...

I was being followed by a beautiful butter-blonde cow. I petted her and softly told her how sweet and pretty she was, gave her some leaves to eat, and thought she would go on her way. But no! She kept following, and when I got to the car to leave she tried to come with, sticking her head in the window. Our driver and other devotees watched, and laughed as she tried to stick herself in the car. One devotee shouted to me, not to worry that it was a good sign animals are attracted to a good heart. As it was time to go, we had to slowly and carefully drive past her. She followed us to the main gate of the temple, and watched with her big brown eyes as we continued our journey.

Fatorpa, South Goa - India





For more Letter "F" travel stories, visit A-Z Guidebook Linkup. Stay tuned next month for more travel, centering around the Letter "G"!
TIFFIN - bite sized food adventures -

4 comments:

  1. What an amazing journey this must have been, with the cow watching over you! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Thanks Tandy! It really was a lovely and special trip, I had a wonderful time. :)

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  2. Goa is high on my list of places to visit but I think it might be a few years off yet. It always sounds like such an interesting area and I enjoy reading about the food. What a cutie that little cow was. Something for everyone in Fatorpa (a place I've never even heard of) cheers!

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    1. Goa is a beautifully diverse place, I definitely think you'd enjoy it! :)

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