Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Goa trip - Day 2 - Mario Gallery, Museum of Goa, Anjuna Beach

(This post continues from Goa Trip - Day 1)

Mario Gallery
On the second day, November 30, we set off for the Mario Gallery in Calangute. It has a delectable collection of illustrations by India's well-known cartoonist late Mario Miranda. Mario Gallery is not an imposing structure; it is a small store on the side of a busy road, and can be missed, but for the statues of some of the characters in front of the store.

"Please wipe that expression off
your face; people might think
we're married!"
This place was of particular interest to me because I grew up laughing my heart out over Mario's cartoons (with characters like Miss Fonseca, Bundaldass, and Rajani Nimbupani) that used to appear in The Illustrated Weekly. He brought out not only the subtle ironies and humour that punctuate the fast-paced lives of upwardly mobile Indians caught in the urban maze but also the tranquillity of the traditional Goan culture.

At the gallery, the cartoons are kept alive are on multiple fancy stuff like figurines, key chains, t-shirts, cups, wall-hangings, etc. I bought a few framed illustrations and refrigerator magnets, some as gifts for my friends and some for myself. They can be bought online too from the gallery website.

Museum of Goa
If you are riding around Goa in a motorbike (like we were), or in a car, then keep an eye on the fuel level. There aren't many petrol stations so it will be a good idea to have your tank topped up. That's what we did after the visit to Mario Gallery.

With a full fuel tank, we headed to the Museum of Goa, at Pilerne. This is a three-storied art gallery, that spreads over an area of 1,500 square meters, curated by artist Subodh Kerkar. The best thing is about this place is that you can enjoy looking at the works of art, even if you are not such a great art fan. Not a surprise, considering that one of the Kerkar's aims is to take art and local history to the larger audiences.

Each of the works has a historical context to it, and there is an informative write-up beside each of them that makes understanding the art easy. The art gallery is a sort of confluence of the historical legacy as well as the innate culture of Goa.

The section on chillies, a major component of
Indian recipes, but a foreign import  
There is one section on chillies, which is a major component of many Indian recipes. But chillies are not originally Indian. They came to India for the first time in the 16th century on a Portuguese ship at Goa from South America. Now, India the world's largest producer and consumer of chillies.

Read more on the museum website and on Wikipedia

It was almost 3 pm, and after lunch, headed back to the hotel. Changed our dress, and left for Anjuna beach.

Anjuna beach
This is arguably the most well-known beach in Goa. More than natural beauty, it is known for the wild trance parties youngsters have here. If there is a loose equivalent to Las Vegas in India, it is along the beaches here. One can sense the "no one cares" attitude hanging heavily in the air.

The culture goes back to the 1960s when foreign tourists, especially of the hippies of the flower generation, started flocking to the beach. Now you won't find so many of them. The place is actually swarming with crowds of young Indians who are looking for some fun. There are also plenty of shops from where you can buy anything from clothes to curios.

Sunset from Anjuna beach
Anjuna is also famous for the Wednesday flea market. We missed that as we arrived on Thursday, and would be leaving on Monday.

We watched the sunset from the Anjuna beach and headed back to the hotel.

(Goa Trip - Day 3)


  1. Seeing all the cartoons must have been cool. That is such a unique art form.

    1. Indeed, Liz. Especially the social cartoons, more than the political ones. Thanks for dropping by, and the comments.

  2. Nice trip,I enjoyed it almost as much as you must have done.Alas,travelling is not our forte.

    1. Thanks, Indu, for the comments. I like to travel, but the challenge is getting the time for it, considering the hectic daily schedules.

  3. Replies
    1. You should, Navaneetha. There is actually more to Goa than the beaches.

  4. Beautiful pictures and informative narration. I did know now only that chilly is not indigenous, as coconut is not.

    1. Thank you for your comments. Yes, even I didn't know that chilly was an import.

  5. Chillies came only in the 16th century ?? Seriously ?? What did they use before that ??

  6. May be chillies weren't there in India till then.

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