Morjim Village, Goa
Situated on the northen bank of the Chapora river estuary, Morjim is a very popular village in the taluka of Pernem Goa. Due to the concentration and heavy influence of the Russian immigrants, it has come to be known as “Little Russia”. The village has a predominantly Hindu- Christian community. Festivals like san Joao, Christmas, Ganesh Chaturthi are celebrated with great enthusiasm.
The traditional occupation of this village is toddy tapping, cashew distilling and fishing. This village is also known for its homemade palm Jaggery. Rare to find, with the modernization and the changing times, one can still see people keeping up with this age old occupations.
If travelling by public transport, the village can be reached by boarding a bus or hiring a cab from the nearby town of Mapusa. Accomodation too is not very difficult to find given the large number of guesthouses in this coastal village.
The Olive Ridley Turtles
Morjim beach is a well known nesting and hatching habitat of the Olive Ridley turtles, which are considered an endangered species. They have been accorded the highest degree of protection under the Indian Law. Initially turtle eggs were poached by fishermen, but protection of the marine turtles and their habitat has been embraced by the locals through community based conservation efforts. Egg Poaching or in any way disturbing the turtles and their habitat is an offence punishable under the Indian law. The tourism department of Goa has aided the conservation efforts by restricting seasonal structures to only a portion of the beach. Also owners are legally obliged not to do anything that would adversely affect the conservation efforts.
Our Lady of Miracles Church
Our Lady of Miracles church, Morjim is called Nossa Senhora dos milagres Igreja em Morjim in Portuguese. Among the locals it is simply known as the Morjim Church. Originally a chapel, this church was built in 1857. It was then renovated in 1902. The Morjim Chapel was affiliated to the Arambol parish. It then became a separate parish of Our Lady of Miracles church in 1903. The church was rebuilt in 1973. The feast of this church is celebrated in the first week of May.
Sant Khuris Mannar
There is a chapel in this village in vitthaldas vaddo, dedicated to the Holy Cross, endearingly known among the locals as Sant Khuris Mannar or Mannar Copel. The feast of this chapel is celebrated on the Sunday following San Joao which is on the 24th of June. This feast attracts a large number of devotees.
Shri Morjai Temple
The Shri Morjai temple is situated amidst natural surroundings. This ancient historical temple is dedicated to goddess Shri Morjai. Legend has it that Shri Morjai is one of the seven sisters who came and resided in parts of Goa along with her brother Shri Khetoba. This temple boasts of an elegant look as the walls are decorated with a rare kaavi art. the main festival celebrated at this temple is the Kalas utsav. Kalas Utsav is celebrated once in every three five seven or nine years and goes on for nearly a month. The festival begins from the Phalgun shudda Panchami and concludes with a grand religious and cultural fair.This fair attracts a large number of people from neighbouring places. The other festivals celebrated at this temple are Gudi Padva, Dusshera and the annual zatra.
Morjim beach is situated at a distance of 18 kms. from Mapusa and around 30 kms. from Panaji.From the beach one can see the Chapora fort upon a hill on the other side of the Chopdem river. The part of the beach directly opposite the fort is usually deserted. A few palm and Casuarina pines can be found on the beach. Watersports are one the cool attractions at Morjim Beach. Kitesurfing is a surface watersport that combines the thrill of wakeboarding,windsurfing, paragliding into one. So also are dolphin spotting trips.