Fontainhas is an old Latin quarter situated in Panaji. The Portuguese influence reflects in every bit of its architecture. Here, you get to see some really colorful houses with red-tiled roofs that make you feel like you are taking a stroll in the streets of Europe. This is perhaps one of the major reasons why you will find this place absolutely stunning.
If you consider Goa to be home to beautiful beaches, low-priced liquor shops then visiting Fontainhas will surely change your perspective. The overall look and feel of this place strongly resemble that of the Mediterranean city. It is located at the foot of the Altinho hills which is bounded by an ancient creek named Ourem creek. Talking about the word Fontainhas; in the Portuguese language means little fountain.
Best Time To Visit Fontainhas Goa
September is the best time of the year to visit Fontainhas as the weather remains very comfortable and you can conveniently wander around. The summer season is very hot; the temperature during this time here can reach up to 40 degrees, thus it may not be suitable for people to travel here during this time. The monsoons are also not exactly the season to explore Goa as well, as this place is majorly associated with beaches, and balmy sunshine, thus planning a trip to Goa during monsoon season may disappoint you.
History of Fontainhas
In the late 18th century, a man named Antonio Joao de Sequeira made his fortune while working in Mozambique. It is believed that he was the one who had established Fontainhas. The name of this place, Fontainhas, had come from a spring at the foot of the hill which sprouted for the first time in 1770.
Then in 1844, a government administrator came to Goa and seeing the condition of the people, he passed orders that from now on, even the people belonging to the lower strata of the society should appear and walk on the streets in proper attire. He even had built an elegant street with a beautiful parapet which was named Rua Nova d’Ouremsea. This street faced the seaward side of the Fontainhas quarter.
Since the beginning, this place had quite a high population density. The richer people used to live on the Panjim hill in their comfortable and large bungalows and the lower groups of the society used to live on the foot or on the eastern side of the hill.
Things To Do & Places To Visit In Fontainhas
1. Chapel of St. Sebastian
Famous for its intricate white exterior, a great contrast to the seemingly colorful neighborhood, other than colorful houses, St. Sebastian Chapel, built in the 19th century, is one of the Fontainha's most beautiful and emblematic attractions. It houses two altarpieces, a crucifix, and a statue of the Virgin Mary. The crucifix housed inside is unique in itself as the figure of Christ on it has eyes wide open.
2. Maruti Temple
Perched atop Altinho Hill, Maruti Temple is a must-visit place in the area. Dedicated to Lord Hanuman, this temple overlooks the picturesque Mandovi River. Both locals and tourists love climbing up the hillock, who are lured by the panoramic vistas of the Latin Quarter peaceful atmosphere they are awarded at the top.
3. Fonte Phoenix
Fonte Phoenix or Fountain of Phoenix is another must-visit place in Fontainhas that is located close to the Maruti Temple. It is said that the name of the town, Fontainhas, was derived from Fonte Phoenix itself. The beautiful natural spring dates back to the Portuguese era.
4. Fontainhas Festival
Make sure to attend the Fontainhas festival if you happen to be in this historic neighborhood during February. To showcase the Goan heritage, the historic houses are transformed into art galleries with locals putting on display their artworks during this art and cultural festival. Dance and musical performances are also held to entertain the visitors.
5. Old Portuguese Houses
Here you will find a lot of old Portuguese houses that were constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries. These were painted in a number of colors like Green, Pale Yellow, etc. Here you can capture some really cool snapshots and cherish them forever.
6. Cafés and Bakeries
Several small cafes and bakeries present here are good options to visit while exploring Fontainhas. One would definitely feel hungry while traveling but that is not the only reason why you should visit these cafes and bakeries. Yes, as some of these bakeries here are about 100 years old and have a historical relevance attached to them as well. Now, imagine, how would you feel sitting in one of these cafes and chatting over a meal with your loved ones.
7. Gitanjali Gallery
This is surely a great place for art lovers. It is located just next to the heritage hotel and the Panjim Inn. The gallery here is enriched with lithographs, woodcuts, serigraphs and linocuts, and much more.
How To Reach Fontainhas In Goa
Fontainhas is situated in Panjim Square of Goa. which is fortunately well-connected with the other major cities of the country such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Chennai. There are several means of transportation to reach here. Read more about how you can reach Fontainhas Goa.
For traveling here you would need to get to Goa International Airport (GOI). It connects several flights from many domestic Indian cities. After getting off from the airport, you will have to take a cab or some other means of transportation to reach the beach.
Distance from Goa International Airport - 29 Kms
Traveling to Goa via car with your loved ones is an experience worth cherishing. You can easily travel from Indian cities like Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru in approximately 37, 9, 15, 44, 11 hours respectively. You can consider taking routes via NH 48, 50, and 52.
Madgaon and Vasco da Gama are the nearest railway stations. Traveling via train from major Indian cities won't be a problem.
Distance from Madgaon Railway Station - 35 Kms
Distance from Vasco da Gama Railway Station - 29 Kms
Frequently Asked Questions About Fontainhas In Goa
Q1. Is Fontainhas in North or South Goa?
Ans - Fontainhas is located in the region of Panjim Square in Goa, which is situated in the northern region of the state.
Q2. How to explore Fontainhas?
Ans - The Fontainhas is located in the Patto area in Panjim. If you are an art lover, take a walk through this area. Visit the area during the day to fully appreciate the colorful houses and the narrow lanes.
Q3. Are there flights available from different Indian cities to Goa to reach Fontainhas?
Ans. Yes, there are flights to Goa from different Indian cities.