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Ponda Tourism and Travel Guide

History of Ponda

Travel to Ponda to get into the Hindu heart in Goa. The Portuguese took over this place from the Raja of Sona in 1791 AD along with Canacona, Quepan and Sanquem. Thus, the birth of the city of Ponda took place. Most of the areas ofPonda Ponda were originally the part of the Quela Village. Earlier, it acted as the administrative center and gradually also became the major commercial center of Goa.

About the City

Travel to Ponda, which is just 17 km from Margao and 28 km from Panaji. Ponda lies along the strategically important the Panaji-Margao Highway and provides connectivity with Karnataka via the Ponda-Belgaum Highway or the National Highway-4. Today, Ponda has developed into a prosperous industrial city.

Tourist Attractions of Ponda
Travel to Ponda to witness the famous Hindu temples that were displaced from their original sites in Portuguese occupied Goa and relocated here. The temples constructed between the 17th and 18th century AD is located in the two different regions of Ponda. One group lies towards the north on National Highway-4 and the other is 5 km from the city in the countryside. The most spectacular yet common feature in all the temples in Ponda is the lamp tower. While in Ponda, travel to Mahalsa Narayani Temple, Nagesh Temple, Shri Mangesh Temple, Shantadurga Temple and Mahalaxmi Temple. The other attractions to visit while on Ponda travel are Safa Masjid, Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary and Bhagvan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary.

Travel to Ponda

Rail: The nearest railway station to Ponda is at Margao.

Air: The Dabolim Airport in Panaji is the nearest airport to Ponda History of Ponda
Travel to Ponda to get into the Hindu heart in Goa. The Portuguese took over this place from the Raja of Sona in 1791Ponda AD along with Canacona, Quepan and Sanquem. Thus, the birth of the city of Ponda took place. Most of the areas of Ponda were originally the part of the Quela Village. Earlier, it acted as the administrative center and gradually also became the major commercial center of Goa.

About the City
Travel to Ponda, which is just 17 km from Margao and 28 km from Panaji. Ponda lies along the strategically important the Panaji-Margao Highway and provides connectivity with Karnataka via the Ponda-Belgaum Highway or the National Highway-4. Today, Ponda has developed into a prosperous industrial city.

Tourist Attractions of Ponda
Travel to Ponda to witness the famous Hindu temples that were displaced from their original sites in Portuguese occupied Goa and relocated here. The temples constructed between the 17th and 18th century AD is located in the two different regions of Ponda. One group lies towards the north on National Highway-4 and the other is 5 km from the city in the countryside. The most spectacular yet common feature in all the temples in Ponda is the lamp tower. While in Ponda, travel to Mahalsa Narayani Temple, Nagesh Temple, Shri Mangesh Temple, Shantadurga Temple and Mahalaxmi Temple. The other attractions to visit while on Ponda travel are Safa Masjid, Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary and Bhagvan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary.

How to Reach

Rail: The nearest railway station to Ponda is at Margao.

Air: The Dabolim Airport in Panaji is the nearest airport to Ponda History of Ponda Travel to Ponda to get into the Hindu heart in Goa. The Portuguese took over this place from the Raja of Sona in 1791 AD along with Canacona, Quepan and Sanquem. Thus, the birth of the city of Ponda took place. Most of the areas of Ponda were originally thePonda part of the Quela Village. Earlier, it acted as the administrative center and gradually also became the major commercial center of Goa.

Culture

The town of Ponda can easily be considered the heart of Hinduism in Goa. For when the Hindus abandoned their coastal settlements and moved inland during the Inquisition, a majority of them settled in Ponda. Ponda is now a transportation hub and some of the best temples in Goa are located here. A few small factories and industrial estates have sprung up on the outskirts of the town due to its proximity to some of Goa’s largest iron ore mines. It has fewer hotels as compared to Panaji and Margao and most restaurants serve vegetarian cuisine.

Attractions
The Safa Masjid is Goa's best-preserved sixteen-century Muslim monument. It was constructed by Adil Shah in 1560 and is also known as Safa Shahouri Masjid. It has a beautiful backdrop of wooded low hills rising in the background.

The Shri Mangesh Temple is set atop a hill at Priol, northwest of Ponda leading to Old Goa. The temple has a seven-storey lamp tower (which is a unique trait of Hindu temples in Goa), a Nandi bull (Lord Shiva's conveyance), as well as shrines to Parvati and Lord Ganesha. During the festival of Mangesh Jatra, the rath (temple chariot) is pulled by several devotees.

The Mahalsa Narayani Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu's consort Laxmi, though some people believe it is the Lord Vishnu's female form Mohini. A lamp tower, which is seven floors high can also be found here. Garuda, the great bird that was Lord Vishnu's conveyance sits atop a pillar, which rests on the back of a turtle. There are intricately carved columns and painting of the 10 avatars or incarnations of Vishnu.

The Shantadurga Temple is dedicated to Durga. Shant means peace and Durga supposedly mediated a dispute between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, bringing peace to the world; in the temple she is depicted in between the two deities. The interior has polished marble and several chandeliers provide that light. The deity of Shantadurga with Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva on either side is behind a silver screen. This is one of the largest Hindu temples in Goa.

The Nagesh Temple is dedicated to a form of Lord Shiva, Nagesh, the God of serpents. There is an inscription here dating the temple back to 1413, which was renovated some time in the 18th century. This temple also has a lamp tower, five floors high. There are woodcarvings depicting scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. There is a Nandi bull, Lord Shiva's vahana or conveyance as well as shrines to Lord Ganesha and Laxmi-Narayan.

South of here lies the Mahalaxmi Temple. It is said to be the original form of the principal deity of the Shakti sect. A Marathi inscription dates this temple back to 1413.

Cuisine

Imagine a cuisine that carries an nonpareil aroma of Portugal, covered with exotic Indian spices and soaked in the inescapable katzenjammer of Goa's favourite drink, fenny! In a search of brilliant culinary art, Goa, recolonised Portuguese taste buds. Any visit to this palm-fringed patch of sand is a spicy experience perhaps unmatched along the stretched shoreline up till Kerala in the south, outrunning even the magical Mughal kitchens of the north. And why not? The wine-and-garlic vinho d' alhos is reincarnated in spices, the original Portuguese chourico do reino is recognisable today only by its shape, and instead of from Iberian wine, Goa today allures the whole world with its fermented cashew apple juice, fenny. Indeed a cuisine that carries history, culture and myriad influences by people from several continents, Goa is an epicurean delight for every vacationer in every season!

Exotic Specialities of Goan Cuisine

The best time to catch a meal in Goa is a hard decision. At every corner and at any moment, you might feel like filling your appetite. Dieting is merely a fantasy in this sea-kissed land. Start your day with a heavy 'Chourisso' sausage with fresh pao and fried egg breakfast at Longuinhos. Go for the glorious 'Bebinca' made with dozens of eggs with 'squid masala' at O' Coqueiro in lunch, or 'Sorpotel' and 'Sannas' at Nostalgia for dinner. The taste is different and the experience is at extremes. With a panoptic array of pork curries and sea food delicacies, the Goan cuisine takes its own time to make you senseless with its mellow drink feni

Eat In The Rains

The culinary mania starts itself in April with the ripening of the aphrodisiac alphonso mango, the welcome whiffs of its mouth-watering aroma bewitching every holidayer. In June, the rains come, and the next three months have fishing boats decorating deserted beaches. Go to Goa in the monsoon and all you'll get in the holy name of sea food is prawn balchao and dried Bombay Duck. But a holiday in this wet season surely shines the other side of the coin, the lesser known gems of Goan kitchen. Try out the famous 'souraca', a concoction of coconut milk, garlic, chillies, onions, tamarind and a few spices, all boiled together to make a delicious gravy that goes heavenly with the red rice of Konkan. If you plan to rejoice your holiday in Goa during the monsoons, make it memorable with 'Khatkhate, seasoned with dry prawns, 'Alsande', a rich curry of black-eyed peas, and 'Chowli' , cooked with tender jackfruit seeds. By the time, the rains fill the quarters under the patronage of Sao Joao, the god of rain, you will be handed bottles of homemade feni to turn on your holidays. Indeed every drop of rain gifts you one yummy taste to enjoy in Goa.

A Li'l Bit of Sea In Your Plate

Plan a holiday trip during the Christmas-New Year break to taste the best of Goan cuisine, though it might cost you an arm and a leg to savour them. Baby sharks find their way into your plates as 'Solantulem', or 'Ambot-tik', made with petals of tart 'Kokum solam'. Known to be a cooling agent and honoured for its medicinal value, the red-coloured fruit of 'Kokum' is the real king of Goan cuisines. Taste the seasonal delicacy, oyster breaded and lightly fried 'Xinanio' which is often out of the menu late in January. During this time you can also have the pleasure to savour the exquisite 'Bangada' (mackerel), pomfret and the most prized fish of Goa, the 'Isvonn' or the king fish, stuffed with a spicy sour 'Recheado' masala. Wow, it's delicious! Apart from the hallmark rich red 'Nisteachi codi', these go into a range of fish curries, all unique, all soured with Goa's 'Bimbli', Ambade or Kokum berries. Remember to relish the 'Zawb' or mussel curry before you step out of the restaurant for an afternoon siesta.

Adding Sweetness To Life

While your friends tiol in fields and offices, you can wake up from a wonderful siesta for a tea-time soiree. In the long un-broken stretch of the Konkan coast, nowhere can you find such a wide range of sweets that Goa offers to doll up your evening. Offering an impeccable blend of European extravagance and simplicity of Konkan cooking, the sweetmeats of Goa are a must try for every holidayer. Although, the desserts are kept simple in Konkan, it takes a lot of effort to create those culinary magic. Leave the taste, you will be amazed to know that many of Goa's most popular cakes, including the rich 'Bebinca', were developed in Goa's convents and monastries, where time was never in short supply. With the same core ingredients of rice flour, coconut milk, palm jaggery, semolina and eggs, a formidable array of sweets and savouries excite the Goan from an afternoon's rest. And so it will do to you. Try out some delicate rose-de-coc waffles with 'Kul-kuls', curls of fried, sweeetened dough and you can't forget the taste throughout your life.

Many Moods of Feni

The Portuguese planted the first cashew tree in Goa in the 1500s. Immediately, the Goans distilled cashew to make the famous feni. Holding the bottle and beholding the content is itself a curious activity, leave apart the taste. The Big Boss and Godfather are among Goa's most popular feni brands, packaged in Goan tradition and humour. The Serenade feni bottle is a must buy because of its violin shape, while the Dom Pedro is the best gift because of its coconut shape! The highway of many a Konkani conversation, feni is a deceptive intoxicant, taking its own time to transit you to a land of euphoria, and also makes a great marinade, adding a mellow touch to Goa's hot pork curries and their chefs.

Dining Out Listings

Across the Mandovi and Zuari Rivers, in Goa's Hindu heartland, the cuisine is quite similar to that of the Maharashtrians, nullifying the trespass of vinegar into its cooking pots. Touring the spice plantations of Ponda would give you one of the best platters of Goan cuisine, and that too an unforgettable one! Relish a grand welcome at the Sahakari Spice Farms with a cup of lemon grass tea and a stroll through fragrant plantations where fat pods of vanilla hang off delicate orchid stems; and cinnamon and clove plants line pathways leading to thick cashew groves. A post-tour lunch from fresh ingredients - fried fish, smooth prawn curry poured over fragrant rice, 'bhajis' and tangy lime pickle - will definitely make you feel special. While in Calangute, don't miss the Le Restaurant Francais, a French fusion hub of exquisite Goan food. Try out the French seafood thali of calamari fritti, prawns and crab cakes with a side dressing of blue cheese. Mark the finale with crème de la crème Hershey's cocoa butter presented on a bed of vanilla sauce.

Dive Deep Into The Curry

Nothing symbolises Goan cuisine more than its exquisite taste. Rich, spicy and drenched in the sweetness of feni, a mere thought of Konkan delicacies surely carts every traveller to a different world. Plan a holiday trip anytime and everytime you will enter a restaurant or even a shack, you will have a different delicacy decorated in your plate. So what are you waiting for? Splurge on...

Hotels in Ponda

Casa De Goa
Mapple Viva Goa
Goan Holiday Resort
Neelam’s The Grand
Resort Ronil Royal
Riviera De Goa Resort
Silla Goa
Soul Vacation By Shalom