Indian Goa - Temples & SpicesTravel away from the city and the Portuguese influence with its many churches. Pass through small towns and villages, and feast your eyes on large elegant homes and brilliant green rice paddies. In the lush valleys and forests of Ponda are hidden a number of Hindu temples, built in the 17th and 18th centuries by those who attempting to practice their traditional religion away from the prying eyes and persecution of the Portuguese.
Visit a temple dedicated to the Goddess Durga, also known as the Goddess of Peace. Considered one of the most important and the largest in Goa, the original temple was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1564 but the idol of the Goddess was taken away to safety and subsequently brought to its present abode. Constructed in 1738 A.D., it is an unusual temple with a pagoda like structure and a roof made up of long slabs of stone. The impressive idol of the Goddess dominates the temple.
Spices are an ever present part of Indian life – they are essential in flavoring the distinctive regional cuisines and if you keep your eyes open you will see their bright colors reflected in the ladies’ saris, and decorative textiles everywhere.
To find out where they come from you will pay a most enjoyable visit to a spice plantation. Take a guided walk through the trees see what you can identify, smell, taste, and learn about the myriad spices for which India is renowned. And what place could be more perfect for a meal? Enjoy lunch here where everything is fresh and fragrant. Don’t worry; the simple, tasty food will be spiced for Western tastes. After lunch you will return to the port and your ship.

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