An Accidental Quest To The Mount
Updated: Jan 6, 2019
During the initial phase of planning to blog in August , I was still trying to figure out how I would be able to cover a whole freaking state. My idea was clear- to personally visit and do all that could be done in Goa and jot down my experiences and suggestions so that one could get the best out of their vacation in this beautiful place. One of the perks of the job that I am holding was that I had to travel from place to place. I made the most use of the opportunity by taking the longer route so as to cover as many places whenever I could.
A little signboard put up by the survey of India caught my eye. I still had about an hour until my next meeting. A ten minute detour wouldn't hurt wouldn't it? One thing I like about these signboards is that they do not mention what they direct to. It’s a surprise every time. Well, this time I was led to a road which ran uphill.
I’ve learnt from my past explorations in Goa that when you’re moving up a steep slope, there would definitely be a breathtaking view at the top. First glimpses were of unusual laterite stairs which led to a church.
Look for yourself as I have very little I can say to justify what a view I witnessed.
It is hard to believe that such a scenic location is overlooked by many even though it is just about a few kilometers from Old Goa. You will get a clear view of Old Goa along with the nearby islands such as Divar, Chorao and the Mandovi River. An amazing spot for photography specially if you are looking to be envied for your new cover picture on Facebook.
Fortunately, I found out when the chapel usually opens and revisited the place. Every year, September 8th is celebrated as the feast of Nativity in commemoration of the birth of Mother Mary by Christians. Also called 'Monti Fest’ by the the Konkan speaking Roman Catholics along the coastal belt from Goa to Karnataka.
This chapel (aka Capela de Nossa Senhora de Monte) is the reason that ‘Monti Fest’ is synonymous with the feast of Nativity. ‘Monte’ means mountain in Portuguese. Hence the name of the feast of this church.
Eight days before this date, there is a Novena held at the chapel at 5pm for about an hour including Mass. There was no better time to get a glimpse of what's inside. I explored all that I could to get the best view of the chapel. It is amazing that this structure has given me the insight of the history of how we Mangaloreans derived the traditions followed on September 8th.
Usually dormant, this spot gets into the limelight once a year during the annual Monte Music Festival where there would be shows put up by artists from around the world.