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 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.
If you want to experience true Goan culture then Fontainhas is the kind of place that you must definitely not miss. The bakeries, quaint shops, extraordinary houses and the very air of this place will compel you to stay a little longer and explore every nook and corner of this incredible travel getaway.
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 at the foot or on the eastern side of the hill.
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. Here you can capture some really cool snapshots and cherish them forever.
Cafés and Bakeries. Several small cafes and bakeries present here are a good option to visit while exploring Fontainhas. One would definitely feel hungry while travelling 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.
Chapel of St. Sebastian. One of the most magnificent attractions around Fontainhas is the Chapel of St. Sebastian. It was constructed in 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 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.
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. A few mouth-watering dishes are Goan fish curry, vindaloo, feni, sarapatel.
By Air. For travelling here you would need to get to Goa International Airport. 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.
By Road. Travelling 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.
By Train. Madgaon and Vasco da Gama are the nearest railway station. Travelling via train from major Indian cities won't be a problem.
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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