Exploring Goa beyond its beaches

Far from Goa’s party scene is the charming city Valpoi
Velus bridge in Valpoi
Velus bridge in ValpoiRoxanne D'Silva

BY ROXANNE D'SILVA

Goa is more than just beaches and parties. In the interiors of Goa, there is a pervasive sense of history that runs through the streets.

Away from all the clichéd tourist attractions is the small city of Valpoi, a secluded oasis on the fringes of the Western Ghats.  

Endowed with pleasant weather and breathtaking scenery of lush green trees and fields, along with tranquil waters, Valpoi is an ideal place for a holiday. The picturesque city has its share of beauty as well as history

Velus bridge in Valpoi
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Chhatrapati Shivaji’s legacy – Nanus Fort

Known back in the day for its hunting grounds, the town was fondly known as Rede Ghati

It is said that during the rule of Chhatrapati Shivaji, he constructed Nanus Fort in the 17th century, which was later on taken over by the Portuguese. The fort was used as a military base and by hunters who would visit. 

Nanus, or Nanuz, Fort is located around 3 kilometres away from Valpoi city. The fort is said to be of an Indo-Portuguese and Mughal fusion architecture.  

Today only the ruins of the fort stand. No restoration of the fort has been done, yet it attracts a lot of tourists. In order to reach this fort, one has to climb a small hillock. 

The verdant path to Velus bridge.
The verdant path to Velus bridge.Roxanne D'Silva
Velus bridge in Valpoi
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Velus bridge – surviving, one vehicle at a time

Another historical site, located just 3 kilometres from Valpoi city, is an old quaint bridge known as Velus bridge. It is said to have been built during the Portuguese era. The bridge is so narrow that at a time only a single truck can pass by. 

It is an arch-shaped bridge with no central supporting beam. This bridge connects Valpoi city to Nagargao. Standing all these years, it still looks strong and beautiful. To date, hundreds of vehicles fly on this bridge on a regular basis. 

On the way to Satre bridge
On the way to Satre bridgeRoxanne D'Silva
Velus bridge in Valpoi
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The bridge that suffered Portuguese ire

Constructed around the same time as Velus bridge is the Satre bridge. Surrounded by hills and trees in the small village of Satre sits the old Satre bridge on the border of Goa-Karnataka. 

On speaking with the former sarpanch of Nagargao, Valpoi, Prashant Marathe, we found out that the bridge has been around since 1930. This bridge is said to connect Satre to Parwad (Karnataka).

After the Portuguese left, two parts of the bridge were destroyed to prevent people from using it. Prashant Marathe informed us that a proposal had been given to the panchayat to revive this existing bridge and to construct a road from Satre to Parwad. 

This proposal is backed by Vishwajit Pratapsingh Rane for the interest of the people says Prashant Marathe. 

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