Mapusa Beach
Location: 13 kms north of Panaji.
Attractions: Friday Market, Bodhgeshwar Temple, Hanuman Theatre, Mapusa Church and Swiss Chapel.
Best Time to Visit : October to March
Mapusa A picturesque town is 13 Kms. from Panaji. The capital of Bardez Taluka, on the national highway, is the cross roads of the network of highways covering whole of Northern Goa.
It is in north of goa and has a history of its own, it is said that even before the Portuguese, the Aryans, Marathas or Sultans invaded Goa, the town was an agrarian community with a well established gaunkari or community farming system. In the community farming system, the villagers formed associations, worked on community land and shared their profits. Market day was an important event for them in which goods were brought from different district to a central area.

Mapusa got its popularity as a market centre by the ancient festivals organized in honour of the god Kanakeshwar Baba, worshipped at the Bodhgeshwar Temple. Set around the Mount (Altinho), Mapusa is said to have grown with the blessings of god Bodhgeshwar. The town's name, Mapusa is derived from the Konkani words, 'maap' meaning measure and 'sa' meaning fill, that indicate its commercial nature. Besides being a major trading centre, Mapusa is a good hub to visit some of the famous Goa's beaches.

Tourist Attractions in Mapusa

Friday Market

If you are looking for the essence of Goa, then Mapusa Friday Market is the perfect place for you. The town of Mapusa has now become synonymous with its Friday Market, which is located outside the Mapusa Municipal Market. Every Friday, the small town of Mapusa burst into a riot of colour and noise. The farmers and small entrepreneurs from all over Goa come to the market to sell their locally grown or manufactured wares.

Goan women dressed in their colourful attire also come in from nearby villages to sell their self-made items including spices of different types. You can shop for a wide range of items, right from spices and T-Shirt to fresh fruit, trinkets, sausages, straw hats, fresh and dried fish, incense, vegetables, souvenirs and furniture.

You should keep in mind that bargaining in Mapusa is an integral part of shopping and therefore you should never pay the first price asked for.

Bodhgeshwar Temple

Nestled under an old Banyan tree, the Bodhgeshwar Temple is worth visiting place in Mapusa. Whether you see the temple by night or day, the Bodhgeshwar temple looks equally charming. Legend goes that Bodhgeshwar was a very accessible god who used to sit below the banyan tree around which the temple was built. Since its construction, Goans of all faiths come here to find solutions for their problems.

If you want something, you have to make a vow to the god and when your wish is granted you have to offer what you had promised to the god. If you are visiting around 3rd week of January, there is an additional attractions in form of a fair which is organised near the temple.

Hanuman Theatre

Hanuman Theatre is located just across the road from the Bodhgeshwar Temple. The theatre organizes the local plays - tiatrs in Konkani, dramas in Marathi and performances by visiting theatre groups and musical troupes from Goa and other parts of the country.

Mapusa Church

The Mapusa Church is known by two names - St. Jerome's Church and the Church of Our Lady of Milagres. It is known as St. Jerome's Church in October when a feast dedicated to St. Jerome is celebrated. It is known as Church of Our Lady of Milagres, with the Milagres feast is celebrated every third Sunday after the Easter festival.

Milagres Feast is important not only for Christians but also for Hindus and as such both Hindus and Christians participate in the festivities with equal enthusiasm. During the three day feast, a number of cultural activities are organized including the Milagres Queen contest.

Swiss Chapel

Swiss Chapel is situated close to the heritage buildings of Mapusa Court, St. Mary's School near the Municipal building. The chapel has a cream and blue coloured wooden altar and shrine. Swiss Chapel organizes the Holy Cross Feast at the beginning of Lent. After nine-day novena prayers, Carnival starts.

Places Where You Can Stay

Mapusa has no luxury hotels, but the town is dotted with a number of good hotels. Popular hotels of Mapusa are Hotel Bardez, Hotel Satyaheera and Hotel Shalini.

How to Reach

By Air : Dabolim airport is the nearest airport which is situated at a distance of 45 kms from the town. Indian Airlines flights and also a host of Private Air Taxis connect the airport with major cities of India. The International services of Indian Airlines connect Goa with Kuwait and Sharjah twice a week.

By Train :Tivim (Thivim) railway station on the Konkan railway is the nearest railhead which lies at a distance of 12 kms from Mapusa.

By Bus :Mapusa is situated on the Goa- Mumbai-Pune road. Kadamba bus stand on the southwest edge of the town is the main bus stand.

Local Transport : Rickshaws and tourist taxis are available here to take you to the nearest hotel or resort. Motorcycle taxis are also available at Mapusa near the main town square. Local buses ply to the nearby beaches of Calangute, Baga, Anjuna, Vagator, Chapora, and Arambol.