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 colourful houses which have 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 word 'Fontainhas' in the Portuguese language means ‘little fountain’. 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.
In the late 18th century, a man named Antonio Joao de Sequeira made his fortune while working in Mozambique. He was the one who had established Fontainhas. It is interesting to know that the name of this place had come from a spring at the foot of the hill. This fountain had begun to sprout sometime around 1770.
Then in 1844, a government administrator came to Goa and restored order. For this, he set certain rules and according to them even the people from the lower strata of the society had to dress up properly in public. He even had built an elegant street with a beautiful parapet which was named Rua Nova d’Ouremsea.
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 at the foot or on the eastern side of the hill.
If you want to experience true Goan culture then Fontainhas is the kind of place that you must definitely give a shot. The bakeries, quaint shops, houses and the very air of this place will compel you to stay a little longer and explore every road and every corner of this place.
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 colours like Green, Pale Yellow, etc.
Cafés and Bakeries. Several small cafes and bakeries here are a good option 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. You ought to visit them also because some of these bakeries are about 100 years old and have a historical relevance attached to them.
Chapel of St. Sebastian. One of the most significant and magnificent attractions here is the Chapel of St. Sebastian. It was constructed around the 19th century. Known for its wonderful pristine exterior, this place offers an incredible spiritual experience to the devotees. Once you step in here, you’d find altarpieces, a crucifix, and even a statue of the Virgin Mary.
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.
September is the best time of the year to visit Fontainhas as the weather remains very comfortable and you can conveniently wander.
People here in Goa generally like to wear colourful clothing which goes with their personality and suits their style. The Goan women generally go with saris and the tribal men wear Kashti which is like a loincloth and a blanket named Kunbi Palloo over their shoulders. Coming on to food, the people of Goa prefer eating rice, curry, and fish. However, the Goan cuisine, apart from this, is also extremely delicious and is a unique blend of Konkani, Brazilian and Portuguese food.
By Air. For traveling here you would need to get to Goa International Airport. It connects several flights from many domestic cities in India like Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, etc. After getting off from the airport you will have to take a cab or some other means of transportation to reach the beach.
By Road. 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 37, 9, 15, 44, 11 hours respectively. You can consider taking routes via NH 48, 50, and 52.
By Train. Madgaon and Vasco da Gama are the nearest railway station. Traveling via train from some of the major Indian cities like Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad won’t be a problem for you.
You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here
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