The Madei/Mandovi River in Goa
Arvalem Waterfalls on Bicholim River - Pic by Mohan Pai
Kotrachi Nadi: This stream emerges from the dense forests of Golali and Ivrem-Budruck. It flows southward and joins Madei at Velguem in Sattari.
Ragoda River: Originates in the Western Ghats and flows north-west over a distance of 35 km and joins the Madei at Guleli. The Ragoda itself has a tributary - Jamboli which starts at the Karnataka border runs westward till Jamboli and then north-west to join the Ragoda.
The other important streams that join the Madei in Sattari are: Kumbhtol (10.5 km), Patwal (10 km), Zarme (11.5 km), Khotodem (9.5 km) and Advoi (8 km).
In Goa, after a restricted course through the flat-topped range, while receiving waters of the Volvonta coming from Ambekhol of Chorla Ghat and as many other smaller streams join in, the Madei emerges into a more open valley and from Bembol to Pilgao takes a north westerly course for about 17 km. swinging towards the west to join the Arabian sea at Panaji. From Bembol, where it meets the river Khandepar the Madei becomes the Mandovi. River Khandepar meets Madei at Bembol.The Madei becomes the Mandovi from this point of the confluence. Pic by Mohan Pai
As the tributaries join in, in it’s estuarial region it develops a broad and slow moving course accompanied by remarkable changes in the landscape and drainage characterised by the typical features of a drowned topography with the island of Divar standing prominently in mid-course with its northern counterpart, the island of Chorao, not looking so prominent as an island because it is on the right bank of the Mandovi encircled by the small but complex network of Mapusa river drainage. Khandepar river in the south and Mapusa river network of drainage in the north are the important tributaries of Mandovi in Goa.
Khandepar River: Khandepar river originates in the Western Ghats on Karnataka side and enters Goa through the Castlerock heights and plunges down as the beautiful Dudhsagar waterfalls.
Dudhsagar Waterfalls - Pic by Uttam
Sinquerim: The river starts from Alto-Porvorim hillock in Bardez and flows westward through Pilerne, Verem, Nerul, Candolim and joins the Mandovi at Sinquerim. The river length is 11 km.
Aguada Bay near the mouth of the Mandovi - Pic by Mohan Pai
Goa became a flourishing riverine civilizaton from early times when it had become an important entrepot of ancient and medieval world, mentioned in historical text as “Gouba” by Ptolemy (2nd century AD) and as “Kava Sindabur” (Goa Chandrapur) by the Arabs. During the fifteenth and sixteenth century its prosperity brought fame and it was called “Goa Dourada” and “Rome of the East.” Decadence hadset in during the later part of the Portugese rule but since the independence in 1961, Goa has prospered with its mining, fisheries and tourism. Goa has one of the highest per capita income among the Indianstates. Tourism now is a major industry as Goa is now an international destination and the number of annual tourist arrivals (2.3 million) now far exceeds the population of Goa (1.3 million)
Over the centuries, Goa has developed its own riverine culture and society; its own agricultural systems like Khazan fields and ‘Puran Sheti’; its fishing expertise and horticulture; its religious and folk traditions;its art forms, music and cuisine;
Now the future of this ancient riverine civilization and a vibrant and prosperous state which has become an international tourist destination is at stake because of the so called ‘‘Development” schemes of the neighbouring state.
The Temple DistrictMajority of the famous sixteenth and seventeenth century temples are located in the Mandovi river basin in Ponda taluk. Most of them are the temples of the escapee Gods shifted across the river because of the religious persecution by the Portugese.
Intricately carved doorway - Shri Mahalkshmi Temple, Bandode - Pic by Mohan Pai
The temples include Shri Mangesh, Shri Nagesh, Shri Mhalsa, Shri Shantadurga, Shri Mahalakshmi, Shri Laxminarsimha, Shri Kamakshi and many others.
Kamakshi Temple, Shiroda - Pic by Mohsn Pai
Away to the south of Ponda taluka, far from the main concentration of temples at Shiroda is located the temple of Shri Kamakshi. Originally from the village of Raia, the deity was transferred here when the temple at Raia was destroyed by the Portugese.. The temple has no domes and its tiled roof has the concave profile of a Buddhist Pagoda, projecting beyond a two-storied octagonal tower with a golden filial.
Arvalem Caves: These are 6th century caves locally known as Pandava caves. They have long been thought to be of Buddhist origin, with the lingas installed in the four shrines after the decline of Buddhism ...but this is not altogether certain and they may have been Brahminical from the start.
Aravalem Caves - Pic by Mohan Pai
The Mahadeva Temple at Tambdi Surla is the only structural temple of the Kadamba period belonging to the 13th century which has survived. The temple is built of black basalt with slab roof design over the main hall and a typical Dravidian style Shikara and carved ceiling.
13th Century Mahadeva Temple - Pic by Mohan Pai
A Vibrant Civilization Steeped in Tradition
Ghodemodni, a martial dance performed during the festival of Shigmo. The dancers tie wooden horses at the waist and wear bright costumes and colourful headgears and march towards the village temple. The dance probably came to Goa from Saurashtra.
Cities & Settlements on the banks of the MandoviRight Bank of the Mandovi
Mandovi at Panaji. Idalcao Palace in the foreground - Pic by Mohan Pai
PANAJI - the capital city of Goa State housed only a tiny fishing village amongst the swamp lands and palm trees.
Idalcao's Palace, Panaji - Pic by Mohan Pai
It was Yusuf Adil Shah, the Sultan of Bijapur who selected this site and built a fortified palace around 1500 AD. After more than 500 years the palace still stands as the most prominent structure on the banks of the Mandovi and is known as Idalcao Palace.
Blue-tiled murals which line the entrance hall of the Menezes BraganzaInstitute. It’s a uniquely Portugese art form ‘azulezos’ which depictscenes from the great poem by Luis de Camos, ‘The Lusiads’ whichtells the story of the adventure of the Portugese Empire in the east.
In the 1820s and 1830s, streets, lighting, public buildings and housing were rapidly developed and in 1834 its official status was raised by the government in Lisbon to that of a city with the title Nova Goa and in 1843, it was declared the capital of Goa by royal decree.
Dramatic statue of Abbe Faria in Panaji - one of the most fascinating of Goan exiles was born in 1756 in Candolim village in Bardez. His father took him to Lisbon and he was ordained in Rome as a priest. He lived in Paris and was involved in the Pinto revolt in Goa as well as the French revolution in France actually leading a battalion of revolutionaries in 1795. He became famous as the originator of hypnotism through suggestion. Pic by Mohan Pai
Legend says that Dona Paula was the lady in waiting of the Governor General’s wife and the Governor fell for her beauty and charms. The governor’s enraged wife had her stripped and bound and thrown over the cliff into the sea. However, the governor’s wife allowed Dona Paula to keep her necklace of pearls, a gift of love from her confessor. The local fishermen believe that at the stroke of midnight, Dona Paula rises from the sea and roams the area wearing the pearl necklace and nothing else, leaning on the arm of the priest - her confessor and lover.Image of India - white statue at the tip of the promontory - Pic by Mohan Pai
Dona Paula is located at the western end of Panaji and has a beautiful bay and a beach. The white statue called ‘Image of India’ by Baroness Yersa Von Leistner portrays a man and a woman.Dona Paula Bay. Pic by Mohan Pai
Flock of sea gulls at Ribander - Pic by Mohan Pai
At the end of the causeway from Panaji is Ribander, the name meaning “Royal landing place” is a long rambling village on the banks of the Mandovi between Panaji and Old Goa. It was home to Goa’s historic hospital - the Hospital of the Poor which was the successor to that first famous Portugese institution, the Royal Hospital of Old Goa tranferred at Ribander in 1851
OLD GOA - “ The Rome of the East”
The Basilica of Bom Jesus was built by the Jesuits between 1594 and 1605. This building is perhaps the finest example of Baroque architecture in India. The relics of St. Fancis Xavier lie in this Basilica and the expositions of the bodily relics of St. Francis Xavier are held at ten-year intervals. Pic by Mohan Pai
Old Goa, the capital of the Portugese Empire, a city of prosperity and splendour, had become one of the wonders of the Orient “the Rome of the East” with a population of well over 2,00,000 in the first half of the 16th century.
The city was already doomed, cholera first struck in 1543, as the population grew, the primitive drainage system unable to cope. A whole series of epidemics occured and the city’s population was decimated time after time. But it was not until 1759 that the Viceroy moved to Panjim, a healthier site nearer to the coast.
Hundreds of buildings including dozens of huge and magnificent structures have disappeared without a trace totally submerged by the returning jungle, and yet in the midst of this vanished city, a small number of buildings remain perfectly preserved.
The Arch of the Viceroys, which once was the main gateway to the city was built by Vasco da Gama’s great-grandson. On taking office, all Viceroys made their processional entrance with great ceremony through this archway where they were presented with the keys of the city. Pic by Mohan Pai
AdilShah's Palace Gate - Pic by Mohan Pai
Doorway to Yusuf Adil Khan’s palace has been preserved in the premises of St. Cajetan’s Church. The gate is all that remains of Adil Shah’s palace today which was built with building materials from the Saptakoteshwar temple built here by the Kadambas when Govapuri was their capital in the 12th century. The gate itself is so intricate that one can imagine the magnificence of the temple that the stone came from.
Madhav Tirtha - Pic by Mohan Pai
This is the only monument to Madhav Mantri, the Vijayanagar General, who restored peace and prosperity after conquering Goa from the Bahamanis in the 14th century. A Vedic scholar, an ardent Shaivite ans apatron of learning, Madhav Mantri not only restored the images of Saptakoteshwar and other deities to their new shrines but he also revived the tradition of Vedic and Puranic learning in Goa.
Safa Shahouri Mosque, Ponda was built by Adil Shah in 1560It is an unusual prayer-hall standing on a high plinth with a picturesque tank that bears closer resemblance to a Hindu temple tank. The building is now being preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Reis Magos Church - Pic by Mohan Pai
The church of Reis Magos in the village of Verem (Bardez), situated on the right bank of the river Mandovi near its mouth was built in 1555 AD and is dedicated to the three Magi. This was once the residence of all dignitaries and also a mission of the Franciscan order.
The fort of Reis Magos was first built by the Portugese in 1551 and was again completely rebuilt in 1739.
Ramparts of Fort Aguada - Pic by Mohan Pai
FORT AGUADA: the largest and the best preserved of Goa’s forts and is one of its best known landmarks. The headland on which it was built offered an ideal site, superbly located for both seaward and landward defence shielding the most vital access to the heart of Portugese territory.
The oldest, one of the first lighthouses built in Asia was commissioned here in 1864.
Fishing boats at Betim - Pic by Mohan Pai
Gurudwara at Betim - Pic by Mohan PaHistorical Mosque at Surla, Bicholim with a dried up water tank in front. Pic by Mohan Pai