Sanquelim Tripurari Poornima Boat Festival

Great pictures of the festival are available here.

‘Tripurari Pournima’ is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first fortnight of the Hindu month of Kartika. The festival that symbolises the victory of good over evil is also called the Kartiki Pournima. Legend says that the demon king Tripurasur had been harassing the Gods. Lord Shiva rose in defence of the Gods and a fierce battle ensued in which the asura was killed. The day was ‘Kartik Pournima’. And since then people have been celebrating the day by lighting lamps at temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. Tradition also says that Lord Shiva’s son the God Kartikeya should also be venerated on the day. As part of the rituals of the celebrations people set afloat lit lamps in the river.

This annual celebration is held at Vitalapur-Sanquelim on the banks of the River Valavanti and this year were held on 11th November. The highlights of the festival was the procession of Lord Krishna which started at 7pm, followed by floating of lamps in the River Valvanti. After the arrivial of the Palakhi (Palanquin) procession of Lord Vithal and Goddess Rakhumai at 11pm, symbolic killing of demon Tripurasur (Tripurasur Wadh) took place and release of Sarang (hot air balloon lamp) and fireworks. The highlight of the festival was the decorative and artistic models of boat, crafted out of cardboard and thermocol floating in the river at midnight. At Vithalapur there in a tradition of carrying out ‘deeparadhana’ on Tripurari Poornima within the premises of the Vithala Temple. The temple premises are illuminated with lamps and the ‘palkhi’ of Lord Vithala is taken out in procession to the River Valavanti where after carrying out the ‘pooja’, lamps are offered to the God and set afloat on the river. Earlier, earthen lamps placed within small bowls made of leaves were floated. Later, the shape of the leaf bowl or ‘drona’ changed to take the shape of a boat. However, the core of this festival, worship of lamps (deeparadhana) and offering of lamps to God (deepadana) remain unchanged.

Courtesy : Lynn Barreto Miranda

Fontainhas Walks

The first walk conducted by GHAG’s first team of trainee guides got off as scheduled on the 17th of September 2011. It was well attended by a mixed group of participants mostly students of Architecture from the local college and even one from the Paris School of Architecture, who happened to be training in Goa. The trainee guides set out well although riddled with nervous pangs at the beginning of the walk. Everyone enjoyed the pit stop where we interacted with the poii vendor and the chat with tea and cookies outside 31 de Janeiro Cafetari. Most of the participants were keen to join in on future walks and trails across Goa and were liberal with the encouragement to our trainee guides.

The second walk was conducted on the 1st of October 2011 and was well attended by a mixed group of participants – many senior citizens, visitors from London with a 2 year old baby, a couple of GHAG members and a student from Rosary’s Dona Paula. Every one enjoyed the walk soaking in the history, folklore and architecture of the old quarter of Panaji. This time we spotted a passion flower and an old metal insignia on the doorway of an old house in Sao Tome. All the participants enjoyed the walk and complimented the team of guides for sharing their tit bits of yore.