Vibrant Goa – at the Foutainhas
Well, besides the expected lush green colour of paddy fields with stormy black clouds in a rural sky of monsoon Goa, one can expect the bursts of other fresh colours in the areas around Fountainhas – the Latin Quarters of Goa. Lined with Portuguese styled buildings and many heritage structures-turned-into-restaurants, cafes and art galleries and a walk through the roads will offer you a lot instantly.
While the world is going gaga over beaches, shacks and seas, you can take a deep breath at one of the corner sides of the road and live a moment of peace at the nooks of Fountainhas.
For those Instagram fans, here are great opportunities to get the perfect shots for your next posts too.
How to reach:
Head to Panjim and reach the 31st January Road using the Google Map. After that you will not need any map as you will be guided by the colourful, aesthetically designed buildings around the area.
What to do:
1. Walk through the 31st January Road
On 31st January, Portugal got liberation from Spain. Quoted according to some scholars – “31st January Road was given to one of the oldest artery in Panaji which runs from the junction of ‘Dom Joao de Castro road’ to Fonte Fenix. The said name was assigned to this road soon after a revolt in Oporto in Portugal on 31st January, 1891”.
Now it is lined with restaurants and many vintage shops that still runs actively. Hence a stroll across the road will instantly give you the dose of some nostalgic feel.
Get a bike or a cycle hired and ride across the nooks and corners of the place to catch a glimpse of the architectures.
2. Visit St Sebastian Chapel
History – Built in 1818, this small white-washed church contains one of only a few relics remaining as testament to the Goan Inquisition: a striking crucifix, which originally stood in the Palace of the Inquisition in Old Goa.
This church is situated inside a road in the area of Fountainhas, with all the peace around. Just standing in front of it and staring at it was enough to get a rush.
3. Visit Confeitaria 31 De Janeiro – a heritage confectionary
Nestled in the 31st January Road, a little off Fountainhas, this little bakery is a perfect little get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday living. It has a wide range of bakeries rated as one of the best by the food connoisseurs.
4. Relish Art at Gitanjali Gallery
An interesting photogenic art gallery in the middle of the road with some fantastic conceptual arts in display – sums up my first visit to this place.
5. Experience Old Goa of Panjim
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church with White Walls and Blue wooden doors – the standard sign of a Portuguese church and shot by Bollywood a lot many times. One of the oldest Churches of Goa, it is well-maintained and provide a great location for photography.
Special Mention: The view of the roads and the traffic from the raised platform of the Church was really mind-boggling.
6. Reach and drive through the Altinho Hill
A little away from the Fountainhas area and a residential area, Arch Bishop’s Place is one of the attractions and the temple with a view of the Panaji town.
What and Where to Eat:
Most of the old food outlets serve Goan cuisines and are pretty cheap with the real feel of Goan culture. They have a laid back aura where you can sip over your cocktail and enjoy the old-world charm.
Let me take you through the cuisine experiences I had while at Fountainhas:
1. Venite Bar
One of the hidden gems of Goa, with a balcony to sit and relish the food with your friend. The ambience has a historic vibe. A 60+ yrs establishment perched in a 200 year old building of the colourful silent old Latin quarter with architecture charm from Portuguese era.
In 1954, Venite (meaning “welcome” in Latin) was one of the first lodging and boarding establishments in Panjim during Portuguese rule. And now it is converted to a classic dining with graffities on walls from the people who have visited from all over the world.
Though an old fashioned, they serve delicious food. We had ordered Chicken Xacutti and Pork Vindalhoo for the lunch.
2. Viva Panjim
A hundred and fifty year old ancestral home converted into a restaurant with a good interior as well as outdoor seating. The food is obviously delicious and the service prompt. Locating this place is a bit tricky as the entry is through a small by-lane with a small sign-board kept outside.
We had few cocktails, Pork Sorportel with Pav, and well-made boiled Peanuts for the perfect accompaniment with tasty cocktails.
3. Cafe Bodega
A laid back cafe among the nature with all the healthy, yummy dishes (even they have vegan options). Just sit, relax and do nothing – is all that I can suggest as a to-do.
4. Try a South-Indian restaurant
Being at the Konkan belt, it is just not about Portuguese or Goan flavours, but also the special Udupi-styled Dosas and Idlis.
There are also a lot of other heritage food outlets and great cafe’s one can try to satiate the hungry soul. We had too much of gluttony rush with this much of food, hence could not visit any more of the places.
Hope you liked the article. Let us know your experience to add more to it too!!