|*Mapusa city Map showing roads, hotels, hospitals and other places of interest.|
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Mapusa is a small town clustered around the Mount (Alto). Mapusa - pronounced as 'Mapsa' by the locals - is Goa's third largest town and the capital of the northern Bardez taluka. It is 13 kms from Panaji - a share- taxi or a bus will take you there. It is mainly a market town for the surrounding beach areas of Calangute, Candolim, Anjuna and Baga among others. Even its name is thought to be derived from the Konkani word for a 'measure' - 'map' and the phrase fill up - 'sa'.
Otherwise a small town forming the hub of north Goa, its location makes it the converging point of all overland routes in Bardez taluka. Moreover, its proximity to the Rio de Mapusa has enabled it to develop a commercial reputation. Mapusa has an even blend of residential, commercial establishments and gardens. The beaches nearest to this town are the Anjuna and Chapora beaches. The Kansarpal-Kalbadevi temple, believed to be about 800 years old lies 14 km from Mapusa. It is a fairly small town with mostly modern building spread around the slopes of a small hillock called Altinho.
Mapusa, however, does not have too many tourist sites. There are a few colonial era Municipal building on the Altinho hill, a fairly modern temple of Lord Hanuman just a few minutes from the main bus stand and most importantly the Church of Our Lady of Miracles about 2 kms east of the market area. Locally, the church is also known as St Jerome's Church and dates back originally from the year 1594. Since then it has been rebuilt several times. The Church of Our Lady of Miracles is more famous for its annual feast than for its architectural splendour. Since the Church is located on the original site of an ancient Hindu temple, the Hindu community also considers it sacred area. Consequently, in a fine display of communal harmony that exists in Goa, the annual feast held on the 16th day after Easter is enthusiastically celebrated by Christians and Hindus alike. The other famous shrine is that of Lord Bodgeshwar, located on the outskirts of the town in the middle of some rice fields, which is beautifully lit up at night and draws thousands of devotees for its annual Jatra.
Mapusa's main claim to fame is its famous Friday market. People from all over Goa come here to buy and sell their wares on Friday. So apart from other regular items, you will also get plants and saplings, ready spiced Goan pork sausages called chouricos, fresh and dried fish, prawns, incense, spices, fruits and vegetables, clothing, junk jewelry, and the famous country liquor such as toddi and cashew feni and even souvenirs from other states of India. Everything is available at reasonable prices. Another item to look out for is the magnificent banana crop from the nearby village of Moira.
Some basic information about Mapusa is give below:
Roadways: There are a number of buses. Buses are also available for Belgaum, Hubli and Pune, as well as Chapora, Candolim and Arambol.
A journey to Anjuna or Calangute by Motorcycle costs around RS 30 to RS 35. By taxi, it costs around RS 100, autorickshaw costs less at Rs 75. A drive from the station costs around RS 80 by autorickshaw and RS 125 by taxi.
Railways: The nearest railhead is Mapusa Road (Shivim), about 12 km north, east of the town proper. Only some trains like the Konkan Railways stop here.