Monday, 20 February 2012

Mapusa, Goa

Located 13 km away from state capital Panaji, Mapusa is the headquarters of the Bardez taluka. It is the third largest city in Goa and a major commercial center in the North Goa district. The name Mapusa is supposed to be a derivative of the Konkani words 'Maap' meaning measure and 'Sa' which means to fill up. Legend has it that the Mapusa town has the blessings of Lord Bodhgeshwar who has a temple dedicated to him.

The Mapusa town itself is beret of any significant travel and tourism potential and is more well-known as the gateway to Goa's most fascinating beaches. The scenic beaches of Calagunte, Anjuna and Vagator are situated nearby Mapusa. There are also a number of imposing forts such as the Aguada fort, Reis Magos fort and the 500-year old Chapora fort.

Mapusa is synonymous with its famous Friday market. On every Friday this sleepy town wakes up to a festive atmosphere with people from nearby areas turning up with their products. From sausages to dried fish, from straw hats to spices, a vast array of products is put up for sell by local vendors. Bargaining is the mantra here and you must be able to see through extravagant claims by shop owners. 


Places to See:

One of the most popular beaches in Goa, the Anjuna beach spells double whammy for tourists. You can scour the famous Wednesday flea market for exotic artifacts or search for nirvana during the trance parties held on full moon nights. The beach is also known for its palm-fringed landscape.

The favorite destination for the majority of tourists descending on Goa. The Calangute beach remains crowded throughout the year and is unrivalled in terms of popularity. The beach boasts of a bustling infrastructure with all the basic facilities like banks, foreign exchange offices, all kind of eateries and medical facilities.

A popular spot on the tour to Mapusa, the Aguada fort is the largest fort in Goa and the best-preserved till date. This massive fort was built in 1609-1612 by the Portuguese to foil the attacks of the Dutch and the Marathas. The four-storey lighthouse inside the fort is the oldest of its kind in Asia. The Aguada fort now serves as a prison.

Located in the Reis Magos village, the Reis Magos fort was built by Sultan Adil Shah in 1490. After the takeover by the Portuguese in 1760, the fort proved to be lynchpin in the fight against invading armies from the neighboring states. The Reis Magos church located at the base of the fort is famous for the colorful 'Festa dos Reis Magos' or the Feast of the Three Wise Men. 


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