Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Reis Magos (Part-I)


For a long time, I had been thinking of writing about Mario Miranda and his work, but some how I kept postponing it for some reason or the other.
Now I have the perfect reason to write and that is the historic Fort - Reis Magos in Goa.

Visited this place last month and I must say I am really impressed. It is a perfect example of how a place can be restored with out loosing its identity.  Thanks to Gerard da Cunha, who has done a wonderful job in bringing the place alive. In the first instance you may get the impression that he has done nothing, and that exactly is the highlight of the restoration – to maintain its original identity. In his own words “old monuments are just like corpse but unless you use a building you cannot maintain it. We can reclaim our heritage and earn from it”
The income from the entry tickets may not be substantial but think of the tourists that come from all over the world helping in the economy of the state.
Old materials and old methodology of restoration has been used to give the fort its air of authenticity.
I was also impressed by the staff present at every point, quietly doing their work. After you buy your entry ticket, there is a small vehicle which takes you up to the main gate (as its a steep climb)


Just before the main door of the fort there is this banyan tree. Its interesting to read the history of the tree.

It grew as a parasite on a coconut tree, eventually strangulating it. In 2008 the coconut tree caught fire. Without a core the banyan tree began to buckle and collapse. It was trimmed and held with steel ropes and a reinforced concrete column was cast in the hollow of the tree. The tree stabilized and the stays were removed in 2010.

Just as you enter you will notice a big hole in the roof. This was used to shoot (or throw hot oil) at the enemies who managed to reach that point



Inside the fort, time stands still and you are transported back by about three centuries.


I saw this canon which was mounted on carriages. These gun carriages were copied from the original that were found in Diu fort.

This was how it used to look before restoration.

There were originally 31 canons of which 7 are now left.
A close up of one of them shows some inscription, probably the date of manufacture and the insignia.

Reis Magos is the Portuguese name for the three wise men from the Bible.
The view from the top is magnificent with the Mandovi river in the forefront.

While we were going through the place there was this friendly parrot who was very interested in my friend’s camera.


I showed my camera to the parrot, but he did not even look at it. Nowadays even the birds know the difference between a DSLR and an ordinary camera.
 On the way out one has to go down a flight of steps (about 100+) and its real steep. Thankfully hand rails have been provided for safety.

Coming to the best part is an exhibition in the main hall and that brings us to one of my favourite cartoonist Mario Miranda.

More on this in part –II,  meanwhile a preview of the pictures that are coming in  part-II



34 comments:

SweetMarie said...

Really interesting post! That bird sure is friendly. :) Happy days to you!

Dana said...

Nice post! I found the history of the banyan tree very interesting. Love the bird!

Daisy said...

They did a wonderful job with the restoration. I really enjoyed the story about the banyan tree too. That's funny that the parrot was only interested in your friend's camera but not yours! haha! :D

A Cuban In London said...

I know that I will visit India at some point in the near future. Its culture and history fascinate. And within it Goa occupies a special place. It's the Iberian influence that kills me. Beautiful post. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Ms Sparrow said...

Lots of interesting details about a great place to visit. Those steep steps would make me dizzy.

Harman said...

interesting details surprisingly parrot seems to be quite comfortable with camera :)
thanks for sharing.

NRIGirl said...

Loved it! Thank you!

Annmarie Pipa said...

very very interesting and informative! enjoyed reading this post!

TexWisGirl said...

the parrot was too cute! the banyan tree is fascinating.

Beth said...

Very informative post!

sunil deepak said...

Loved reading it and the pictures made everything much more interesting. I was wondering almost till the end (when I saw his exhibition) why you had started with Mario Miranda! Even I loved his drawings.

Anuradha Shankar said...

lovely post! and you add yet another place to the long list i already have for Goa! and that parrot seems to have been really friendly!

Susan Deborah said...

Joe, Joe, we again missed meeting each other. We are in Goa now. We live here. Loved the places that you have guided us through and I admire Miranda as well.

Joy always,
Susan

Phani said...

Waiting for part -II , they say photos speak , but with you yours , I am more curious to read your comments , photos are only embellishments to your observations.

Valerian Mendonca said...

Nicely captured Joe in words and pics

Haddock said...

Yes Susan, looks like its a big chase all over India. Maybe we will catch up next time for sure :-)

Haddock said...

Thanks Valey.

Haddock said...

Yes Phani, I too am excited about the second part.

Haddock said...

The fact is that almost all have gone to Goa but many miss out on this place. This was opened to the public only about seven months ago.

Haddock said...

Thanks Deepak. I don't think there is anyone who will not love Mario and his work.

Haddock said...

Thanks Beth :-)

Haddock said...

Yes TexWisGirl, another example of preserving nature.

Haddock said...

Thanks Annmarie, glad you liked it.

Haddock said...

:-)

Haddock said...

Thanks Harman. Had more info about the place and wanted to put it down here...... maybe in the next part.

Haddock said...

Yes Ms Sparrow, I too thought about those steps. It may not be suitable for elderly people, but I suppose they may consider taking such people back in the vehicle from the front entrance.

Haddock said...

You are welcome to India and I promise you the diverse culture and colours will really capture you.

Haddock said...

Yes Daisy, that was the part that I liked the best - the restoration.

Haddock said...

Thanks Marie :-)

Haddock said...

Yes Dana, I too was impressed by the way the tree was saved.

shivani said...

Thanks for sharing this. Now next time i visit Goa Three Wise Men is the first on my list.
Waiting eagerly for Mario Miranda and more...:)
Btw with posts like yours who needs a guide...i shall be showing off my knowledge and let's see if someone get impressed.But not without thanking you enough.
Enjoyed the shots and thanks for pointing out the easy to overlook details.:)

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

This is so cool ... from the tree (I wonder how only the palm burned?) to the bird, to the restoration. Thanks so much for sharing the fort with us, and thanks for stopping by to see me.

Kathy M.

Destiny's child... said...

Interesting. The place looks every bit intriguing. The history of the banyan tree, the curious little parrot and Mario Miranda's work. I am hopping over to part 2. :)

Sapna Anu B.George said...

Haddock the parrot was really interesting, i have 2 caged and kept and that too is too friendly with us. will be visiting to read you more.....