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Cabo da Rama – A Goan Destination of Solitude & Natural Scenic Beauty !

Our erstwhile neighbouring union territory, Goa was ruled by the Wodeyar Dynasty (at times spelt differently) in the 450 years of colonial rule. Threatened by Hyder Ali in 1761, these vassals of Vijayanagar Empire, Bijapur Sultanate, Maratha Empire and later the Mysore Wodeyar Kings aligned with the Portuguese in the year 1763 at Goa. They sought assistance with the ruling Portuguese for peace and protection in exchange of territories of Ponda, Sanguem, Cancona and Quepem.
The Royal family then built their palace at Ponda on three acres of land with Nageshi Temple, and a water tank in a bettlenut plantation. The palace exists even to this day and is about 250 years old. This Royal family which once ruled Goa and parts of Cabo da Rama have become simple cloth selling merchants at a neighbouring city of Karnataka called Belgaum. They maintain a very low profile and rarely give any interviews to the press or interact with the public on their yester royalhood! These were the Royal family of the Kingdom of Sonda! Known by the Portuguese at Goa as ‘Rei de Sonda’.
Cabo da Rama is a beautiful natural hilltop locale named after Lord Shri Ram. It’s believed he took refuge with his wife Sita when he was exiled for 14 years. There’s no edifice or structure to commemorate it. But this area which has a fort built by the Portuguese bears Lord Shri Ram’s name. Ironically there’s an St. Anthony’s church out here and services do go on. This area is at the place where the River Sal touches the Arabian Sea. This area has been occupied by the Hindus, Muslims, Portuguese, British and is now with the archeology department of India. In 1763 the Portuguese occupied it, built walls and made this a watch tower place to lookout for invaders! It was manned by 21 cannons, it had living quarters for military officers. It also was a prison till as recently as 1955! Currently young scientists from The National Institute of Oceanography are stationed here.
Today this descrepit fortress is a natural beauty of natural thick vegetation with hiking zones all over! There are no comfort zones to relax, you are in the raw lap of nature. If you have any indulgence to 5 star comforts, this natural raw beauty, should not be on your travel list! Foreign tourists from Europe, were in awe of this place. People from trekking and hiking community love this place. This natural habitat is a favourite picnic zone for Goan school children. Few really come down from Madgoan which is about 30 Kms away. It’s got beautiful motorable scenic roads criss crossing rivers, canals and bridges. Picturesque destination avenues line up on one’s journey before one reaches Cabo da Rama. Public transport is virtually absent. We went on a hired two wheeler bearing the pleasant sun in the month of October, Goa is green and pleasant during this part of the year! Make sure you have your own transport or hire a cab. There are no hotels, shops to cater to your thirst needs too. This place takes 3 hours for a minimum tourist look. Or more if you go down to the rocky beach. It’s safe, silent, and a perfect place for couples in love! Staying for sunset is not a great Idea. The atmosphere becomes haunting. A better idea would be to spend the day from 7 AM to 5 PM on this naturalistic unspoilt zone of Goa – Cabo da Rama! There are many foreign couples enjoying the solitude and peace at Goa, out here. In Goa, everyone parties in the North, this is the other side of Anjuna or Baga beach – quiet zone! Extreme South, Cancona!
Cabo da Rama is a hidden gem of South Goa. Venture if you are on the South of Goa, below Panjim – otherwise it’s a days journey. Heavy on your pocket and time. Dress yourself for the sun, be with your own commandable transport. Carry fluids, have a hefty breakfast before you head to this place. Hydrate yourself often. Wear good hiking shoes. Don’t forget your camera for some amazing views from atop the fort walls or climb down or the pristine soft sand rocky beaches. You may spot languars, monkeys, peacocks and lots of birds. Be sure footed wherever you go out here. Soak in the natural beauty and views and head back to your base safe and sound!
Cabo da Rama is another blissful natural scenic spot of solitude, I liked it – if you belong to my genre head out here – a healthy physical day out! Sundown is definitely a party time in the land of feni! Viva la Goa! Each trip is different for me as a travel writer and photographer. Be a Traveller – Never a Tourist! Move out of your comfort zone, to experience life!
-Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh
Text & Photography

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