• Journey route

  • Travel Distance

    KMS (Apx.)
Cities: Mumbai, Pune, Vijayapura, Badami, Tiracol, Panjim, Velha Goa, Chandor.

About the Journey

Mansions. Temples. Palaces. Forts. Monasteries. Legendary stories. This journey has it all.

From a haunted fort in Pune where Maratha kings wrote history, to lesser known architectural wonders in the city, we explore stories in the land of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Heading further to the epitome of the Mughal regime, we marvel at the legacy of their intricate carvings and art before continuing south to a place where not many venture.

Where structures speak and stone sculptures tell epics. After knocking on the doors to the Hoysala era, we move to everyone's favourite vacation haunt - Goa!

If colours could heal, Fontainhas would be the best doctor! With a burst of vibrant shades at every bend, the Portuguese influenced doors and architecture here speak volumes of the bygone era.

The trail gets even more exciting as stories behind ancient mansions are unearthed and wooden doors come alive.

Next we enter another state with a sprawling beach town splashed with awe inspiring graffiti and more colourful doors.

Join us on this unique trail of the southwest region of India as we document diverse doors representing every facet of this rich region.

The Door's Stories

Fontainhas: The door to Goa's Portuguese legacy

  September 28, 2017
William Dalrymple calls Fontainhas "a small chunk of Portugal washed up on the shores of the Indian Ocean". The picturesque lanes of this Latin quarter of Goa have also been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Walk.

These are the lanes that indulged you, made you ponder and mused you into the old world charm of European architecture in Goa.

Walking through this area and marvelling at quaint Portuguese style houses with arched wooden doors painted in the brightest of colours and old wooden windows decorated with oyster shells, it feels as if I’m in one of the artistic bylanes of Lisbon. If you ever want to see an open-air art gallery, one that’s larger than life, then Fontainhas is the place to be.

I started the walk from Venite – a charming restaurant on Rua 31 de Janeiro.

Its beautiful door with wrought iron handles and knobs is bound to make you stop in your tracks and gawk at it… But what’s perhaps more fascinating than the door is the door frame. The beautiful door frame is made up of ‘azulejos’ – an intricate form of Portuguese painted tin-glazed ceramic tilework. An artwork that you get to see on many of the doors in the lanes of Fontainhas.

Continuing inwards, the lanes and bylanes here offer some of the most awe-inspiring houses bathed in rich colours. Some of my favourite facades and doors include those of Mateus, La Maison Fontainhas, Panjim Inn, Gitanjali Gallery, Old Quarter, Afonso Guesthouse, Hospedaria Abrigo de Botelho and O Abrigo.

Although Fontainhas has a multitude of architectural gems, doors, and windows to spend hours admiring, the entire region is small enough to explore on a leisurely morning stroll. It’s never easy to leave Goa, especially after being charmed by the very enchanting Fontainhas. But I had to move on… because unless you close doors behind you, you don’t get to open new ones with new tales to tell!

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