In the heart of a swaying coconut grove, a humble hut awaits, where you’ll savour authentic Goan cuisine served on a traditional banana leaf. As a local woman deftly grinds rice into flour, her melodious folk songs, once echoing within kitchen walls, fill the air. The gentle rhythm of nature intermingles with whispers of ancestral traditions, creating an idyllic scene.
If this scene seems too real to be true, then let Goa’s experiential travel company, Make It Happen take you on their tour to the village of Mulgao – a village brimming with folklore and spirituality.
The three to four hour 'Mulgao folk village and coconut-farming experience' is a narration of tales and stories that reveal to the listener the original inhabitants of the place. It lets you understand the community, which is spiritually rooted in devotion and service, making it one of those villages with the most number of temples, which come to around 50 temples in a single village.
Before delving into the story of Mulgao, Make It Happen storyteller, Gauresh Rathod provides an insightful overview of Bicholim taluka, once known as ‘Bhatgram’. He offers two explanations for this name: either it derives from the abundance of fields (bhat in Konkani) or it refers to the bhats, a community that settled here to care for the region’s temples.
As Rathod narrates the tale of the priests’ arrival, he directs you to the Kelbai temple in the background, which is connected to the legend of seven sisters and one brother.
Mulgao proudly enshrines Kelbai, one of the seven sisters, and the revered ‘petichizatra’ which illustrates the community’s profound devotion to this deity.
BEFORE IT’S GONE
As you walk down to the village, the storyteller halts at a site to point out a sacred grove which is protected by the community. This sacred grove stands as a testament to the remnants of a vast forest that once thrived in the region. Today, the community is making conscious attempts to protect it.
Known for its exceptional medicinal properties and unique species of flora and fauna, the community is committed towards protecting this vital ecosystem.
DETITIES OF THE LOCALS
The tour takes you to a few shrines, which gives you a sense of community worship. You’ll discover how the original inhabitants revered nature and its various aspects. Over time, their devotion deepened, giving rise to traditions and customs that continue to be observed to this day.
One also learns about the protector of the village and how this community, till date follows practices to please and thank the guardian spirit.
You then get a glimpse of Mulgao Verde, a brand born in this village. The brand is into producing virgin coconut oil, in which the process adopted, is not only different but is backed by scientific studies and analysis. The idea is to bring products that will enhance the quality of life and support the local community.
Here, you’ll witness firsthand, how the brand is working towards enhancing quality of life and inching towards sustainability.
Amidst the lush coconut grove, you’ll be treated to a feast of authentic Goan cuisine served on a banana leaf.
A variety of delicacies such as raagi bakhri, boiled rice, vegetables, etc. are served, providing you with the traditional Goan flavours and taste. While, you enjoy the food, witness a traditional folk performance which helps you connect to the people and their way of life in the olden days.
This tour by Make It Happen encourages you to become more aware and respectful of the folk culture, people, and practices of this remarkable village.
It opens your eyes to the rich heritage and traditions that are still cherished and practiced by the community. It demonstrates how one can embrace these values and move forward while preserving the essence of this unique cultural gem.
PRICE: Rs 2500
DURATION: 3 hours