Fontainhas – Quaint and colourful Goa

The old Latin Quarter in Panjim city , pretty heritage homes in happy colours , windows that are lined with shells , people speaking Portuguese as fluently as the local language (Konkani), serene lanes that invite you to explore , early morning walks through the winding lanes with church goers and school children eager to chat and help, remnants of Portuguese architecture and the little fountain from which this place derives its name – Fontainhas ! It has been a little over three months since my stay in Fontainhas and a post long over due .

Afonso Heritage home

I have always lived at home in an obscure village in Goa and this was the first time I was in Goa but staying away from our ancestral house. I decided it was going to be a beautiful heritage home converted into a warm inviting guest house – Afonso Guest house. This was our first trip with our nine month old baby and the place had to be sparkling clean with a touch of homeliness. That’s exactly what we found inside this bright yellow immaculate home away from home. To add it to it , the freshly baked bread by the owner for breakfast was the cherry on the cake .

The blue house next to the chapel
The chapel next door
Home and hues
Pretty nooks and corners

As we rambled for the next few days , we saw colours everywhere .

Check out the rooster , the balcao ( verandah ) ,tiled roofs
Another heritage home owned by Linda – the owner of Viva Panjim




Most homes are brightly painted , have red tiles on the roof , are surrounded by lots of plants and the names of streets and house owners are displayed on Azulejo tiles (Portuguese ceramic tiles).

Street names on Azulejo tiles
House names on tiles too
And flooring too !

My chats with the owner, Aunt Jeanette, revealed that back in the day it was mandatory for every home to be freshly painted after the monsoon season, however , the rules are not so stringent today .



The main street here is the St. Sebastian Road , named after the St Sebastian Chapel – the only white structure towering amidst a burst of colours.

The Chapel . Looked forlorn to me amidst all that colour 

Next to the Chapel is a page out of a fairy tale , a wishing well , with roosters perched on top , begging for some love ( a fresh coat of paint may be !) . Defunct and lots of weeds growing inside , how it got its name am not quite sure , but even though the it resembled an ageing woman with disheveled hair and in need of some grooming , it had a charm of its own.

The wishing well
Am calling these the rainbow stairs 

The rooster which is an important part of Portuguese architecture can be spotted on roofs of homes and uniformed police figurines also adorn the exteriors of some homes . I read that the latter signifies the home belongs to a freedom fighter , but there was no way to verify it.

Rooster perched on the wishing well
Rooster on roofs
Cop like figures places on exteriors of some homes



Shell lined windows made me sing ! They looked so pretty , so ingenious and let in the right amount of light .  An owner of a pretty cafe told me how it is now illegal to be selling these shells and heritage homes that are renovating can only salvage a few that hey have or source it from other heritage homes that are being demolished to make way for modern ( not so pretty ) hotels .

Shell lined window pane – Afonso home


Pretty , no ?

The place is fab , the people are warm and the food is super too . Viva Panjim is a good option for some authentic Goan cuisine but the real super deal and steal for me was the little cart that dishes out beef delicacies – tongue , rolls , chops , curry , croquettes ! You cannot miss this one right next to the  Library ( another bright yellow structure ).



On my last day here , I walked to the other side in search of what remains of the font after which this place is named . This is all I saw with no information or sign board in sight . I walked back , this time slower , wishing I had more time to spend here .

I couldn’t sign up for a heritage walk but have no regrets . Wake up early , talk to the locals and they will tell you stories of the past and how their beloved Fontainhas is a font of happiness , love and colours .




Cannon like fruits on this tree inside the Jijamata Udyan, Byculla
A flower of the cannonball tree spotted a few months ago in Aarey Colony

The cannonball tree is quirky with its smelly fruit and scented flowers. A few months ago I saw one with inviting flowers and more recently I spotted another tree laden with fruits ready to explode.  Bizzare but beautiful !

Sunday stroll, solitude and a song

As I enjoyed my walk this evening in the garden and clicked a few flowers ,  a song kept playing in my head . Eric Clapton’s “You look wonderful tonight” just fit the ambience perfectly 🙂 Nature did put on some make up and looked wonderful. She always does .

It’s late in the evening; she’s wondering what clothes to wear
She puts on her make-up and brushes her long blonde hair
And then she asks me, Do I look all right?
And I say, “Yes, you look wonderful tonight



Haji Ali -Hide and Seek

The last time I went to Haji Ali in Worli , the sea was playing hide and seek with the causeway which is the only access to the Dargah. This evening , the clouds and sun played the game as we enjoyed the view .

Causeway to the Dargah




This view while biting on a yum sandwich and relishing a falooda from Haji Ali Juice Centre – super saturday 🙂