Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Explore Goa: Aldona.

Aldona - North Goa
Aldona is a sleepy village in North Goa full of greenery and colorful people. One of the most colorful person being the well known Goan writer/humor columnist, and my long time friend Cecil Pinto. Cecil loves everything Goan and offered to drive me around his beautiful village looking for interesting things to photograph.

20 years back, I was a regular in Aldona and not much seems to have changed since then as far as the unique character of the village is concerned. There are a lot of new houses, but they retain their typical village architecture. Thankfully, there are no grotesque modern style concrete block houses in the Village.



Corjuem Cable-Stay bridge

The village is dominated by the recently constructed "Corjuem Bridge", a type of cable-stay bridge that connects Aldona to Corjuem. The bridge has featured in a number of Bollywood movies and is famous for the fact that you can actually rent the whole bridge for either a full day or half-day. The rental charges are quiet reasonable (around $225 for a full day rent). During the rental period, the ferry is brought into operation and the traffic is diverted to the ferry. 

The bridge has a pedestrian walkway that provides some spectacular view of Aldona and nearby areas. Since the traffic was light to non-existent, Cecil had no problem parking the car in the middle of the bridge, while I took some pictures. The GND (Gradudated Neutral Density) filter proved very useful here in retaining the blueness of the sky.

View of Aldona from the Corjuem bridge.
View from bridge on the other side of Aldona.
Aldona has a charming cemetery that looks overlooks the river. It looks so peaceful that I wouldn't mind moving to Aldona so that when I die, my bones can rest in peace in this cemetery.

The peaceful Aldona Cemetery.
Cecil drove me to Postar (Quitula), which is the edge of Aldona village. Postar has a beautiful lake and lots of interesting flora & fauna.

Postar lake at the edge of Aldona village.
Birds relaxing in the Postar lake.
A colorful boat parked at Postar lake.
Colorful grass at Postar lake.
We drove around Coimavaddo which houses many ancestral homes from the Portuguese era. There is lots of interest in restoring these houses to their original glory. One such house is owned by Amitav Ghosh, who is in the processing of restoring it.

Ancestral home from the Portuguese era.
Next to Amitav house, I saw this gentleman cutting bamboo stalks to make a traditional Goan basket. The work is very painstaking and the art is dying off as people switch to cheaper and longer lasting plastic baskets.

A basket weaver by the roadside.
Bamboo stalk sliced into thin pieces.
Another traditional art that seems to be dying out is the rice cultivation. Goans are no longer interested in growing rice - as it is much cheaper and convenient to just import it from other states. When I was young, I remember having lots of fun in the whole process of rice harvesting which involved beating the rice grains from the stalks, and then drying them out on big woven bamboo mattresses and then finally taking the rice to the shop that removes the husk.

Newly harvested rice being dried in the sun.
Next, Cecil drove me to Pomburpa springs. The spring water is channeled through a series of pipes that the local villagers use for drinking, washing clothes and bathing. It is claimed that the spring water has medicinal qualities so people from all around flock to the springs to have a bath in the refreshing waters.

Entrance to Pomburpa spring
The spring water channeled through pipes.
On the way back home, we stopped by the "Salvadore de Mond" church. The church was closed at the time, so I could only take picture of its facade. There is plenty of colorful grass growing around the church so I decided to use that as the point of interest in this shot.

Salvadore de Mond church.
Of course, no church is complete without an accompanying cemetery so Cecil & I decided to check out the cemetery.  I still prefer Aldona for my after life abode.

Salvadore de Mond Cemetery.
I made a last stop at the Saloi Patto, a rivulet that flows from Salvadore de Mond into the nearby Mandovi river.
Saloi Patto rivulet.
If you want to see all of the above photos in better resolution, you can click on this LINK.

3 comments:

Edwin said...

Cajie,

You were close to Saloi and my place Britona :). So make sure you click some pics of my village too

mlrm said...

It's my daddy's birthplace... I'm planning to know it next august, and I was glad to find pictures and some information. Thanks!

mlrm said...

I'll be travelling to Goa by myself... Your blog is so useful to me! Any information you can provide me will be usefule and welcomed! Thanks!