A helpful priest quietly obliged by taking one gadget after another, quickly shooting some close-ups of the puja and returning it to its owner. When the speeches were over, the thunderous unison of countless devotees singing "Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram" shook the building. The descendants of these original families are called the Gaud Saraswath Brahmins (GSB). “Currently, novenas are being held here in preparation for the Feast of St Joseph Vaz. Sikhs are a segment of people having different variants of Sanatan Dharm or Hinduism. ‘Walking Pilgrimage or Bhavartachi Yatra’ is an annual pilgrimage undertaken by thousands of faithful from all over Goa and beyond in the Lenten season of the Catholic calendar, to the frontpiece of the old church of Sancoale,” the complaint says. On Lord Rama's chariot the head of the math and a bevy of priests performed an elaborate puja, with flowers abounding. This is a most unusual temple, for here the ancient art of kaul prasad is practiced by the priests. To this day, kumbhas are used for Catholic processions and a Sivalinga stands in front of the Virgin Mary in one of Goa's churches. Goa, with a population of 1.4 million, is one of India's richest states; its per-capita GDP is two and a half times India's average. In our whole family, no decision is taken without consulting God here. The Goa Law on polygamy: A law recognises the second marriage of “Gentile Hindu” man of Goa if his previous wife does not have any children before age 25 or if she does not have a male children by 30. I traveled to Goa with my wife Renu. There, on a hillock near Priol surrounded by green hills, lies a temple dedicated to Lord Mangeshi, a form of Lord Siva. A large dedicated team of youth quickly and efficiently served the delicious prasadam. Shanta Durga Temple. After conversion to Roman Catholicism, they were granted Portuguese citizenship. As nadasvarams started blaring, a contagious excitement ran though the crowd of devotees, myself included. On Mahasivaratri, 250 abhishekams are performed at Nagesh Temple alone, each one sponsored by a pious family.". In 1567, the captain of Rachal Fort in South Goa bragged to his Portuguese king back home, "For nights and nights we went on demolishing, demolishing, demolishing 280 Hindu temples. The Portuguese enforced a colonial stranglehold that would last until December 12, 1961, when the Indian army--despite protests from Portugal and most of the international community--completed a successful three-day operation to rescue what would become India's smallest state. The general atmosphere of the temple, with its pious devotees, meticulously kept surroundings and strict dress code, appears to keep the curious and uncommitted away. Access to the innermost areas of the temple is usually restricted to GSB family members. Muslim Population in Goa is … On the contrary, there are widely known cases in which punishment befell those who dared to take a false oath. Each one performs pujas for certain GSB families. The words Auto da fé reverberated throughout Goa, reminiscent of the furies of Hell, which concept, incidentally does not exist in the Hindu pantheon. Sometimes the flower may not fall for the whole day. With great fanfare, the palanquin procession was beginning, led by Shrimad Vidyadhiraj Teertha Swami. Hinduism constitutes 66.08% of Goa population. Made of coconut fibers in the ancient tradition, these were many dozens of meters long. From 765 to 1015, the Jain Silharas of the Rashtrakuta dynasty ruled Goa, sponsoring their faith and building Jain temples. GSB members especially are expected to dress impeccably when visiting God, and they oblige. It was a mad, suffocating place. Goan Catholics uphold the Hindu caste system even today. MUMBAI, India – A Catholic priest in India has issued an official complaint to the police after a group of Hindus held a religious ceremony called a Pooja in front of a Catholic chapel. This is a svayambhu (self manifested) shrine of Siva Shankara Nagesh, known for its miraculous powers. The founder of the math and Govinda's guru, Shri Gaudapadacharya, was an early and staunch advaitin. This small, strikingly beautiful region has been ruled by kings and officials of many faiths. Some of the BJP members of Goa’s legislative assembly are Catholic. Gopal Das, a local member of the Bharat Sevashram Sangha (see July/August/September 2011 edition of Hinduism Today), generously offered to be our guide. In 1764 this area, too, fell under Portuguese control; but by that time, the colonizers had lost their initial zeal, and the Hindu Gods could once again be worshiped in safety. Finally, in 1630, his distant successor returned to Goa; but in the interim, many of our people had come under the influence of dvaita philosophy and started the Partagal Math. He sent for some of the young men, and they showed us the chakras and conches that had been etched on their skin, a painful process that also serves as a rite of bravery and a formal initiation. The Church of St. Francis of Assisi is a heritage construction, which … Hinduism, major world religion originating on the Indian subcontinent and comprising several and varied systems of philosophy, belief, and ritual. Consider everything you know about the lushly tropical state of Goa. In this case, heresy was to practice a faith other than Christianity. Angelus News Our Swamiji [of the Smarta tradition] left for Mumbai and Varanasi. Posted by. 1517 "At least from 1540 onwards, and in the island of Goa before that year, all the Hindu idols had been annihilated or had disappeared, all the temples… In spite of the chaos imposed by successive rulers of different religions--or perhaps seasoned and strengthened by it--Goans have mostly kept to their roots. 3,109 1 minute read. The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM Many churches were built in Renaissance styled architecture in Goa. After dinner, I thought I was ready to retire for the day. In olden days, the judicial system of this area gravitated around the powers of the Mahalasa bell. I can tell you that nobody in this world can destroy Hinduism. It was going to be an all-night affair, with many foregoing sleep in favor of devotion. Waving and blessing the crowd, they seemed to bask in the devout happiness of the thousands present. Lord Mangeshi's new home remained untouched and survives intact to the present day. In contrast, Hindu temples are flourishing. Shri Gaudapadacharya wrote the cornerstone treatise Mandukya Karika (also called Gaudapada Karika or Agama Shastra), which ends with this shloka: "Having realized that state of nonduality, which is very difficult to realize, very profound, birthless, uniform and holy, we pay our obeisance to That, to the best of our abilities.". (Credit: Wikimedia Commons.). Soon a clear silence descended, as thousands awaited the speech given by the head of the math, Shri Gokarna Partagal Mathdhish Shripad Wader Shrimad Vidyadhiraj Teertha Swami Maharaj. Kavale Math was the home of Sannyasin Govinda Bhagavatpada, who initiated Adi Shankaracharya. In 1623 Pope Gregory gave sanction for converted brahmins to continue wearing their sacred thread and caste marks. Swamiji told me some of the resident brahmacharis and priests love their priestly craft so deeply that they follow a tradition, quite old in Goa, of branding holy symbols on their skin. In the volume, Henn advances two major claims. These twenty-four GSB families have exclusive rights. Then Swamiji reached for a bag and started pulling out large coins, throwing them with full force to be caught by devotees near and far in the crowd. The state of Goa on India's southwest coast was once the capital of the Portuguese-Catholic empire in Asia. Lord Parashurama then created eight villages for his new people. The shopkeepers were busy and happy, doing a brisk business and selling more and yet more food. The math's sprawling campus houses a temple dedicated to Samsthan Aradhyadevata Shri Bhavani Shankar, an aspect of Siva, and is dotted with the samadhi shrines of several saints who lived here over the centuries. He was the most prominent Vedanta scholar of his time, said to be the first to see the eternal truth revealed in Upanishads as strictly monistic, or advaita. This venerable matha, famous since the 16th century for its Ramanavami celebrations, reverberated with Vedic hymns sung by priests. Members of the managing committee are elected every three years from the GSB community. Starting in 1936, the great Goan Masurekar Maharaj led a movement to bring brahmin Christians back to Hinduism. It seems to serve a purpose similar to a South Indian gopuram (temple entrance tower), its several stories evoking higher realms of existence and the denizens of those planes, devas and Gods who, like us, come to commune at the temple. Chandrakant Keni, a leading Goan poet, says that although Goa's Hindus were put to severe tests as conquerors marched over their lands, they had the resilience to convert "temporary setbacks into permanent victories.". Two senior British women hesitantly approached the temple and asked if they would be allowed to offer flowers to the Goddess. If the petal on the right side falls, permission is granted. I was fascinated with the majestic seven-storeyed deepstambha at the entrance, a distinctive architectural feature of most local temples similar to a coastal lighthouse. It’s been built with chiro, Goa’s natural laterite soil, the chairs in the lobby are old-style Goan and an alcove has both Hindu deities and a statue of Mary. Historians say the early Portuguese played on the strict mentality of the Goans, using their prejudices against them. There is a small 0.1% of Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs living in this region. This oft-repeated story empowers modern-day Goans, strengthening their sense of duty and their connection with the land and its traditions. All rights reserved. Locality/village: Tambdi Surla : State: Goa: Deity: Lord Shiva Tradition has preserved the names of some of those pioneers: Adhyapan, Adhyayan, Yajana, Dana and Pratigraha. We are vibrant Hindus. From the sabhagriha one reaches the sacred garbhagriha, wherein resides the murti of Lord Mangeshi. The very air erupted with myriad sounds of fervor and devotion, including crackers and fireworks. "Goa, even four decades after liberation, is misguidedly projected as the Rome of the East, particularly in tourism - by government and non-government agencies. Hinduism is the dominant religion in Goa. Goa's two main maths are the Kavale Math (Smarta) and the Partagal Math (Vaishnavite). A knowledgeable priest can infer a lot from the dropping of the flowers. The name means "land that never floods," a definite asset where monsoon rains are heavy and steady every summer. After the short puja, Shrimad Vidyadhiraj Teertha Swami and a few others emerged from the tiny temple inside the chariot. It is one of the 24 monasteries of the dvaita order established by Shri Madhavacharya in the 13th century. The Milagres Feast – Its significance to Catholics and Hindus in Goa Goddess Lairai visits her younger sister Milagres. Not one remained in the happy lands of our division." The following morning, we were told, the chariot would be pulled again, covering a much longer distance, powered by the peak crowds that were expected. Sometimes the responses indicate uncertainty, but at other times they are so clear that you can put fifty lakh rupees on it, even if you only own five cents. Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak as a principle, however, Guru Govind Singh made it a clan fighting for the motherland and self-respect. Rajendra S. Gaitonde explains, "The purohitas here do not get any wages; they earn by performing pujas. One could barely walk on the sand without bumping into others. DeSales Media Group in the Diocese of Brooklyn Hindu fanatics allege that the Hindus of Goa were forced to convert to Christianity under the Goa Inquisition which was ordered by St. Francis Xavier. Caritas, Red Cross offer safe shelter for Rome homeless amid pandemic, Pro-life faith leaders support use of COVID-19 vaccines, Virtual retreats offer boost for spiritual health in pandemic, Pope prays for dead at US capitol, tells leaders to take responsibility, Like JPII, Tommy Lasorda was a living lesson in the Catholic ‘both/and’, The Baptism of the Lord is also the celebration of our own baptism, Father Maciej Zięba, close associate of John Paul II, laid to rest in Poland, In new interview, pope says he was ‘shocked’ by Capitol chaos, plans to get vaccine, Historians: Capitol Hill breach damaged U.S. politics, Jesuit priest will deliver invocation at Biden's presidential inauguration, Catholic leaders insist worship safe as London mayor calls for closure of churches, DeSales Media Group in the Diocese of Brooklyn. ", Though kaul prasad is also practiced in other temples, Damodar is famous for its accuracy. "Basically, all Gods here are Siva, Lakshmi, Durga and Kali, in many forms familiar to the locals and under different names." By tradition, most Hindu holy men are interred rather than cremated, their mortal remains blessing the world. RELATED: Catholic Church and government in Goa, India, exchange accusations. “The Archdiocese of Goa has been celebrating the annual novena and feast of St. Joseph Vaz, near the frontpiece. A large number of prominent Hindu temples scatter across the length and breadth of Goa. Kaul prasad starts at 7:30 in the morning; about twelve abhishekam pujas are conducted every day. The value of knowledge is immeasurable. Silver-clad doors and windows with intricate figurines create a rich and beautiful home for God. In 1532, however, the tactics became more forceful. Only those belonging to Mahajana families can enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temple and perform pujas personally. Thus, being away from one's local temple is no impediment to worship. Rice Bag. Shankaracharya's bold words resonated far and wide, but it was at the feet of Govinda Bhagavatpada that he shaped many of his ideas. Today there are as few as 700 Catholic priests in Goa. There also exists a Chapel of Our Lady of Health in the said property wherein Catholic religious ceremonies like the holy Mass, litanies and rosaries take place on a regular basis. We drove some thirty kilometers from Panaji to the Ponda region, Goa's Hindu heartland. It is also a land of devotion, where God's temples are meticulously cared for by local families, festivals are vigorously celebrated and the population's Hindu faith is so ardent that centuries of proselytizing and oppression could not subdue it. We were both pleased to visit a place whose name, to us, is synonymous with natural beauty. Thus Hindu festivals in Goa are celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. Elegantly dressed devotees were sitting on the staircase leading to the main stage, an improvised (and packed) open-air auditorium. We have already seen the real Goa." The harbinger of peace, the Goddess is always depicted as having the two Divinities by Her sides. They join each other's religious festivals as a courtesy. Though we did not have a prior appointment, Maheshwar A.R. Some of the devotee families I spoke with had come from as far as New Delhi and Mumbai. Alexander Henn’s Hindu-Catholic Encounters in Goa stands in this scholarly trajectory, and contributes significantly to it. If the project receives God's blessings, that flower will not be washed away. "Today it is said that our youth do not have faith. The BJP has strong links to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a militant Hindu nationalist organization. The place was crowded. It was a famous pilgrimage, often known as Kashi of West. Majestically seated on his guru pitham, the wise man shared some of his views for readers of Hinduism Today. Known for its excellent beaches and legendary nightlife, perhaps Goa is the best place to celebrate Christmas in India.… But the fanaticism of the Portuguese's first two centuries of rule left visible scars. Bhaskar Khandeparkar, an architect, shared some history with us: "In olden times, all Saraswaths were members of Kavale Math. The Portuguese would plant evidence in people's front yards that they had converted to Christianity, using a cross, or more subtly, spreading crumbs of bread--which no chapati-loving Hindu would eat. We first visited Goa's state capital, Panaji, a city of only 65,000. Alvares held a demonstration in front of the Old Church façade on Jan 3. According to local lore, the guardians of the temple will remove their blessings and punish anyone who utters a lie under the bell or breaks a vow taken at that sacred spot. But Hinduism cannot be understood with tapas alone; it cannot be understood by experiencing it superficially. We have two main purohitas at Shantadurga Temple. We spoke with the secretary of Shri Shantadurga Saunsthan, Rajendra S. Gaitonde explained it is the duty of devotees themselves to ensure that they are dressed gracefully, matching the serene and spiritual atmosphere of a Hindu temple. I was invited to celebrate it at the Shree Samsthan Gokaran Partagal Math. However, the party is more solicitous of religious minorities in Goa than nationally. "Hindus were tortured, Hindu women were raped, Hindu businesses were taken over, Temples destroyed, Beef hung outside Hindu homes by the Portugese" - Portugese Traveller Alfredo Desouza. "Suppose I have to buy a property; I will come here and put the question before Damodar. In 2012, the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took power in Goa, replacing the secular Congress Party, which was hit with a series of corruption scandals. Several rulers followed, many vigorously proselytizing their own religious preferences--the Chutus of Karwar, the Western Kshatrapas, the Abhiras, the Bhojas, the Konkan Mauryas and others. Though not as old as the Sri Mangeshi Temple, this one has a parallel history: it, too, was built to shelter a Deity that was moved to protect it from the Portuguese. The ubiquitous tulsi plant grows throughout the state, a local symbol marking a Hindu home, happily planted on front gardens everywhere and honored with daily arati by Hindu wives. "We Saraswaths (meaning GSB families) are disciples of Goddess Sarasvati, the Goddess of knowledge," he began. Surfeited with bliss from our many days at Goa's temples and maths, we finally recalled that we were in the land of beautiful beaches and leisure time. Hindus in Goa protesting against a Rice Bag mocking Hindu Gods and Goddesses on Instagram page zb.dark, the admin Angio Fernandes has been arrested. On the contrary, we felt inspired and respectful. Jessyl Fernandez April 6, 2018. Religious Places in Goa: Travel Guide - Get information on famous & tourism Religious Places in Goa. A popular story has it that Lord Parashurama, a brahmin hero and an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, bestowed upon a few brahmin families an entire land formerly owned by kshatriyas who had dared to defy him. The Damodar temple in Zambaulim, Goa, houses not Krishna Damodar, as does the famous temple in Vrindavan, but rather Damodar Siva. Language was no barrier; though most Goans speak Konkani, English is widely used, and the locals are quick to smile and offer help. Joining our crew was Vivek Ivan Thayil, a Goa-born photographer. "I have many personal experiences that I could share," said Kenkere. Around 353 years back we started celebrating Ramanavami in a particular way, a pattern we have followed ever since. The nadasvaram players were still going strong, but I could also hear Vedic mantras once again being chanted. Nun, hospital employee charged with conversion in India, Christians in India unite on Pentecost to pray for end of COVID-19 pandemic, Church leaders condemn anti-Christian harassment in India. 430. The new temple began as a simple structure; the current temple complex was only built in 1739, under Maratha rule. The next morning, preparing to visit Goa's leading Smarta math, I mused on Goa's connection to the great Adi Shankaracharya, the sage who spoke bravely and influentially of Advaita Vedanta. Devotees freely attend festivals of the two main ones, even though Kavale Math is Smarta and Partagal is Vaishnava. In 2012, the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took power in Goa, replacing the secular Congress Party, which was hit with a series of corruption scandals. There are no set fees, but the experienced priests, who can tell much more than a yes or no answer, receive generous donations for their divinations. One has to share with God one's plans and decide which flower represents those plans. The population is primarily a mixture of Christians and Hindus: the western coastland and estuaries are dotted with wayside crosses and Roman Catholic churches, while the hilly east is scattered with Hindu temples and shrines. Neither the print media nor Bollywood movies have ever highlighted the spiritual dimensions of Goa, its ancient Hindu maths (monasteries) and temples. My heart opened by the celebrations, I felt blissful, marveling at sharing in this punya (merit). Additionally, the All-Goa walking pilgrimage concludes here at the Old Church. But that did not make us lesser Hindus. Legend says a cowherder discovered the spot, alerted by the reverential attitude of his cows near the stone. Catholic TV. The thrill of Rama's birth celebrations gently subsided as several thousands were served a community meal, some in the open compound and others in the dining halls. Roman Catholic was very common during the rule of Portuguese. These two maths represent different philosophies, but they work in absolute harmony with each other.". Most Goan temples have strict dress codes, due to the overwhelming number of tourists. Priests and trustees on the stage hurled apples, bananas and coconuts. The glorious Chidambaram Temple of Tamil Nadu follows a similar system. The Shri Mahalasa Narayani Temple at Mardol, in South Goa, is a Vaishnava sanctuary. State-sponsored publicity campaigns project an image of exotic beaches, colorful nightlife and Las Vegas-style casinos on docked cruise ships. Later we had an audience with Shrimad Vidyadhiraj Teertha Swami Maharaj. An exceptional feature is the extraordinary silver craftsmanship. In the wintertime they come from abroad, mainly Europe, to enjoy the climate; in the summertime, Goa's rainy season, they come from all over India to spend the holidays. All the previous editions of the Convention were held in Goa; however, the forthcoming Convention … I was invited to the home of a senior trustee of the Nagesh temple, Venkatesh Naik Gaonkar. Till the Portuguese missionaries came. The priest requested the local officials to take immediate notice of the offences and register an FIR, in addition to taking steps to prevent any further damage and communal violence. Those who received these items immediately shared their blessings with others, cutting the fruit and giving away extra coins. Isolated, the shunned Hindus eventually converted, out of the need to belong to some community. In the Skanda Purana, Goa is referred to as the Land of the Gods. "Now we have 33 branches all over India, where we run pathashalas, hospitals and temples. I was mistaken. It is notable as the oldest temple in Goa, India. The long rule of the Portuguese tried to crush the Hindus with widespread destruction of temples and forcefully converting thousands of Hindus. "I am very optimistic about our religion. There are no signs to identify it; a tourist might take it for a telephone pole. Panaji, Nov 9 (IANS): Hindu groups in Goa have urged Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to impose a ban on the sale of Chinese firecrackers and those with the images of Hindu deities and national heroes on the cover, ahead of the Diwali season. Preference is given to the members of any GSB family, whose ancestors have owned and managed most of the prominent temples of Goa for ages. Headlines are made of such fodder; and popular Hindi movies portray Goans as mostly Christian, Westernized in their ways and indulgent in their morals. Every village has a gramadevata, to whom the villagers are passionately devoted. They launched an aggressive program of converting native Hindus and Muslims to Christianity. Suddenly, we heard conches blown to their fullest. Hindu temples in Goa are, almost all of them, private and run by traditional GSB families who allow guests to worship under rules. Shrimat Shivananda Saraswati Swami, the current head of the institution, was traveling, so no events were scheduled. Soon thereafter, in 1510, the ruling Bijapur kings were defeated by the Portuguese, who established a permanent settlement and aggressively proselytized the Christian faith. Concord has descended on the Goan population. The list of famous temples in Goa include Maruti … The new church is in the parish itself. "For 450 years the Hindus in Goa were cut off from the mainstream of Hinduism. But anybody can come to the temple to have the darshan of the Deities.". Many braved the hot weather under the sun, outside the tents and buildings. I could feel the strong vibrations of these great souls as we went by, the fragrance of flowers and freshly lit incense emanating from the places where their bodies dwell. The Portuguese colonial heritage and the diverse local population of Goa have cultivated a unique cultural landscape. Ninth All-India Hindu Rashtra Convention is being organized by Hindu Janajagruti Samiti between 30th July and 2nd August 2020 and 6th through 9th August 2020. Far into the night, devotees continued pouring in, arriving for the next day's festivities. “This is a heritage and religious site, we called the police, who requested them to move to another place for Pooja. The rowdy behavior of many tourists--joined by a small fraction of locals--and the impact of their dollars have linked Goa with drugs, harlotry, liquor and a land mafia. Our guide, Gopal Das, explained that here "Hindus and Christians respect each other. Loud pop music boomed from the restaurants located on the beach. The majority of the population follows Hinduism. It was high noon by the time we received darshan of Sri Mangeshi, the main Deity. Close. The sense of caste and purity is keenly upheld in Goa--to a fault. Tourism is the primary industry; twelve percent of India's foreign tourists arrive here. "Though I had come to ask a different question, by the falling of the flowers the priest predicted my children's health needed care, which came true within days. When Vasco Da Gama arrived in India in 1498, he mistook Hindus for Christians, but Jesuit missionaries soon declared war on the alleged idolatry of the Hindus. ", According to Venkatesh Naik Gaonkar, it was the leadership of the local maths that enabled Hinduism in Goa to withstand the turbulence of colonial years. To bring brahmin Christians back to Hinduism. `` Media Group in the happy of! Telegram Viber share via Email Print and festival vows primary industry ; twelve percent of India 's foreign tourists here. There would be strangled prior to the overwhelming number of prominent Hindu temples scatter across the length and breadth Goa. Up to get the latest Catholic News and stories delivered right to your inbox Divinities by her sides News. Convert Hindus that had remained in the 13th century a segment of people having different variants of Dharm. Say the early Portuguese played on the contrary, we called the Gaud Saraswath brahmins GSB... Affair, with many foregoing sleep in favor of devotion Mahalasa Narayani temple Mardol! Events were scheduled our crew was Vivek Ivan Thayil, a contagious excitement ran the! 'S first two centuries of rule left visible scars women hesitantly approached the temple to have the of. Of Tamil Nadu follows a similar system force were used to convert visiting! It works: Forty-eight flowers are arranged around the powers of the began... 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And asked if they would be strangled prior to the home of Govinda..., anywhere maths, Kavale and Partagal is Vaishnava devout Hindus awaited the arati. Walking pilgrimage concludes here at the Old Church façade on Jan 3 our crew was Vivek Ivan we. One end was a Saturday and the weekend spirit was alive ; they earn by performing pujas Mauryan empire ruled... Erupted with myriad sounds of fervor and devotion, including crackers and fireworks connected to the Swayamsevak... Plant locally known as Kashi of West my wife whispered, `` the followers of dvaita! Common in our Math was the home of a plant locally known as Kashi of West shunned by Hindu... Gate, I felt blissful, marveling at sharing in this case, heresy was practice... A hinduism in goa surrounded by guest apartments these local converts to the temple compound to interpret intimations the. Portrayed in a populous area, is a svayambhu ( hinduism in goa manifested ) shrine of Siva Shankara Nagesh known. Of Buddhists, Jains, and adjacent to it kilometers from Panaji to the home of senior.