Goa Potteries – Traditional Potters with a 100 Year History in the Art

Goa Potteries (Bicholim, Goa, India)

Wheel chaak, challakad – The traditional tools and an early age to run to continue more than 100 years of family business of potteries or in-short terracotta. Pots/Ghada/Surahi/Gamla/Diyas – The articles – The potteries but the desire to create more to display more.

When/Where/How? – The unanswered questions.

Kumar – a small village near Jamui, Bihar a young boy each day rotating the same story until one day an invitation from a relative having a ceramics business within Mumbai. The wheel of wishes started to rotate and finally the journey towards another destination far far away from the village – Mumbai.

The year 1978, June the month – young man busy with ceramics and another invitation to show the talent at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi – an exhibition – 20 days show. Those 20 days changed the course of my life. The art was displayed and people were impressed. Blue Pottery one of the most reputed names spotted the talent and another invitation to join. Few months of work another invitation from Goa to join as a Master Craftsman at Goa Handicrafts. The invitation was accepted And recognized.

– Master Craftsman K. D. Pandit (Kamal Deo Pandit).

A small house within Bicholim and daily classes within Goa Handicrafts to teach students the art of pottery. After classes, more work with clay, And more making of articles And finally after 5 years own a pottery industry – Goa Potteries.

Clients include starred hotels, showrooms, big houses, factories, and abroad clients.

Exhibitions within various cities and awards/recognition from various organizations.

In the year 2010 And I The travel blogger thought of a visit.

The road-route:

Karasada chowk, National Highway 17 right-turn > Assonora Bus Stand (10 km)

(National Highway 17 – left towards Mapusa and right towards Thivim i.e., Karasada chowk if you coming from Panjim. Turn right towards Thivim and continue driving straight till you reach Bicholim)

Assonora Bus Stand > Bicholim (6 km)

(At Bicholim a display board – right turn for Mayem Lake. Take the turn if you wish to visit the lake first or else drive straight towards Valpoi. A small bridge – cross it and the moment you cross a right-turn towards Bicholim Industrial Estate. Enter the narrow lane And 100 meters you will find a display board – Goa Potteries. Take the right turn – follow the board – within another 100 meters on the left-hand side is Goa Potteries)

Umesh Pandit son of K. M. Pandit was present And talks And they shared knowledge:

The availability of red clay And The process of making potteries:

The red clay (in general called terracotta) of Bicholim is very famous as it never gets cracked once the product is finished. No matter you keep the final finished product within the water the lasting is almost forever.

Boddem – the correct location where red clay is found within Goa. In earlier times the clay was free but nowadays Rs. 5000/full truck.

First clay is passed with water through a wire strainer. This process separates smaller or bigger stones or any other waste from the clay. Once that is done the water along with the clay is kept under Sunlight for days so that water is evaporated and finally clean clay is kept within the store to use as making potteries. After the Holi festival (March-April-May) the process of cleaning clay starts.

To make an article or pottery the image is present within the artist’s mind-frame and S/He only knows how to implement but many times as per client request articles are made. A small wooden stick is used along with hands and fingers to draw a figure or Mural or articles. The process is called Master Art. Once master art is complete more such figures or Murals or flower pots can be made with the help of Plaster of Paris but the real art is Master Art which takes 3 days minimum to prepare.

Once Master Art is ready it is kept for 24 hours in the furnace.

First 12 hours within slow flame And the next 12 hours within the high flame. After 3 days the product is taken out of the furnace and the product is almost ready for sale after a few finishing works.

Umesh Pandit has now inherited the family business and running successfully. But what was most impressive was The simplicity and the down-to-earth attitude of Master Craftsman Kamal Deo Pandit.

Will say- If you are visiting Goa you should visit Goa Potteries And not only this if you wish to learn You are welcome.

Timings: 9 am – 5:30 pm – Sunday/holidays closed.

During the visit, I saw a potter making faces with clay and cute pottery, diyas, articles, and alligators all made with clay.

Fantastic tour it was. One should visit Goa Potteries at least once.

Mapusa to Brahmadev Devasthan (Brahma-Karmali) – Distance and Directions

Mapusa to Brahmadev Devasthan (Brahma-Karmali village) Distance is 49.5 km approx.

Mapusa > Karasada chowk, National Highway 17 (3 km)

(Karasada chowk is the way towards Thivim)

Karasada chowk, National Highway 17 > Honda Bus Stand (30 km)

(You have to drive straight continuously but Yes, in between you will find a right-turn towards Mayem lake, Bicholim, right-turn towards Harvalem Waterfalls. Turn if you wish to visit a lake or waterfalls or continue driving straight)

Honda Bus Stand > Valpoi (9 km)

(once you reach Valpoi ask for Valpoi Police Station. Take a left-turn And follow the direction for Brahma-Karmali village)

Valpoi > Brahma-Karmali village (7.5 km)

Brahma-Karmali village is the location of Brahmadev Devasthan Temple.

Note: Karasada Chowk, National Highway 17 – Brahma-Karmali village Distance is 46.5 km (approx.)

Shri Brahmadev Devasthan (Brahma-Karmali Village) – The 12th Century A.D. Brahma Statue

Shri Brahmadev Devasthan, Brahma-Karmali Village (Sattari, Goa, India)

When I was a teenager one of my friends questioned: Why in general Lord Brahma is not worshiped?

And He was correct as Lord Ganesha/Lord Shiva/Goddess Durga And many are worshiped but never saw Lord Brahma’s idol within the temples/Home. Then I was told by the same friend – within Pushkar (Rajasthan) there is one temple dedicated to Lord Brahma and the story of why the Lord is not worshiped.

The story I do not remember but the question was within and to know the answer – The curiosity. Though I never visited Pushkar years passed, and I visited Goa and Lord Brahma temple located at Sattari taluka, Goa.

Visiting Shri Brahmadev Devasthan, Brahma-Karmali village, Sattari taluka in North Goa district was sure, but as it was for the decision to drive was pending. One day early in the morning I decided to visit And on the way.

And finally, Shree Brahmadev Devasthan – The temple of Lord Brahma:

– Prayers

And Shri Brahmadev Devastan temple/idol History I read within temple souvenir:

12th century AD Kadamba period idol. Earlier the idol was at Karmali village or Carambolim village. During the 16th century AD when the Portuguese ruled Karmali/Carambolim the idol was brought to Sattari taluka And when Sattari was under Portuguese rule in the year 1781, the idol was finally installed at a small village later named as Brahma-Karmali village.

And the years-old query:

The question was repeated and a request with the temple priest to guide. The reply was done, and after years finally the answer.

But the wish is to question you – The readers the same question to know your answer/s if you wish to share through comments, Please. Be sure I will reply to the answer but the day I visit Pushkar (Rajasthan).

Dudhsagar Waterfalls – Dudh (milk) Sagar (sea) – Milky Ocean or Ocean of Milk

Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, Collem (Sanguem, Goa, India)

Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary & National Park is at Collem in Sanguem taluka, South Goa district of Goa. For weeks the plan was to visit, but how? lots of confusion was present. Suggestions were to visit by train, by bus or by car.

I personally went to Vasco railway station to inquire whether there is a train for Dudhsagar Waterfalls or not. I was told there is no train that stops at Dudhsagar railway station. If one has to visit by train, one has to get down at Collem railway station. The passenger train starts from Vasco railway station daily early in the morning, somewhere around 7 stops at Madgaon and it takes one or more hours to reach Collem railway station. And in the evening hours again one has to take a train from Collem to reach Madgaon or Vasco but if the evening train is missed, then one has to stay at Collem.

And for the bus one has to reach Panjim Bus Depot and take a bus (available every one hour or so) that is leaving towards Belgaum. The bus will stop near Mollem and again one has to hire a taxi or auto or any vehicle available to reach Collem and again while coming back again to the same spot and wait for the bus to arrive and towards Panjim. The distance between the drop point of the bus at Belgaum Highway And Collem was also not known.

Finally hiring a taxi was the best option. Taxi Yes, Taxi. Confusion is over now. I was happy. The amount Rs. 1400 Panjim – Dudhsagar Waterfalls – Panjim Or Rs. 1600 Panjim – Dudhsagar Waterfalls – Tambdi Surla temple – Panjim.

I was on the way and the route followed by the hired car driver was interesting.

Once we reached Collem – The location where hundreds (98 jeeps as said by our jeep driver) of jeeps were waiting for guests to arrive to take them towards Dudhsagar Waterfalls which is approx. 12 km inside the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary & National Park.

Rs. 300 is the charge per person. Uncle collects the amount. 6 + 1 (driver) person are allowed within the jeep. No matter whether you are alone or with a group jeep will be arranged by Uncle. I was alone, and I was joined by a few other travelers. Very good arrangement – will say. Thanks to the association.

Private vehicle as said by the driver is allowed but at your own risk because one has to cross two/three water flows, almost a small river but one is deep. If a private vehicle engine fails or the vehicle got stuck anywhere within the wildlife sanctuary, a tractor is the only option to get your vehicle out of the sanctuary and as per the driver’s statement, tractor charges Rs. 3000. Better is to use a taxi operator’s jeep. Even jeeps I have seen stuck or failed due to some reason within the sanctuary. Motorcycles are allowed. Rs. 40 is the charge but experience says – No because to cross one small river is not possible. If we switch off the engine and cross the river, still the water will enter the engine. While crossing one water flow which is really deep, the water even entered inside our jeep.

Anyways, once you reach the gate of the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary & National Park, you will be charged Rs. 20 per person for entry And Rs. 30 for a digital still camera. There are more charges if you carry a professional camera. The driver collects money and visits the window to collect tickets – Do not worry. Till then you can have a look around the jungle area.

Entry timings: 8:30 am – 3 pm (the last jeep entry into the sanctuary)

After paying and collecting tickets the jeep enters the jungle. The road is muddy. The red wet mud and deep jungle all around. In-between the jungle is the railway track. Goa or Karnataka trains pass through this jungle. Sonalim the station within the jungle, but no train stops. As written earlier I inquired about visiting Dudhsagar by train but was told by Vasco inquiry no train stops except at Collem railway station. Anyways, I will recommend visiting by road is the best. There is one temple within the jungle and a family stays close by. The jeep driver showed us Dudhsagar railway station within the hills and on the other side of the station or one can say hills is Dudhsagar Waterfalls. The jeep takes approx. 50 mins. to reach Dudhsagar Waterfalls from Collem. Once you reach Dudhsagar Waterfall’s jeep driver will suggest you to take a one-hour tour of the Waterfall and come back as he is waiting. Altogether it takes 3 hours journey after reaching Collem-Dudhsagar Waterfalls-Collem. Now after getting down from the jeep, one has to walk for about 10 mins. between/through the rocks within the jungle while crossing small narrow bridges.

Remember: There are lots of monkeys in the jungle.

And finally, far one can watch the flow of water. Dudhsagar i.e., Dudh(milk) sagar(sea) – milky ocean or ocean of milk – truly said. The height as said is approx. 600 meters – an amazing fall to watch. The wish is to enter the water and I off with clothes and within shorts in the cold milky water. No words to describe what I felt. One has to visit to experience all I can say, and personally, I wish to visit again very soon, maybe in days to come.

Remember: There are a few spots within the water which is deep and stones around/within the water slippery – Be careful.

2003 till 2007 14 people have died due to drowning at Dudhsagar Waterfalls. A list of people is displayed close to the waterfalls which are sad to read. Please take care of yourself and your children. Do not dive as there are rocks within the water or enter the water if you do not know how to swim.

And a goods train passes on top of the hill whistling.

Isn’t that interesting. Maybe one day I will cross Dudhsagar Waterfalls by daytime train to watch how it looks from the top. Anyways, very soon one hour was completed, and with a heavy happy heart (Ha Ha Ha) I had to leave. The wish to stay more was always present, but rules are rules – one must follow and again 12 km within the jungle route crossing a few water flows including the deep one, and finally reaching Collem. Thanks to Shankar – The jeep driver for enhancing our knowledge. In-between the jungle I saw a board showing the way towards Devil’s Canyon, but the driver was not interested to visit as it is not allowed. There are some horrifying stories attached with the same as said by the driver. Anyways, haunted maybe, and I decided to visit Tambdi Surla the 13th-century temple. The request to visit was conveyed and the hired car driver turned the car towards Collem Police Station road.

Collem to Tambdi Surla Temple distance is 21 km (approx.)

Boating in Mayem Lake

Boating in Mayem Lake (Bicholim, Goa, India)

Mayem Lake Timings – 9 am – 6 pm Entry – charges are present to enter – Rs. 10 and Boating charges as well. Rs. 100 for half an hour And Rs. 140 for one hour. I did the boat pedaling along with Ganesh – one of the caretakers of the boat present.

Ek Duje Ke Liye – Hindi/Bollywood super-hit movie shooting was done at this lake, said the caretaker.

Mayem Lake View – Goa Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. accommodation is nearby if one wishes to stay.

I was driving from Gurim Bypass Junction, Mapusa (National Highway 17) > Karasada chowk NH 17 turn right (4.5 km)

Karasada chowk, National Highway 17 turn right > Assonora Bus Stand (10 km)

Assonora Bus Stand > Bicholim (6 km)

Take a right turn at Bicholim if you want to visit Mayem Lake first or continue driving straight for Arvalem Caves. I visited Arvalem Caves and Waterfalls (approx. 12.5 km) first, and then while returning I was at Mayem lake.

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