Goa - Not of the beaches

Thinking of improvements done to Indian Railways by Lallu Prasad Yadav and hoping for sunset cruise on Santa Monica along the river Mandovi, I reached the Udupi railway station only to find out that all the trains were running late on that day. While we were waiting for the train to arrive, a hungarian woman who was travelling to Goa had become the centre of attraction. At one part of the railway station all eyes were glued on to her even though she was just sitting with a book in her hand. May be in Udaupi foreigners not to be seen so often and that too a lone woman. She asked me to watch her bag when she had to go to the rest room and all of sudden all curious eyes turned to me!
Shantha Durga temple at Velling From Goa - Not of ...

Finally Manglore Verna passenger arrived late by 1 1/2 hours and there was a huge rush to get in as it was to stop for only few minutes at Udupi station. We manage get some seats after some gifts! to TT. Konkan Railway passes through some vast landscapes full of agriculture fields, long tunnels and bridges. Some kids from the town were fascinated by seeing Cows ready for Gow Pooja with flowers ballons. Important part of the indian travel includes carrying home cooked food and eating in trains. The family sitting next to us had come prepared with loads food. Close to Murdeshwara stations we could see Shiva statue erected amidst the mythological concrete jungle near Murdeshwara temple. statuBy the time we reached Madgaon it was 3:00 PM already.
Deepastambh infront of
Vijayadurga Temple, Keri From Goa - Not of ...

We took a bus to Ponda. It was green all along the route. It was surprise to see so much of greenery as my ealrier travels were limited to Gude-Avadem, Madgaon and beaches of North Goa. We had a nice meal which included suki bazi (suki bazi which is made of potato and pathal bazi which is made of green peas are server with anything and everything in goa)and spicy Cokam jucie. We set off to Velling via Mardol where we were to stay that night. The place was calm and has a hill behind the Shanth Durga temple. We were greeted by the red faced Langurs (as they were eating teak leaves). Close by are the Laxmi Narasimha temple and Bethaleshwar temple. In the evening we visited Ramanth temple and Vijay Durga temple(at Keri) and returned to Vellinga for the night pooja. All temples brightly illuminated as it was Diwali time. Most of the temples are rebuilt during 17th to 20th century after displacement during initial period of Portugese rule. The Goan temples do not have the customary Gopura found in the south indian temples. Most of the temples are situated outside the city amid lush green cover. Typical of the goan temple is huge Deepa Stambha infront of the temple which is fully lit up during auspicious occasions. We could not visit Panaji due to lack of time in the evening.

Spice Plantations
South Goa where Ponda is situated has many spice plantation which day visit which includes guided walk through the plantation, Goan lunch and some even offer boating, elephant ride etc. These plantations also good places for spotting birds.

Next day morning we went to Mahalas temple at Mardol and then moved to Gude Avadem to visit Kudtheri Mahamaya temple which is situted interiors of south Goa away from Ponda and close to Madgaon. The temple is on the banks of a river and all around there are plantations. After hearty lunch at the temple we were back to Madagaon to catch the train to Udupi.
Again train got delayed by 2 hours but it was blessing in disguies we moved with the setting sun playing hide seek along the western ghats and rivers.
Sun set caputured from Train From Goa - Not of ...

Goan Temples
Goan temples were rebuild in the 19th century and architecture has similarities of a Church architecture as when these were being built there were shortage of workers and they were also working on the church constructions. Unique feture is Deepastambha infront of the temple. Most of the temples have large ponds close by.
Where: Temples are situated in Ponda taluka of goa and Farma gudi, Mardol and Ponda are the center places for visiting these temples. Ponda is 29km from Panji and 20km from Madgaon frequent Buses and abundant taxis are available. Its best to take a Taxi at Ponda to see all the temples. In Goa tourism being the main industry even the interior raods are maintained well(Though for a person living in Bangalore all roads other look better !!).
From Farmagudi
Farmagudi is situated on the Ponda - Panji road and is around 3km from Ponda. From Farma Gudi one can visit Ganapathi Temple at Farm Gudi and Naguesh temple at Nagueshi and Ramanth temple at Ramnathi. Nagueshi is on the way to Ramanathi from Farma Gudi. Ramanathi is few km from Farma Gudi. Shantha Durga temple at Kavalem is at a walkable distnace from Ramnathi
From Mardol
Mardol is situated 2km from Farma Gudi and Mahalasa Temple is situated here. Close to Mahalasa temple is the Shantha Durga temple at Kavalem. Famous Manguesh Temple is one km from Mahalasa Temple.
Velling is 3kms from Farmagudi and 2kms from Mardol. At Vellinga there are temples of Laxmi Narasimha, Shantha Durga and Bethaleshwar.