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Ponda

Ponda belonged to the group of Novas Conquistas during the Portuguese regime and was earlier ruled by the Soundekar Rajas. 

For countless devotees Ponda is a pilgrimage hub. It is closer from the commercial capital Margao (17 kms) and about 28 kms from Panaji. If you’re staying at the Farmagudi Residency plan your itinerary with this brief guide to Ponda. 

Go on Pilgrimage

The temples of Goa attract hundreds every day from across the country. Visit the important temples of Mangueshi, dedicated to lord Shiva and the Nagueshi temple in the tiny hamlet of Bandora. The Mahalsa Narayani temple 2kms from Mangueshi, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu’s consort Laxmi or according to some, his female form, Mohini. One of the largest and the most famous temple dedicated to Shri Shantadurga (1738), the wife of Lord Shiva, lies just 3kms south west of Ponda.

Spend time with nature

Ponda being close to nature is a rich reservoir of forests and wildlife. Most of the spice plantations are located in this taluka and a day is enough to explore. Tropical Plantation, for instance, nestled deep into the forest, boasts a wide variety of flora from Goa’s spices, to fruits and flowers. Other plantations like Pasocal Farms, Savoi Plantations are also in the area.

Visit A Wild Life Sanctuary

Bondla wild life sanctuary is also widely popular amongst the tourist destinations. A small 8 sq. kms sanctuary at the foot of the hills of the Western Ghats has a mini zoo that guarantees sightings of Goa ’s wild life in natural surroundings and also offers short elephant rides. The park also has an attractive botanical garden setting and a 2.4km nature trail with water holes, a lake and a tree top observation tower.

The Safa Masjid

The Safa Masjid lies in the heart of Ponda city, along the national highway, is one of the town’s iconic monuments. It was built during the reign of Ibrahim Adil Shah in 1560. 

Ponda Fort

A stone throw’s away from the Farmagudi Residency is the renovated fort. In it’s new form, there is a statue honouring Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who built the old fort in the 16th century. Subsequent battles saw possession move from the Marathas to the Portuguese in later years.

Ancient Cave

Along the main highway, spot this ancient Kundaim cave on the sharp bend. Drive carefully as the vehicles speedily zip past the curve.