Travelling north from Panaji for about 13 km, Mapusa is a commercialized town of Goa. The town of Mapusa is congregated around Mount Alto. The city gets its name from the Konkani word ‘map’ which means to measure and a suffix ‘sa’ which is a phase fill up is added to the name. The place is often referred to as ‘Mhapsa’. Being in close vicinity from the beaches of north Goa, Mapusa is major transit centre for the people travelling to and from north Goa. Though the town is a well civilized area and is well-known for its Friday Market. Mapusa is a typical Portuguese style architectural setting and it is reflected in the form of historical monuments and forts. Enlisted here are top 5 places that are a must visit when in Mapusa.
1. Shree Dev Bodgeshwar Temple
Situated amid lush green rice fields, the shrine of Bodgeshwar baba or Bodgini, as referred to by the locals is on the outskirts of the Mapusa City. The deity here is also called as ‘Angavani’ which means the one to whom the promises are made and who fulfils the wishes of his devotees. Considered as the guardian of the city of Mapusa, Shree Bodgeshwar will fulfil all your desires if you pray with a pure heart. An annual fair called ‘Zatra’ is held in the months of December or January which draws a lot of devotees. Also as a common belief of the locals the Mapusa market flourishes because of the blessings of Shree Bodgeshwar.
2. Maruti Temple
Located on the top of Mount Altinho, Maruti Temple offers a view of Panaji’s Fontain has district. The temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman, the monkey god. The Lord is also known as Maruti and hence the temple derives its name. The temple has a skilful and an intricately carved doorway. It was built in 1840A.D and then re-built in 1843A.D after it was destructed by the Portuguese. The temple is coloured in the tones of peaches and is lit beautifully in during the night time. It could be seen from a distance and it is a beautiful sight even to the people who are passing by.
3. Friday Market
Famous for its markets, this Friday Market in Mapusa is a major attraction amongst both locals and the tourists. The crowded and clogged passage of the market, the chirpy crowd and vibrancy of the place is something that couldn’t be missed. The markets on Fridays open at 8 am and go till 2 pm. The place also justifies the saying ‘Shopping under one roof’, as everything that one can imagine is available here. Though the locals are more interested in groceries and general household stuff one can find accessories, junk jewellery, clothes, vegetables, spices and home décor here in the market. What steal the entire market show are the aromatic species and the terracotta home décor that will compel you to purchase something. One can also live the actual meaning of ‘shop till you drop’, in Mapusa’s Friday Market.
4. Church of Our Lady of Miracles
Being known for the annual festival of The Feast of Our Lady of Miracles, the church was built in the 16th century. The church is also known as St. Jerome’s church and was reconstructed in 1719AD and again in 1838AD. The ground on which the church is built is considered to be sacred by both Hindus and Christians. The church is built by the Portuguese on the site where once a Hindu Temple existed. The Feast festival here is attended by people of both religions happily setting an example of the merry co-existence of both the religions in Goa.
5. Sri Kalika Temple
The temple of Kalika is situated on the outskirts of the city. The main deity of the temple is Maa Kali and is worshiped in the avatar of Mahamaya. The centre of attraction is the idol of Maa Kali, which was once worshipped by the copper-smiths in the village. The sculpture is believed to be about eight centuries old and is a gem of Kadamba Sculpture. The temple also reflects a skilful specimen of the Goan architecture. The dome of the temple is topped with a kalash (copper pot) imparting it a unique look. The temple is famous amongst the locals of North Goa.
Mapusa is a typical Goan town in a Portuguese style setting and displays modern Indian culture. The place will leave you spell bound because of its laid back approach even when it is bustling with tourists.